There are several options for treating heartburn, including antacids, stomach acid reducers and proton pump inhibitors, according to WebMD. Many heartburn medications are available over the counter without a prescription.
Antacids are usually the first line of defense for occasional heartburn; however, those taking antacids more than just occasionally should discuss their heartburn symptoms with their doctors. Antacids work to neutralize some of the acid in the stomach for up to 2 hours after being taken, thus reducing heartburn.
H2 blockers, also called histamine receptors, are not as fast acting as antacids, but their effects last longer. H2 blockers decrease the amount of acid made by the stomach. Proton pump inhibitors work in much the same way by reducing stomach acid and are sometimes recommended when H2 blockers fail to control heartburn symptoms.