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.
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 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 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.
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.
Chewing gum stimulates saliva production and swallowing. This might help dilute and clear stomach acid from your esophagus.
According to an older
In general, gum chewing may benefit some digestive conditions. But a
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.
- Avoid eating right before bedtime. Leaving yourself at least 2 to 3 hours to digest before lying down may lower your risk of heartburn.
- Limit alcohol consumption. If you drink, reducing the amount you drink or eliminating alcoholic drinks from your routine can lower your heartburn risk.
- Watch out for trigger foods. Certain foods can increase the risk of heartburn, including:
- spicy foods
- tomatoes, including products like tomato sauce
- greasy foods
- acidic foods, like oranges, lemons, and limes
- Quit smoking. If you smoke, quitting is a great way to reduce heartburn.
- Try relaxation exercises. The American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) recommends relaxation strategies for heartburn relief.
- Manage your weight. If you are overweight or have obesity, losing weight can help manage heartburn symptoms.
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.
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.