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Heartburn is a burning feeling in your chest and throat. It is caused by stomach acid coming back up into the throat.  That is also known as acid reflux.

It can be confusing when it comes to deciding what medication is best for you. First, we need to understand how the medicine works. There are 3 types: Antacids, histamine 2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.

Tums is an antacid. Antacids work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach. You should take Tums for quick relief of occasional symptoms.

Pepcid or famotidine is a histamine 2 receptor blocker. It works by preventing acid from being produced in the stomach. You should take this when you have heartburn more often. Pepcid should be taken before you get heartburn. It is recommended to take 20mg two times a day, once in the morning and once at bedtime. You can also take 40 mg once daily at bedtime.

Prilosec OTC or omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor. It works by stopping acid from being released into the stomach. You should take this when you have heartburn more than 2 days a week. This medicine does not relieve heartburn right away so it should not be taken for fast treatment of heartburn. Prilosec should be taken once a day before a meal. Do not take Prilosec for more than 14 days. Call your doctor if you have heartburn for more than 14 days or these options are not working for you.

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