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Most acid reflux sufferers turn to over-the-counter antacids first. These can be found in liquid form or in tablets. Antacids are generally designed to work quickly at reducing the acid in your stomach and can be quite effective for relieving minor acid reflux episodes.
They are not, of course, a cure. They simply alleviate the symptoms for the short term. And they can also result in constipation, stomach cramps or diarrhea. If your acid reflux symptoms persist, or you find yourself continually turning to antacids, it's time to visit your doctor.
The most common acid reflux medications fall into two categories ... acid suppressants and the proton pump inhibitors. An acid suppressant helps to reduce the production of acid in the stomach. The brand names that you've probably heard before include Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Axid.
The proton pump inhibitor works to minimize the secretion of acid into the stomach by interacting with the cells of the stomach wall. Common examples, that you're likely somewhat familiar with, include Nexium, Zoton, Protium and Paret.
Apart from taking medications, there's your diet. You'll want to avoid those foods I've mentioned above which tend to weaken the esophagus sphincter. You'll want to avoid over indulging by eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day. Limit your alcohol. Allow yourself at least three hours before going to bed after eating.