Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Heartburn/GERD Health Center

Select An Article

Understanding Heartburn: Treatment

Font Size

What Are the Treatments for Heartburn?

Your health care provider may suggest antacids for occasional heartburn. Sometimes, more potent medications such as H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors may be needed, especially for persistent symptoms. Both prescription and over-the-counter choices are available. Rarely, surgery is recommended to prevent reflux and heartburn. The primary objective of treatment is to identify the cause of the heartburn so it can be avoided in the future.

Over-the-counter antacids are commonly used to neutralize stomach acid. If antacids don't quell the symptoms, your health care provider may recommend an over-the-counter medication called an H2 blocker such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), nizatidine (Axid AR), and ranitidine (Zantac). Stronger, prescription-strength antacids are also available.

Understanding Heartburn

Find out more about heartburn:




If heartburn symptoms persist, your health care provider can turn to drugs called proton pump inhibitors to reduce the stomach's production of acid. These include dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), or rabeprazole (Aciphex). Some of these are available over-the-counter. Drugs that make the stomach empty faster may also be prescribed, such as metoclopramide (Metozolv, Reglan)

When all else fails, surgery may be required to repair the lower esophageal sphincter. This surgery can now be done using a minimally invasive laparoscope and usually requires only a short hospital stay.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on April 16, 2015
Next Article:

Today on WebMD

Woman eating pizza
How it starts, and how to stop it.
man with indigestion
Get lifestyle and diet tips.
woman shopping for heartburn relief
Medication options.
man with heartburn
Symptoms of both.
digestive health
Heartburn or Heart Attack
Top 10 Heartburn Foods
Is it Heartburn or Gerd
digestive myths
Extreme Eats
graphic of esophageal area