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Over-the-counter Remedies for Heartburn

Larger, printable version of this chart

Type of Remedy Examples How They Work How Long They Last Why They Are Used
Antacids  • Alka-Seltzer
 • Bromo-Seltzer
 • Gelusil
 • Maalox
 • Milk of Magnesia
 • Mylanta
 • Riopan
 • Rolaids
 • Tums
They neutralize existing stomach acid 30 minutes to 2 hours, depending on whether the stomach is empty or full To relieve heartburn, sour stomach, or indigestion
H2 Blockers

(Histamine Receptor Antagonists)

 • Axid AR
 • Pepcid AC
 • Tagament HB
 • Zantac 75
Inhibits the action of histamine, which stimulates the secretion of stomach acid. This partially blocks the production of stomach acid 6 to 10 hours Relieves heartburn, sour stomach, and indigestion.

Prevents heartburn caused by eating and drinking certain foods and beverages.

Antacid H2

(Combination of antacid and H2 Blocker)

Pepcid Complete The antacid neutralizes existing stomach acid and the H2 Blocker inhibits the production of stomach acid. 6 to 10 hours Relieves heartburn, sour stomach, and indigestion.
Proton Pump Inhibitors

(PPIs)

Prilosec OTC Deactivates acid pumps in the cells of the stomach, where stomach acid is produced. This thus inhibits the acid production. Up to 24 hours Used to treat frequent heartburn that occurs two or more days a week.


Chart of prescription medications


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