Heartburn Medications – An Overview
While some people that deal with heartburn are able to make lifestyle changes to deal with the problem, other people may need to be prescribed medications to help provide some relief. Many different heartburn medications are available and the severity of your symptoms will probably dictate which medication your physician recommends to you. Here is a look at some of the most common types of medications that are used to help treat heartburn.
Foaming Agents and Antacids
Both foaming agents and antacids may be recommended to you to treat your heartburn. In most cases, your doctor will recommend antacids as the first course of treatment if you need heartburn medications. Various brands of antacids combine together three types of salt, aluminum, magnesium, and calcium. These basic salts are combined with bicarbonate or hydroxide ions, which help to neutralize stomach acid. Some of the brand names include Mylanta, Rolaids, Maalox, and Pepto-Bismol. Usually antacids will provide you with some relief in about 15 minutes. Foaming agents are also often used for early treatment and they help to cover the contents of the stomach with foam, which keeps reflux from occurring. Gaviscon is one of the foaming agents that you can find for some heartburn relief.
H2 blockers, also known as histamine receptor antagonists, are another of the heartburn medications that a doctor may prescribe for you. Some versions of these medications may be available over the counter as well. These medications work by helping to lower stomach acid production. Just a few of the common H2 blockers include Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Axid AR, and Zantac 75. Not only can these drugs help to give you relief from heartburn, but they can also help to prevent heartburn from occurring as well.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
You’ll find that another of the heartburn medications available are classified as proton pump inhibitors. These drugs are designed for people who deal with heartburn on a regular basis and those who have been diagnosed with GERD. These medications work by helping to reduce acid production and they also help to heal damage that is done to the stomach and esophagus. Several of the prescription proton pump inhibitors available include Protonix, Nexium, Prilosec, Prevacid, and Zegerid. Other options can be purchased over the counter, such as Prilosec OTC, Prevacid 14 hour, and Zegerid OTC.
With so many different heartburn medications available, your doctor can probably help you fin done that will provide some relief from the heartburn you’re dealing with. Of course, these medications work differently, so not every drug will work for every person. In some cases, you may even need to be on a combination of these medications to help control symptoms and provide relief. Just remember to always talk to your doctor. Some of these medications can react with other medications and may have side effects. Always consult with your doctor and ensure your doctor knows about other medications you are taking as well.