There are a variety of heartburn medicines available over the counter to relieve symptoms. If these fail to relieve your symptoms, talk to your doctor about other available heartburn treatment options. Your doctor may want to evaluate you for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.
The majority of people who have hiatal hernias don't even realize it. Those who do know typically find out when visiting a health care provider because of chronic heartburn. Symptoms may include:
Chest pain radiating from below the breastbone
A bloated feeling after eating
Shortness of breath
The FDA has approved the proton pump inhibitors lansoprazole (Prevacid 24HR), omeprazole (Prilosec OTC), esomeprazole (Nexium 24HR), and omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate (Zegerid OTC) for over-the-counter use to treat frequent heartburn (two or more times per week) for 14 days. All of these drugs are also available as prescriptions. Take these drugs according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.
If these medications don't relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or persist for longer than two weeks, you should see your doctor.
Combination Antacid/Acid Reducer for Heartburn
There is only one drug of this type, Pepcid Complete. It is made up of famotidine, calcium, and magnesium combining the acid-neutralizing capability of an antacid and the acid-reducing actions of an acid-blocker drug.
So Which Works Best for Heartburn?
All of these over-the-counter medicines, to a varying degree, can be effective in relieving the symptoms of heartburn. People who have more severe heartburn symptoms that aren't relieved with these medications or who have been using these drugs for more than two weeks should contact their doctor. They may need prescription medicine.