What Over-the-Counter and Prescription Options Are Available, and How Do They Work to Relieve Symptoms?

Over-the-counter options like antacids, H2 blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) can help ease heartburn by either neutralizing stomach acid or decreasing its production. Antacids work quickly to neutralize acid, while H2 blockers and PPIs take longer to reduce acid production.

Prescription medications may be recommended for more severe or persistent symptoms. They work by either blocking acid production or strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter, which helps prevent acid reflux from occurring in the first place. These medications are often prescribed in higher doses or for a longer duration compared to over-the-counter options.