Antacids, anti-gas medications and H2-receptor blockers are all treatments for acid reflux that are purchased over the counter, according to Fox News. There are several popular over-the=counter antacid and anti-gas brands that offer quick relief from acid reflux or heartburn symptoms.
Antacids are often sold in liquid form, which is helpful in coating the esophagus and reducing stomach acids. However, antacids don't help to reduce esophageal inflammation. Although this type of over-the-counter treatment offers quick relief, it's effects are not long-lasting. Once the medicine leaves the system, it's possible that the pain and discomfort remain. Fox News also warns that ingesting too much of the antacid can lead to constipation and diarrhea.
Many people find anti-gas over-the-counter medication helpful because of the bloating associated with heartburn. Anti-gas products relieve the pressure and bloating in the stomach by creating air bubbles, which encourage waste elimination, says Fox.
Although H2 receptor blockers were once only available by prescription, they are now purchased over the counter. Essentially, H2 receptor blockers temporarily prevent the stomach from making acid. This treatment generally provides longer-lasting results than antacids, but it takes longer to work. Fox News suggests taking H2 receptor blockers at least 30 minutes before bed or meal times.