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How to Pick the Best Acidity Medicine

Last updated on : 04 Mar, 2024

Read time : 5 min

Acid reflux is the mild sensation of heartburn in the mid-chest, often experienced after meals or while lying down. You may also experience an acidic taste in the mouth and a burning sensation in the throat. Acid reflux occurs due to the backflow of acid from the stomach to the oesophagus. It is primarily observed in obese, pregnant women, people with hiatal hernia, and people addicted to smoking or taking certain medications.

If the symptoms of acid reflux reappear more than twice a week, it might indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is the more severe form of acid reflux in which stomach acid irritates the oesophagus lining, making swallowing difficult. This condition can cause chronic pain, dental erosions, and even ulcers. The common symptoms of GERD are as follows:

  • nausea
  • chest pain
  • pain when swallowing
  • difficulty swallowing
  • chronic cough
  • laryngitis or asthma
  • bad breath

Read moreChest pain while coughing

Medications for acid reflux

Mostly, acid reflux is treated with non-prescribed heartburn medicine.  However, if you experience more frequent and severe heartburn that non-prescribed antacids cannot cure, you must consult a doctor for the proper treatment and prescribed medicines. Some heartburn medicines are listed below.

1) Antacids

Antacids belong to over-the-counter (OTC) or non-prescription medicines that you can take without any prescription. These are available in syrup or as chewable tablets for gas and acidity. Antacids are commonly used medications for occasional and mild symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. This helps to neutralise the acid and quickly relieves heartburn symptoms but does not help heal the oesophagus lining. Antacids can also be used as indigestion medicine. The antacids commonly recommended contain these salts:

  • calcium carbonate
  • sodium bicarbonate
  • magnesium trisilicate
  • aluminium hydroxide

Antacids with aluminium salts are safe to be consumed during pregnancy.

Although antacids do suppress acid and will make you feel better quickly, they are safe for only short-term use. The long-term use of antacids can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, flatulence, and headache.

2) H2 receptor blockers

H2 receptor blockers are far more effective and long-lasting than antacids. These work by moderately suppressing the amount of acid the stomach produces by blocking histamine. 1

Aside from relieving heartburn, H2 receptor blockers also help heal the oesophagus lining, making it a recommended acid reflux medicine. The commonly used non-prescribed H2 receptor blockers include:

  • famotidine
  • nizatidine
  • cimetidine

Like the non-prescribed versions, H2 receptor blockers that doctors prescribe have improved strength and dosage that can block histamine receptors in the stomach to decrease acid production. These medicines are best when taken 30 minutes before meals as histamine stimulates acid production after meals. You can also have these medicines before bedtime to control acid production.

Some side effects of taking H2 receptor blockers may include headache, dizziness, diarrhoea, constipation, nausea, and vomiting. 

3) Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

Proton pump inhibitors aim to suppress the acid production in your stomach. Besides, PPIs help to heal the oesophagus lining. It is safe to take PPIs for 14 days, up to three times a year, and they are most effective if taken 30 to 60 minutes before meals.

  • omeprazole
  • lansoprazole

Like the non-prescribed versions, PPIs that doctors prescribe have improved strength and dosage that can far effectively reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

The common PPIs prescribed by doctors include:

  • omeprazole
  • lansoprazole
  • rabeprazole
  • pantoprazole
  • esomeprazole
  • dexlansoprazole

PPIs constitute a safe and effective group for long-term heartburn, making it the best GERD medicine.

Some side effects that PPIs may show include nausea, bloating, headache, abdominal pain, and diarrhoea.

4) Prokinetics

Prokinetics belongs to a prescribed group of medicines that you can only take under medical guidance. Prokinetics helps your stomach empty quickly. The commonly recommended prokinetics are

  • metoclopramide
  • bethanechol

Prokinetics may also show potential side effects such as nausea, diarrhoea, anxiety, and depression.


All the above medicines work in different ways to reduce heartburn symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe you a combination of these medicines to effectively treat acid reflux.


Acid reflux is a condition that develops due to the backflow of stomach contents back into the oesophagus. Experiencing acid reflux more than twice a week can indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). You are susceptible to GERD if you are obese, pregnant, addicted to smoking, or following certain medications. Even your late-night meals or heavy portions of fried and fatty food can make you susceptible to acid reflux. A few lifestyle alterations, including healthy eating and quitting smoking, can help you prevent and treat acid reflux. You can also take non-prescriptive medicines mentioned above by following the label’s directions and prescriptive medications after consulting a gastroenterologist to get immediate relief from acid reflux symptoms. Besides, H2 receptor blockers and Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the best medicine for acidity in the stomach.

Get your generic and branded medicines for acidity by uploading your prescription on Truemeds and avail yourself of a free teleconsultation from our expert doctors on our online pharmacy – Truemeds. You can also download our Truemeds app. Also, save up to 72% on your medicine purchase by choosing the best alternative, as Truemed’s expert doctors advised. 

Disclaimer: The information given in this article is true to our best knowledge. Still, we recommend that you consult your healthcare professional before taking any medication for acidity mentioned in this article. It is also recommended to take the non-prescribed medicines mentioned in this article only for the short term.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best medicine for hyperacidity?

H2 receptor blockers and Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are acid-suppressive medicines and the best medicine for hyperacidity.

What is the cure for acid reflux with excessive burping?

A good combination of medications, a healthy diet, and lifestyle changes will help you eliminate excessive burping.

Can acid reflux interfere with medication absorption?

The Symptoms commonly associated with acid reflux, including nausea, vomiting, and regurgitation, may interfere with medication absorption.

How do I use these non-prescriptive medicines safely and effectively?

You must read the medicine’s label, not take an overdose, or extend the duration than directed on the label. If your heartburn symptoms are not relieved by non-prescriptive drugs.

What foods should I avoid to prevent acid reflux?

You should avoid fatty or fried foods, alcohol, coffee, carbonated beverages, chocolate, garlic, onions, and citrus fruits to prevent acid reflux.

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Our healthcare experts have carefully reviewed and compiled the information presented here to ensure accuracy and trustworthiness. It is important to note that this information serves as a general overview of the topic and is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, prevent, or cure any health problem. This page does not establish a doctor-patient relationship, nor does it replace the advice or consultation of a registered medical practitioner. We recommend seeking guidance from your registered medical practitioner for any questions or concerns regarding your medical condition.


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