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

Font Size

Questions to Ask Your Pharmacist About Heartburn Relief

One in 10 Americans has heartburn or acid reflux at least once a week, according to the American Gastroenterological Association. Whether you're one of the lucky few who generally has an iron stomach -- or you need heartburn relief nearly every day -- rest assured: You can soothe the burn.

Start by getting to know your local pharmacist. Uniquely trained in drug interactions and side effects, pharmacists can help you look at the medications you're already taking, uncover any potential side effects and drug interactions, and offer safe solutions for heartburn relief. Write out your full list of medications, including all prescription and over-the-counter drugs, any herbal or other natural remedies, and all vitamin and mineral supplements. Take it with you to the pharmacist and go over it together.

Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

Understanding Heartburn -- the Basics

Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Some of the symptoms, however, are similar to those of a heart attack or heart disease. Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus that is caused by stomach acid. This can create a burning discomfort in the upper abdomen or below the breast bone. With gravity's help, a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, keeps stomach acid in the stomach. The LES is located where the esophagus meets the stomach -- below...

Read the Understanding Heartburn -- the Basics article > >

To start you on your way, here are seven key questions to ask your pharmacist about heartburn relief. You may want to print out this list and take it with you to the pharmacy.

1. Could medications I'm taking be causing my heartburn?

Heartburn is a common side effect of many medications, from aspirin to osteoporosis drugs to steroids.

2. Can I just wait and hope my heartburn goes away?

Simple heartburn that passes relatively quickly isn't dangerous -- certainly not life-threatening. But chronic, severe heartburn, especially with acid reflux, can eventually damage your esophagus if left untreated.

3. What's a safe, simple heartburn treatment?

Many doctors and pharmacists suggest over-the-counter antacids for occasional heartburn. Histamine blockers, or H2-Blockers, such as Ranitidine (Zantac) and Famotidine (Pepcid) can also be found over-the-counter to help relieve symptoms of acid reflux. These are good acid reducers to start with if you haven’t been on any medications.

If heartburn symptoms persist, your doctor may suggest proton pump inhibitors, such as Rabeprazole (Aciphex), Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), Esomeprazole (Nexium), Lansoprazole (Prevacid),Omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), or Pantoprazole (Protonix) to reduce the stomach's production of acid, or Metoclopramide (Reglan) to make the stomach empty itself faster. Your pharmacist or your doctor can explain how each drug works, and what to expect.

4. Are there lifestyle changes that bring heartburn relief?

One safe, first step is to cut out any foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn symptoms. Coffee, chocolate, carbonated drinks, fatty and spicy foods, tomatoes, citrus fruits, some dairy, and alcohol are common heartburn triggers. With heartburn, eating smaller meals and avoiding food for two to three hours before bedtime can ease symptoms. You may want to keep a heartburn diary to help determine what foods trigger the problem. Cutting out smoking and losing weight if you're overweight can also relieve heartburn.

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