– Heartburn and indigestion are very common digestive concerns that many people experience at some point in their lives. Whether you want to be prepared for when heartburn strikes or need help managing persistent heartburn symptoms, over-the-counter antacid medications may help. Your doctor can help you decide which type is right for you, and then, you can quickly purchase the perfect antacid solution here at drugstore.com. We have many of the most popular over-the-counter antacids available for convenient home delivery. read more about antacid tablets »
Conventional antacids are over-the-counter medications that are used to get quick relief from feelings of heartburn. When you take an antacid, it interacts with digestive acids, neutralizing them so that they do not irritate the stomach and esophagus. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved a number of antacid medications for sale over the counter, including aluminum hydroxide, magnesium carbonate and magnesium trisilicate.
Some products contain just one active ingredient, while others use more than one drug to neutralize stomach acid. Most antacids come in forms that allow them to take effect as quickly as possible. Options include effervescent tablets, chewable tablets, liquids and quick-dissolving caplets.
Longer-Lasting Relief from Symptoms
While antacids usually take effect quickly, they're not always powerful enough to provide lasting relief from heartburn symptoms. If you find that your symptoms quickly return after taking a conventional antacid or the discomfort persists even after you've taken one, an over-the-counter H2 blocker may be a better choice for your needs.
H2 blockers typically begin to provide relief about an hour after they are taken, but they are able to keep symptoms from returning for long periods of time. These drugs work by reducing how much stomach acid your body makes and include the over-the-counter medications ranitidine and famotidine. Some people choose to take one of these H2 blockers before they eat a meal that has caused them to experience heartburn in the past in order to reduce the risk of symptoms.
Solutions for Persistent Heartburn and Acid Reflux
If you experience heartburn more than a few times every week or you suffer from a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), your doctor may suggest that you use a more powerful acid-fighting medication called a proton pump inhibitor. This type of over-the-counter medication uses a different mechanism to limit stomach acid production and causes a greater drop in acid levels in the stomach than what's possible with an H2 blocker. These drugs provide extended relief from heartburn that can last for up to 24 hours after a dose. Omeprazole and lansoprazole are examples of proton pump inhibitors.