Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Over the Counter Heartburn Medicine

You recognize the signs; the painful burning that starts at about your breastbone and move up into the back of your throat. Heartburn is on the prowl once again and you need relief in the worst possible way. You head to the pharmacy to find a medication for your painful symptoms, but the shelves filled with many different over the counter heartburn medications only serves to frustrate and confuse you. Which one will meet your needs best? To help you make the right choice in over the counter heartburn medicine, you need the facts about how each medication works and how to know which one will work best for you.


Rolaids, Tums and Maalox all fall into these categories. Antacids now come in a variety of flavored chewable tablets that are supplemented with calcium, making this over the counter heartburn medicine as healthy as it is yummy. Antacids are known for working fast and working effectively on painful heartburn symptoms. You can take a roll with you so you can nip heartburn in the bud anytime and anywhere. However, antacids only provide relief for so long, and then the burning will rear its ugly head once again. So if you need fast relief, this is the over the counter heartburn medicine for you. If long term relief is what you are looking for, read on for additional options.

H-2 Blockers

Histamine-2 blockers, also known as H-2 blockers, reduce the amount of acid that your stomach produces, thereby reducing heartburn symptoms as well. These medications go by commercial names of Zantac and Pepcid. Recommendations state to take this over the counter heartburn medicine 30 minutes before eating a meal to head heartburn symptoms off at the pass. However, if the painful burning sensation has already begun, these medicines will be too slow to provide sufficient relief. Take them early, and enjoy the hours of heartburn relief that are sure to follow.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Let's say your doctor has already warned you about the painful effects of your frequent bouts of heartburn. Your esophageal lining has been damaged by the constant exposure to the harmful stomach acids, and now it needs sufficient time to heal itself back up. The best alternative medicine for heartburn is a proton pump inhibitor like Prilosec. While Prilosec can now be purchased as an over the counter heartburn medicine, most doctors recommend that you talk to a physician before taking this medicine for an accurate heartburn diagnosis.

Whether your heartburn is an infrequent visitor or too familiar for comfort, an over the counter heartburn medicine might be just the ticket. Talk to your doctor about the best over the counter heartburn medicine for you and say goodbye to painful heartburn.


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