What Is The Best Over-The-Counter Medicine For Acid Reflux?

Updated Nov,2020
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For most people antacids are both inexpensive and convenient over-the-counter medications for treating acid reflux. If the symptoms are more acute or recur regularly, then H2 blockers or Proton-pump inhibitors may offer a stronger solution. However, it’s best to always speak to a doctor about treating your acid reflux.

Causes and symptoms of acid reflux

Acid reflux is where hydrochloric acid from the stomach flows upwards into the esophagus. Unlike the lining of the stomach, the esophagus has no protection from the acid and a burning sensation often occurs.

Common causes of acid reflux are:

  • Stomach abnormalities
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • A reduction in the amount of saliva produced
  • Increased or continuous alcohol consumption
  • Eating too many foods high in acid (vinegars, citrus fruits, etc.)
  • Consuming high quantities of caffeine
  • Eating rich, fatty, or fried foods
  • Eating spicy foods including chili’s and curries
  • Being overweight can increase the chances of acid reflux

There are many symptoms of acid reflux, including:

  • Burning pain in the chest
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Persistent dry cough
  • Sore throat or hoarseness
  • Regurgitation of acid or partially digested food
  • A constant feeling of having a lump in the throat

Over-the-counter medications for acid reflux

There are many different over the counter medications for acid reflux. Here are a few of the most popular:


Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid and converting it into water and other harmless compounds. They’re normally taken in tablet form (although some come in a liquid) and provide quick relief from the main symptoms of acid reflux. 

Histamine-2 blockers (H2)

H2 blockers stop the acid creating cells found in the stomach lining from becoming agitated by histamine. High levels of histamine in the stomach can lead to an over creation of acid but H2 blockers reduce those levels. This can prevent the symptoms of acid reflux from occurring.

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of medications that help reduce the levels of acid produced by the cells lining the stomach. As such, they are used to treat conditions like acid reflux as well as ulcers. Proton-pump inhibitors work by ‘inhibiting’ the hydrogen-potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzyme system in the body that creates stomach acid. 

How to properly take OTC medication for acid reflux

How you administer acid reflux medication depends on the type of medicine you’re taking. Here are the details for the three main OTC medications available:

  • Antacids usually come in tablet form and should be either chewed or dissolved on the tongue. Some may come as a liquid that can be swallowed. In either case, it’s important to read the label for quantity and frequency. Most require that you wait at least 4 hours between doses and suggest taking the first dose as soon as possible after eating.
  • H2 blockers come in either tablet, capsule, or liquid form. Again, for best results they should be taken either with or directly after a meal and take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes to begin working.
  • Proton-pump inhibitors are normally taken once a day when the stomach is empty. This is often first thing in the morning, about 30 minutes before the first meal.  

Other tips to help prevent acid reflux from recurring

Acid reflux is often caused by the type of food you eat and one of the best ways to stop it recurring is to limit the following foods in your diet: 

  • Processed and highly seasoned meats
  • Refined flours
  • Spices and food that contains chilies
  • Canned foods as they often contain highly processed ingredients
  • Foods high in salt
  • Highly caffeinated foods and beverages

Other things you can do to help prevent acid reflux are:

  • Lose weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce the amount of alcohol you consume 

Why Omeprazole (Generic Prilosec) is your best treatment option for acid reflux

With moderate to severe cases of acid reflux, making simple lifestyle and dietary changes may not be enough to curb your symptoms. The good news? Prescription drug Omeprazole has been proven to be incredibly effective treatment, alleviating all symptoms!

Take control of your treatment by speaking with one of our online doctors today. They can help you discuss your best course of action, including prescription medication Omeprazole.

The best part? Omeprazole works the same as brand name acid reflux medications—at a fraction of the cost! It works by reducing stomach acid, effectively preventing recurring episodes of acid reflux. Plus, most adults, including pregnant and breastfeeding women, can safely take Omeprazole.

Schedule a virtual doctor’s appointment, today.

Get help for your acid reflux, today!

Acid reflux is incredibly bothersome & inconvenient. While diet & lifestyle changes may help, your best option to treat acid reflux is to speak with a doctor.

Schedule a virtual visit with one of EMD's reputable doctors & get a personalized treatment plan that works.

Stop living with acid reflux. Get help, today!

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