Medications

The Best Acid Reflux Treatment Options

The right combo of a healthy diet with one of these drugs can stop heartburn in its tracks.
The Best Acid Reflux Treatment Options
Leslie Pepper

By 

Leslie Pepper,   

Apr 1, 2020 • 3 min read

Share Blog on FacebookShare Blog on TwitterShare Blog on LinkedInShare Blog via Email

If lifestyle changes aren’t easing your acid reflux symptoms (especially things like ditching trigger foods and replacing them with foods that calm acid reflux), it may be time to add some medicine into the mix. Drugs that can help tame the flame include non-prescription antacids, histamine receptor antagonists (H2 blockers), and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Sound like a tongue twister? Let’s untangle them for you here:

Antacids

For mild acid reflux symptoms, antacids work by reducing the acid in your stomach that causes heartburn. Ingredients typically include either calcium carbonate (Tums) or magnesium and aluminum (Alka-Seltzer Gold). They work within minutes of taking them but the neutralizing effects may only last for about 30 to 60 minutes after each dose, says Neil Gupta MD, regional director of the Digestive Health Program at Loyola University Health System in Maywood, IL.

H2 Blockers

For slightly more moderate acid reflux, H2 blockers reduce acid production in the stomach. They do this by preventing histamine (an inflammatory for the body) from attaching to H2 receptors on cells in the stomach found in the gastric glands. This, in turn, prohibits these cells from producing excessive acid. H2 blockers contain ingredients such as ranitidine HCL (Zantac) and famotidine (Pepcid). “Generally, H2 blockers take a little longer to work than antacids, with peak effect happening within two and a half hours,” says Dr. Gupta. However, they last longer and if taken right before eating trigger foods can help prevent heartburn symptoms.

PPIs

For severe acid reflux symptoms or for heartburn that doesn’t go away with the above medications, PPIs can be even more effective. Similar to H2 blockers in its mechanism, PPIs reduce the amount of acid by blocking the enzyme in the cells of the stomach lining responsible for producing stomach acid. Common ingredients include over-the-counter remedies like omeprazole (Prilosec), esomeprazole magnesium  (Nexium), and lansoprazole (Prevacid). If an OTC med isn’t working for you, rabeprazole (AcipHex) and pantoprazole (Protonix), may help but require a prescription. Dr. Gupta suggests starting with a PPI if you have heartburn symptoms at least twice a week or symptoms that significantly affect your quality of life. “If symptoms persist for more than two weeks, you should see a doctor,” he says. 

Most PPIs are best taken after a fast and 30 minutes before a meal, so a half-hour before breakfast is best. They build up in your bloodstream and can take at least a week to feel the full effect. “Doctors usually prescribe a six- to eight-week course of PPIs, as this gives enough time for patients to make dietary and lifestyle changes to hopefully eliminate the need for ongoing medications,” says Dr. Gupta. 

If you take acid reflux medication, whether it be OTC or a prescription, fill it through Blink Health to check for savings and get it sent to your front door for free.

· · ·

This article is not medical advice. It is intended for general informational purposes and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your physician or dial 911.

Blink Health is not insurance. The discount prescription drug provider is Blink Health Administration, LLC, 1407 Broadway, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018, 1 (844) 265-6444, www.blinkhealth.com.

· · ·

Try the app now

FAQs • Contact Us
Our support team is available Monday through Friday 8AM - 10PM EST, and Saturday and Sunday 9AM - 7PM EST.

Blink Health will always honor the price reflected at the time you purchased your medication. Your final price is based on the medication you pick up at the pharmacy. If you pick up a different form, dosage, or quantity, you will be charged or credited the difference. Blink Health reserves the right to cancel a transaction and refund you if the underlying cost of the prescription drug changes significantly after you have purchased your medication. Blink Health reserves the right to change its prescription drug prices in real time based on supply and demand trends and other factors. Any savings claims made by Blink are based on U.S. retail prices without prescription drug coverage. *Retail Prices (Cash Prices) vary among pharmacies. The Retail Prices displayed are estimates based on multiple sources, including price lists, historical claims and data provided by pharmacies. Our Price Match Guarantee covers generic drugs. Additional conditions apply. For more details visit our Price Match page. †Delivery may be subject to delays. Free shipping is available for most orders through USPS first class shipping. If an order is placed, or if a delivery period falls, on a USPS holiday, the delivery time window will be extended by additional days, as applicable. No deliveries on Sunday or USPS holidays. Home delivery orders ship from a licensed, US based pharmacy after a valid prescription has been received. No home delivery orders will ship without a valid prescription written by a prescriber. Blink Health's pharmacy team will transfer prescriptions from other pharmacies or prescribers. Home delivery orders may be subject to delays if those pharmacies or prescribers do not immediately respond to requests to transfer prescriptions to Blink Health's pharmacy team. ‡Promotional offer excludes opioids, E.D. (i.e. sildenafil, tadalafil and generics Viagra and Cialis) and hair loss medications (i.e. finasteride, generic Propecia), and any orders that include online doctor visits for E.D., hair loss, birth control, cold sores, high cholesterol or acid reflux. Cannot be combined with other offers. Blink Health is not sponsored by or affiliated with any of the pharmacies identified. The pharmacy trademarks and logos above are the property of their respective owners. Blink Health is not offering advice, recommending or endorsing any specific prescription drug, pharmacy or other information. Please seek medical advice before starting, changing or terminating any medication or prescription.

Disclosures: Blink Health is NOT insurance or a Medicare prescription drug plan. Users are obligated to pay the price presented during the checkout process. Blink Health is available to users at participating pharmacies only. No enrollment or periodic fees apply. Our address is 1407 Broadway, Suite 2100, New York, NY 10018, 1 (844) 265 - 6444, www.blinkhealth.com.