WITHDRAWAL OF RANITIDINE In April 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requested that all forms of prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) ranitidine (Zantac) be removed from the U.S. market. This recommendation was made because unacceptable levels of NDMA, a probable carcinogen (cancer-causing chemical), were found in some ranitidine products. If you’re prescribed ranitidine, talk with your doctor about safe alternative options before stopping the drug. If you’re taking OTC ranitidine, stop taking the drug and talk with your healthcare professional about alternative options. Instead of taking unused ranitidine products to a drug take-back site, dispose of them according to the product’s instructions or by following the FDA’s guidance.

Ranitidine, brand name Zantac, is now marketed as Zantac 360, which contains a different active ingredient (famotidine). Famotidine is in the same class as ranitidine and works the same way but has not been found to contain unacceptable levels of NDMA.

Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux or GERD, which feels like burning in the middle of your chest. Some home remedies may help relieve your symptoms, such as eating ginger or chewing gum.

Heartburn is painful and inconvenient. This article covers home remedies, medications, and lifestyle tips to help you get rid of heartburn, plus ways to prevent heartburn before it happens.

Heartburn is a symptom. It means the feeling of burning pain in the middle of your chest. The pain typically starts behind your breastbone and moves up toward your throat.

Acid reflux happens when your stomach acid travels too high up in your digestive system. Usually, gravity and your digestive system work together to keep stomach acid down in your stomach where it belongs. But sometimes it can rise up into your esophagus and cause irritation, heartburn, or other symptoms.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is persistent acid reflux.

If you’re experiencing heartburn, you’ll be glad to hear that there are several options for at-home fixes. But, like medications, home remedies and supplements can have risks. Some can interact with medications or cause other problems.

It’s always best to talk with your doctor before trying these options.

Baking soda

Baking soda can calm some episodes of heartburn by neutralizing your stomach acid. To do this, dissolve 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it slowly.

To be safe, only use this baking soda remedy every once in a while, not frequently. Talk with your doctor about how to use baking soda safely.

Licorice supplements

Licorice root is an old herbal remedy that may help with heartburn. A 2017 study showed that herbal formulas with licorice consistently provided heartburn relief even better than commonly used antacids.

Eating too much licorice may raise your blood pressure, lower your potassium levels, and interfere with certain medications. Always talk with your doctor before taking licorice or DGL supplements.

Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is another home remedy that some people use to treat heartburn. Some believe that drinking apple cider vinegar could improve your digestive health.

No solid evidence supports this claim yet, but consuming small amounts of diluted apple cider vinegar is typically considered safe.

Chew gum

Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and swallowing. This might help dilute and clear stomach acid from your esophagus.

According to an older study from 2005, chewing sugar-free gum for a 1/2 hour after meals may also help lower heartburn. But the results are based on just 31 people, so the evidence isn’t very strong.

In general, gum chewing may benefit some digestive conditions. But a small 2015 study shows it can worsen others. Check with your doctor to see whether this method is worth trying.


Ginger has a long history of use in Chinese medicine. This herb can help relieve nausea, so some believe it may be worth trying for heartburn, too.

However, large doses of ginger may actually cause heartburn or other problems, so use it in small amounts.

When medication is needed, your doctor or pharmacist can help you choose one that’s right for you.

OTC heartburn medications

Plenty of OTC heartburn medications are available for use. These medications come in three types:

  • antacids, which help to neutralize stomach acid right away
  • H2 blockers, which lower the amount of stomach acid you make by blocking certain receptors in your stomach
  • proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which lower the amount of stomach acid you make and may be more helpful for severe or long-term symptoms.

Some heartburn medications of these types are also available as prescription drugs.

To prevent heartburn or stop it from starting, there are several methods you can try.

Loosen your clothing

You might be having an episode of heartburn because tight clothing is compressing your stomach. If that’s the case, the first thing to do is loosen your belt — or your pants, dress, or whatever else is holding you tight.

Try not to slouch

Your posture can also contribute to heartburn. If you’re slouching, try sitting up straighter. If needed, you can use cushions or supports to help you maintain a more upright position.

A 2021 case study suggests that long-term posture problems could contribute to GERD. In the study, correcting poor posture eliminated reflux symptoms. But more research is needed to understand the connection.

Elevate your upper body

Lying down can make heartburn worse. When it comes time for bed, adjust your sleeping surface to raise your upper body. Lifting your head with extra pillows may not be enough. To get relief, try elevating your body from the waist up.

Avoid cigarette smoke

Smoking might be a go-to coping strategy when you’re uncomfortable, but it won’t make that burning feeling go away. In fact, the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) says it can actually cause acid reflux.

If your heartburn is severe or happens often, it’s a good idea to speak with a doctor. In some cases, your ongoing symptoms could be due to GERD and may require professional treatment.

It’s not always easy to know what’s causing your chest pain. Heartburn and heart attack can have similar symptoms. If you’re concerned about your symptoms, contact your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

When heartburn hits, many OTC treatments, home remedies, and lifestyle adjustments may provide relief.

Adjusting your daily habits can also help prevent heartburn symptoms from developing in the first place. For example, try to:

  • avoid common heartburn triggers, such as fatty and spicy foods
  • stop eating several hours before bedtime
  • quit smoking if you smoke
  • lose weight if you have overweight or obesity

If you experience heartburn more than two or three times per week, talk with your doctor. In some cases, they might prescribe medications or other treatments.