There are a number of over-the-counter medicines available to manage acid reflux symptoms. Whether you suffer from intermittent or chronic reflux, your pharmacist will be able to help you choose the right medication. Some medications are stronger and may be better for treating your GERD symptoms than others.
Over-the-counter medications are not without their own disadvantages. While they may be effective for occasional heartburn, they don’t provide long-term relief. They neutralize acid and only work when symptoms strike. If you experience a severe episode of acid reflux, it’s best to seek medical attention.
Prescription medications are effective at treating gastro-oesophageal reflux. But OTC PPIs have been shown to improve quality of life, symptom relief, and ease of daily dosing. This has expanded the role of pharmacists in heartburn therapy, as many are now able to provide guidance specific to heartburn and acid regurgitation patients.
There are three primary categories of over-the-counter medicines for acid reflux. These include antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors. Most of them can help with infrequent heartburn, but some people may need stronger medications to control the problem for good. For more severe symptoms, you should seek medical advice from your pharmacist.
Heartburn, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is a burning pain in the lower chest caused by reflux of stomach acid. Heartburn drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors, stop acid from coming up into the esophagus. However, more than half of people who take proton pump inhibitors don’t need to use them. Simple heartburn can often be treated with antacids and a diet change.