Heartburn is a common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux, also called acid reflux. This may occur when acid contents from the stomach move back or reflux into the esophagus. Other symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux include a chronic cough, persistently sore throat, and hoarseness. Heartburn is a sensation of burning pain behind the lower breastbone. Regurgitation, or the feeling of stomach contents coming back up into the throat, may also occur. Regurgitation may also be accompanied by a bitter taste in the mouth, and is also more common when bending over or lying down. Antacids are one type of over-the-counter medication used to treat heartburn. These provide quick, short-term relief by neutralizing acid in the stomach. Another type of medication, called the H2 blocker, works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. These may take longer to take effect, however the relief from heartburn may last longer than with an antacid alone. Pepcid Complete contains the H2 blocker famotidine and the antacids calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide. Proton pump inhibitors such as Prilosec OTC stop the production of stomach acid. H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors are also available in prescription strength if needed.
Treatments for Heartburn
November 17, 2006