OTC Heartburn Treatments

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Question

What is the best antacid or other over-the-counter heartburn remedy for me?

Answer

OTCThere are several remedies for heartburn. Antacids like Maalox® and Mylanta® are one of the most prevalent treatments for heartburn. Antacids work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach that causes heartburn. You can get antacids over-the-counter without a prescription for fast, short-term relief. But, if you use antacids too frequently, they can cause constipation or diarrhea. You should use antacids with both aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide. This can be effective because one ingredient causes diarrhea while the other causes constipation so they counteract. Always follow the directions of any antacid before use.

Other over-the-counter heartburn remedies

Another type of heartburn remedy, H2 blockers like Pepcid®, Tagamet® and Zantac® reduce the amount of acid your stomach can produce, preventing heartburn in the first place.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPI's) such as Prevacid® and Prilosec® are also available over the counter. These reduce gastric acid secretion in the stomach and intestine. In order to find the best medicine for you, talk with your health provider.

Get more information on heartburn in our Health Encyclopedia.

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