Heartburn Medication

H2 Blockers aren’t the only type of heartburn treatment available. Antacids and Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) can also be taken to relieve heartburn symptoms. There’s also a variety of simple tactics you can adopt to help reduce or prevent heartburn.

Antacids, H2 blockers and PPIs: Which heartburn medication is right for me?

If the home remedies and lifestyle changes didn’t help alleviate heartburn, you should consider treatment with heartburn medication. There are three different options that are available to help prevent and relieve symptoms.


Dissolving tablet, liquid, chewable tablet like Rolaids, taken in response to heartburn.

How they work:
Antacids, like Rolaids, neutralize the stomach’s acid so that the esophagus is not irritated during acid reflux

  • Antacids are fast acting; they can work within seconds.
  • They are recommended for mild and infrequent symptoms that dissipate quickly
  • They provide short duration of relief up to 3 hours.

Note: Do not take antacids within one hour of taking ZANTAC®.

H2 Blockers (H2RAs)


How they work:
Histamine stimulates the production of acid in your stomach. H2 blockers, like Zantac®, interrupt this process reducing your stomach’s acidity to help prevent irritation of your food pipe during acid indigestion. Acid production is controlled for up to 12 hours.

  • Starts to work in about 30 minutes. Stop using and consult your doctor if symptoms get worse or new symptoms develop or persist after 14 days of treatment.
  • Long lasting (up to 12 hours acid control); effective in reducing frequency and severity of heartburn.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Tablets or liquid taken daily over an extended period of time.

How they work:
PPIs treat heartburn by blocking the enzyme in the stomach that produces the excess acid that leads to heartburn, decreasing the chances of experiencing symptoms.

  • PPIs are mostly recommended for frequent symptoms. If symptoms occur at night, the pain is severe or there are other complications, PPIs might be the best course of treatment for your heartburn.

They may take 1-4 days to become fully effective; the 14-day dosing course should only be repeated every four months.