Over-the-counter (OTC) medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctor’s prescription. “These drugs have been around since the 1970s and appear to be relatively safe,” Dr. Cappell says. They can be used for up to two weeks for short-term relief of heartburn. Side effects may include headache, dizziness, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. Prevent heartburn by limiting acidic foods, such as grapefruit, oranges, tomatoes, or vinegar. Untreated GERD can radically increase your risk of esophageal cancer But reflux can be managed. Talk with your doctor. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) reduce your body’s production of acid. They work well for heartburn that isn’t resolved by antacids or H2 blockers. It may take a little longer for a PPI to help your symptoms, but relief will last longer. Most forms start working in a few days. PPIs are most helpful for people who have chronic heartburn (more than 2 days a week). Omeprazole (brand name: Prilosec) and lansoprazole (brand name: Prevacid 24HR) are examples of OTC PPIs.
Talk to your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve with medication or lifestyle remedies. You may need more aggressive treatment or surgery to eliminate an ulcer or reduce acid reflux. The best over-the-counter medicine treatments for severe acid reflux, also known she said as heartburn, are antacids, acid blockers and proton pump inhibitors, states WebMD. Maalox, Rolaids and Tums are popular antacid brands; Pepcid, Zantac and Axid are examples of over-the-counter acid blockers. Prilosec is an example of a proton pump inhibitor.
Anxiety and stress may worsen acid reflux symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you find your heartburn gets worse because of anxiety and stress, the Mayo Clinic recommends aromatherapy, hypnosis, listening to music, massage or relaxation techniques. Gentle exercise is also good, but only when walking or riding a bike. Vigorous exercise may aggravate heartburn. Lifestyle changes , along with medications, can help lead to a better quality of life while also minimizing damage to the esophagus. The options for treating acid reflux in your infant depend on your baby’s age and the severity of the problem. Lifestyle changes and simple home care are typically the best place to start.
Let your doctor know how the OTC medicines work for you. If your symptoms do not improve or get worse, the doctor may suggest a prescription medicine. If possible, try not to take PPIs long-term. These can increase your risk of certain health conditions, such as osteoporosis, kidney disease, and dementia. Millions experience heartburn and the more serious condition gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) daily. And research shows that nighttime heartburn affects nearly four out of five of heartburn sufferers – disturbing sleep and impairing their ability to function the next day.
Some over the counter antacids are available (such as famotidine, marketed as Pepcid), while stronger antacids are prescription only (omeprazole). Pregnant ? You may experience heartburn or GERD. Talk to your doctor about finding relief. Give your dog gastroprotectants. Gastroprotectants provide a degree of protection for the stomach (and esophagus). The most widely used gastroprotective is sucralfate, a prescription medication known as Antepsin or Carafate. There are two types of drugs that cut down on the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists (H2 antagonists or H2 blockers) and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).