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The Best Medicines for Acid Reflux

There are a variety of medicines for acid reflux, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Some can deal with heartburn problems immediately. They include antacid tablets and liquids that can be taken when acid reflux first strikes.

There are a variety of medicines for acid reflux, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). Some can deal with heartburn problems immediately. They include antacid tablets and liquids that can be taken when acid reflux first strikes. Other medicines, known as H2 blockers, help reduce acid production and can keep acid reflux away over a period of hours. There are also medications called proton pump inhibitors that can heal the esophagus when damaged from acid reflux and also control acid production.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.

Antacids

Over-the-counter antacids are made to neutralize stomach acid quickly 1. These products reduce the acid levels in the stomach. Most antacids are available in tablet or liquid form. Antacids can have side effects, according to the NDDIC. Magnesium salt can cause diarrhea and aluminum salt can lead to constipation. The antacid products often combine aluminum and magnesium salts to balance the effects. The calcium carbonate ingredients in some antacids provide a good source of calcium, but can also cause constipation, the NDDIC says.

H2 Blockers

People who want to prevent heartburn or acid reflux throughout the day often use them. Some of these products' makers claim the medication will last for hours after taking it. Many H2 blockers are available over the counter, but prescription-strength medicines are also available after a visit to the doctor. There may be minor side effects of headache, nausea, constipation or diarrhea with acid reducers and antacids, the AAFP explains 1.

Proton Pump Inhibitors

To block acid production and allow time for the damaged esophagus to heal, proton pump inhibitors are available. The products include Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, Aciphex and Nexium. Prevacid and Prilosec are available over the counter.

Treatment for Stress

Anxiety and stress may worsen acid reflux symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic. If you find your heartburn gets worse because:

  • of anxiety
  • stress
  • the Mayo Clinic recommends aromatherapy
  • hypnosis
  • listening to music
  • massage or relaxation techniques

Gentle exercise is also good, but only when walking or riding a bike. Vigorous exercise may aggravate heartburn.

The Wrap Up

There are a variety of medicines for acid reflux, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians . Some can deal with heartburn problems immediately. The calcium carbonate ingredients in some antacids provide a good source of calcium, but can also cause constipation, the NDDIC says. To block acid production and allow time for the damaged esophagus to heal, proton pump inhibitors are available. Vigorous exercise may aggravate heartburn.

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