Treatments That Are Easy to Swallow

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Medications used to treat heartburn are available in various oral dosage forms, including liquids, tablets, gelcaps and chewables.

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More Tips:

  • Should Tablets Be Chewed or Swallowed?

    Check the package label to determine if tablets should be swallowed whole or chewed before swallowing.

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  • Ask Your Doctor About Drug Interactions

    If you are taking a prescription medication, consult a physician or pharmacist before using a heartburn medication to avoid drug interactions.

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  • Pregnant or Breastfeeding?

    Consult a health professional before using any medication to treat heartburn, if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.

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  • Children and Heartburn Medication

    Check the package label for each specific product to determine whether the medication can be given to children without consulting a physician. Some medications may be appropriate, but the daily dosage will differ from that of an adult. Over-the-counter PPIs are not for use in children younger than 18 years of age.

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  • What Antacids and Bismuth Subsalicylate Do

    Antacids (Alka-Seltzer®, Tums®) relieve heartburn, sour stomach and acid indigestion. Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®) relieves upset stomach, indigestion, nausea, heartburn and diarrhea (for ages 12 years and up).

    *Alka-Seltzer® is a registered trademark of Bayer HealthCare LLC. Tums® is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline. Pepto-Bismol® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble.

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  • Relief and Prevention

    Over-the-counter PPIs such as Pepcid® AC treat frequent heartburn (occurs 2 or more days a week). They are not intended for immediate relief and should be taken for 14 days. They can start working on Day 1 and may take up to 4 days for full effect.

    *Pepcid® AC is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co.

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  • 3 Kinds of Relief

    Antacids (Mylanta®, Rolaids®) neutralize existing stomach acid through basic chemical reaction. Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol®) coats the esophagus and acts as a barrier to refluxed gastric acid contents.

    H2 blockers (TagametHB®, Zantac75®) partially block production of acid in stomach cells by inhibiting the action of histamine, a substance that stimulates the secretion of stomach acid.

    *Mylanta® is a registered trademark of Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co. Rolaids® is a registered trademark of McNEIL-PPC, Inc. Pepto-Bismol® is a registered trademark of Procter & Gamble. Tagamet HB® is a registered trademark of GlaxoSmithKline, Inc. Zantac 75® is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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  • OTC Relief for Frequent Heartburn

    The proton pump inhibitor (PPI) Prilosec OTC® is the leading over-the-counter medication indicated specifically treatment of frequent heartburn. PPIs (Prilosec OTC®, Prevacid 24HR®, Zegerid OTC®) shut down many of the acid pumps in the cells of the stomach, leaving enough acid for normal digestion of food. Prilosec OTC® can provide 24-hour treatment of frequent heartburn with one pill a day when taken as directed for 14 days.

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  • Cut Back on Certain Types of Pain Relievers

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    Some painkillers can actually trigger heartburn. Here’s what you need to know about nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

    The last thing you want is to take a pain reliever for one thing and have it cause pain elsewhere. Unfortunately, that may happen if you take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) regularly.

    NSAIDs such as aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen sodium may produce a number of side effects, including heartburn, abdominal pain and, in some cases, ulcers. Individuals who take an occasional or low dose of NSAIDs are not as likely to experience these side effects, but those who take higher doses for longer periods of time as well as users older than 60 are more prone to such side effects.

    If your doctor has you on an aspirin regimen but you are experiencing frequent heartburn, pain and/or other adverse effects, tell your doctor, and check to see if changes can be made to your treatment plan.

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  • Frequent Heartburn Treatment: Pack Your To-Go Kit

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    Take these things with you to help avoid heartburn on-the-go.

    Stash a few key items in your bag and there’s a good chance you’ll have the arsenal you need to find relief from heartburn.

    Healthy Snacks

    When hunger strikes when you’re on-the-go, you may be tempted to reach for whatever is around, like fatty burgers, potato chips, or chocolate bars. All of these are potential heartburn trigger foods.1 Avoid the temptation by stashing some safe bites in your bag, such as nuts, raisins, and graham or whole-grain crackers.

    Hard Candy or Chewing Gum 

    Overeating is a common cause of heartburn, and extensive menus and large portions can lead to eating too much. Listen to your body, and keep portions under control and help say no to “just one more bite” by popping chewing gum or a hard candy in your mouth after you feel full. Just steer clear of mints, since mint can lead to heartburn.

    The Right Meds 

    If you suffer from frequent heartburn two or more days per week and use a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to relieve symptoms, be sure it’s in your bag. You wouldn’t want to disrupt your 14-day course of therapy due to travel.

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The material in this site is intended to be of general informational use and is not intended to constitute medical advice, probable diagnosis or recommended treatments. For severe heartburn or heartburn that persists after trying over-the-counter treatment or lifestyle modifications, visit your doctor to determine the right treatment for you. See the Terms and Conditions for more information.