Heartburn is a burning feeling in the center of your chest. It can happen after you eat, after you bend over, or when you lie down.
Simple daily changes might be all you need, such as:
- Stop smoking.
- Lose weight, if needed.
- Eat small meals, more often.
- Avoid tight clothing.
- Don’t lie down for 3 hours after eating.
- Raise the head of your bed by 6-8 inches.
- Avoid food or beverages that might make symptoms worse.
If you’re thinking of trying medicine, talk it over with your doctor, even if you can buy it “over the counter,” which means you don’t need a prescription.
You can get these products in a lower strength as OTC medications, and at a higher strength as prescription drugs. Commonly used H2 blockers are:
- Famotidine (Pepcid as a prescription, Pepcid-AC as an OTC medication)
- Cimetidine (Tagamet and Tagamet-HB)
- Nizatidine (Axid and Axid AR)
- Ranitidine (Zantac and Zantac 75)
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) block the enzyme in the stomach wall that makes acid. Commonly used PPIs are:
- Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)
- Esomeprazole (Nexium and Nexium 24HR)
- Lansoprazole (Prevacid)
- Pantoprazole (Protonix)
- Rabeprazole (AcipHex)
- Omeprazole (several names, including Zegerid and Prilosec, which is available in both prescription and nonprescription strengths)