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Nowadays, there are many medicines for heartburn relief methods in the market. Over the counter antacids are the most popular medicine for this condition, but if you are suffering from severe heartburn, they might not be sufficient to provide real relief. Of course it is great to enjoy temporary relief, but people want to be free from the pain of heartburn in the long term so they can enjoy their meals and do daily activities comfortably.

If you are suffering from chronic heartburn, where the condition occurs twice or more a week, it is best to consult your doctor to undergo proper diagnosis and get some medicine for heartburn relief. I believe you have seen some advertisements on TV about heartburn medicines. Your doctor would be able to advise the most appropriate one for your particular condition.

H2-receptor antagonists

H2-receptor antagonist is a class of drugs that works by blocking the actions of histamines, which are responsible for stimulating the production of acid in the stomach. They were developed in the 1960s due to an effort to find out an effective way to block stomach acid production from histamine actions. At that time, the intention was to provide heartburn relief and other stomach medications for ulcers and dyspepsia.

The good thing about H2-receptor antagonists is that they can be taken before meals. Therefore, they anticipate heartburn symptoms before they happen, which is a great heartburn relief for chronic sufferers. The medicines also work for quite a long period of time, sometimes more than six hours. Tagamet and Zantac are well known examples of H2-receptor antagonists.

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Proton pump inhibitors

Proton pump inhibitors replace H2-receptor antagonists in providing heartburn relief. They have the same job like H2-receptor antagonists, but they are much more effective. Proton pump inhibitors does not work by just inhibiting the chemicals that stimulate stomach acid production, but they go further by blocking the entire enzyme production reaction in gastric cells.

The medicines are inactive when they are taken, but they become active once they enter the stomach cells. Therefore, they have done an effective job to prevent the production of gastric acid for over two days, which is a great improvement in terms of effect and duration. A well known proton pump inhibitors is Prilosec.

Although in general proton pump inhibitors have replaced H2-receptor antagonists in providing heartburn relief, it is better if you consult your doctor to find the right medicine for your condition.

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