Heartburn (Reflux) (cont.)
In this Article
- Heartburn facts
- What are the symptoms of heartburn?
- What causes heartburn?
- Dietary causes of heartburn
- Lifestyle causes of heartburn
- Medical causes of heartburn
- What is the treatment for heartburn?
- Tips to alleviate heartburn symptoms
- OTC heartburn treatments
- Prescription heartburn treatments
- When is heartburn surgery necessary?
- Find a local Doctor in your town
Over-the-Counter Heartburn Treatments
- Antacids. Antacids neutralize excess stomach acid to relieve heartburn, sour
stomach, acid indigestion, and stomach upset. They are also occasionally
recommended to help relieve the pain of ulcers. Some antacids also contain
simethicone, an ingredient that helps eliminate excess gas. Examples of antacids
include: Tums, Rolaids, and
Maalox. You should take antacids exactly as directed
by your doctor, or according to the manufacturer's directions. If you are using
the tablets, chew them well before swallowing for faster relief. Serious side
effects can occur with an overdose or overuse of antacids. Side effects include
diarrhea, change in color of bowel movements and
- Acid Blockers. These medicines relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach, and are available without a prescription. Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac 75, Axid AR, and Prilosec OTC are examples of over-the-counter acid blockers. Acid blockers work by reducing the production of stomach acid. Take these medications according to the directions on the package, or as advised by your doctor. Possible serious side effects that need to be reported to your doctor right away include confusion, chest tightness, bleeding, sore throat, fever, irregular heartbeat, weakness, and unusual fatigue. Other less serious side effects include mild headache, dizziness and diarrhea, which are usually temporary and will likely go away on their own.
People who have more severe heartburn symptoms that aren't relieved with these medications or who have been using these drugs for more than two weeks should contact their doctor. They may need medicine only obtained with a doctor's prescription.
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