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Treatment of Heartburn (Medications and Home Remedies)


 Treatment of Heartburn (Medications and Home Remedies)

Treatment of Heartburn (Medications and Home Remedies)

Heartburn is one of the most common digestive problems. It causes burning pain in the chest or throat area. Learn about its symptoms and treatment options.

Heartburn occurs when acid reflux (backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus) causes painful sensations in the upper abdomen. The condition is often triggered by eating too fast, drinking liquids that contain caffeine, smoking cigarettes, lying down after meals, or sleeping on an elevated surface.

Causes of heartburn.

There are several possible causes of heartburn. One cause is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is caused by the backflow of gastric juices into the esophagus. Another cause is hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernias occur when part of the diaphragm protrudes through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. A third cause is excessive pressure on the lower end of the esophagus due to obesity.

Symptoms of heartburn.

If you suffer from heartburn, you might notice some of these symptoms: acid taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, nausea, vomiting, burping, bloating, belching, and chest pains. You should also avoid foods that make your heartburn worse, such as fatty foods, spicy foods, caffeine, alcohol, chocolate, citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, and tobacco products.

Treatment for heartburn

Heartburn and reflux medicines are among the most widely used medicines, and no home is free of them. Some of them are called “over counter medicines” because they do not need a medical prescription to dispense them, but some of them are sold in the supermarket.

We will talk about the types of these drugs, the differences between them, their uses, prohibitions in their use, their side effects, advantages, and disadvantages.

We will divide medications into several groups:

The first group: Antacids

Alkaline drugs that neutralize stomach acid

The most famous of them are Mucogel, Maalox Plus, and Maalox, but there are differences between them in the ingredients.


It contains calcium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate, which are alkaline substances that neutralize the acidity of the stomach.

 Maalox and Maalox Plus

It is aluminum hydroxide that also neutralizes the acidity of the stomach.

The difference between Maalox and Maalox Plus is that Maalox Plus is added to it simethicone a substance that treats flatulence and gas, so it is recommended when feeling bloated with acidity.

When do you use antacids?

We use it when the patient has a slight reflux or when he feels heartburn after a heavy food.

Advantages and disadvantages of antacids

This type of medicine has a quick effect and relieves the feeling of acidity and burning.

The disadvantage of antacids is that we cannot use them daily for a long period of time because they have side effects that cause constipation.

These medicines are not recommended for patients who have fluid retention in the body, such as patients with liver cirrhosis, patients with heart failure, high blood pressure and kidney failure. These medicines are not recommended for patients because they increase fluid retention and are harmful to them.

 Second group: Buffering drugs

They are medicines that create a buffer layer between acid and the lower esophageal valve, which improves the symptoms of acidity and reflux.

The most famous of these drugs are Gaviscon and Gaviscon Advance.

This medicine works to neutralize the acidity because it contains an alkaline substance and contains a foamy substance that isolates the acid between the acid and the lower esophageal valve.

The difference between Gaviscon and Gaviscon Advance is that the amount of alginate foam is doubled in Gaviscon Advance. The patient who does not feel better with the regular Gaviscon Advance is advised by the doctor to take Gaviscon Advance.

Its uses:

It is very useful in cases of reflux, especially after eating fatty food or a heavy dinner, as it treats the feeling of burning and acidity.

Third group: Anti secretory

H2 blocker:

They are drugs that reduce stomach acidity. The first drug that appeared in this group is a very popular drug that many patients took in the last century.

Zantac is a drug called histamine-2 receptor antagonist. It works on the cells that secrete acid, as these cells contain histamine- 2 receptors, and the drug blocks these receptors and reduces stomach acid. When this drug appeared, it was a very new trend.

Advantages and disadvantages of Zantac:

The advantage of this drug is that it reduces acidity, but it cannot be used in cases of stomach ulcers and chronic GERD, but it is used as an adjunct treatment for heartburn and acidity. Also, patients with nighttime GERD can take Zantac tablets or effervescent tablets before bedtime.

One of the disadvantages of this medicine is that the patient cannot use it for a long time because he found that its effect gradually decreases with time.

Proton pump inhibitor:

They are very many, such as Nexium and Controloc, and they work on the main pump of acid in the stomach, reducing the acidity significantly.

Advantages and disadvantages:

The advantages of these drugs are that the patient can use them for life without any problems, but they are likely to affect the bones and cause fractures in the pelvic bones, but this has not yet been scientifically proven, and it is also possible that it affects the kidneys, but it has also not been scientifically proven.

These medicines may cause some minor side effects, such as:

Vitamin B12 deficiency

Diarrhea, bloating and gas because of reduced acidity, which makes the harmful gut bacteria flourish.

All the above symptoms are minor and can be controlled with simple medications.

Instructions for taking these medicines:

It is important in these medicines that the patient does not take them after eating. These medicines, for them to work and have a good effect, should take them half an hour before eating.

Another important point is that these medicines cannot be stopped suddenly. If a patient has ulcers, for example, or gastro-esophageal reflux, and the doctor prescribes these medicines to him, if the patient stops the medicine suddenly, he will have a sudden and rapid increase in acid, so he goes to the doctor complaining of burning and severe acidity, this medicine must be stopped gradually; we reduce the dose to a lower dose until we stop the drug without this increase in acidity.

Its uses:

It is used in 3 conditions:

First, the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Second: Treating stomach and duodenal ulcers

Third: As an adjunct treatment for helicobacter pylori

New drugs for heartburn and reflux disease.

There are medicines that appeared about 3 years ago that also act on the acid pump in the stomach, but they are long-acting

Medicines such as Nexium have a disadvantage that their effect lasts for only 16 hours

As for the newer drugs, such as Dexlant, their effect lasts for 24 hours, so they are useful for patients with nocturnal reflux.

Treating heartburn at home.

Refrain from consuming substances that cause heartburn. Heartburn may be aggravated by fatty or fried foods, tomato sauce, alcohol, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion, citrus fruits (strawberries, pineapple), vinegar, foods that can produce gas (peppers, cabbage), and caffeine. Don't eat too much. Try eating more frequent, smaller meals. Wait two to three hours after eating before lying down or bending over. After eating, avoid lying down. Set your bed's head higher. Never smoke. Avoid taking NSAIDs, such as Aspirin, Aleve, and Ibuprofen, which can aggravate your stomach. Reduced abdominal pressure that pushes acid into the esophagus may be aided by weight loss. Don't dress too formally.

Foods That decrease the Acid Reflux

Eat fiber-rich foods

Which prevents the individual from overeating

It includes:

Oatmeal, couscous, and brown rice are examples of whole grains.

Sweet potatoes, carrots, and beets are examples of root vegetables.

green foods including green beans, broccoli, and asparagus.

Eat astringent foods

Which neutralizes the gastric acidity

Alkaline meals consist of:




Eat Watery dishes

To dilute gastric acid. Select foods like:

Soups made with celery, cucumber, lettuce, and watermelon broth

Flavored tea

Does milk aid with heartburn relief?

It is thought that milk can relieve heartburn, however, not all types of milk as the same; full cream milk may increase gastric acidity because its high-fat content may increase gastric acid secretion, on contrast, skimmed milk may be buffer the gastric acidity and causes immediate relief of heartburn. Also, low-fat yogurt may help to reduce heartburn and it also contains plenty of probiotics (good bacteria).


Medicines that treat acidity and GERD are many and different and can be divided into 3 groups according to the way they work, but it must be considered not to take them until after visiting the doctor for accurate examination and identification of the appropriate medication for each patient’s case. I hope that I answered your questions in this article and I will leave you now with a subtitled video about the same topic.