Many people generally assume that the best way to treat acid reflux is with antacids because they are specially designed to neutralize acids in the stomach. While this is true and antacids are very effective against acid reflux, the problem is the very short amount of time that antacids actually neutralize the acid in the stomach. There are other prescription drugs or over the counter drugs that help fight of the effects of acid reflux, one being histamine antagonists.
These histamine antagonists work a little differently than antacids by helping fight the actual chemical that creates acid in the stomach. Histamine antagonists block the cell walls inside the stomach from producing acid with acid producing cells. Essentially the histamine antagonists aren’t moving into the stomach and neutralizing acid that is already in place, it is instead stopping the acid at the production point by not allowing it to be produced in the first place.
The histamine antagonists are much like the antacids in that it also matters when and where you take the pills before or after eating the meal in question. Histamine antagonists are generally longer lasting than antacids, but it generally works to take the pills at least 30 minutes before eating the meal. When the meal is then eaten it will be digested with the histamine antagonists at work in full force. Many people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease will also take the histamine antagonists just before going to bed to assist in eliminating acid reflux during the night.
There are an abundance of histamine antagonists on the market today; most are even available for purchase over the counter without the need for a prescription. Most have heard of Tagamet, Zantac, Axid, and Pepcid which are all available at most grocery and drug stores. If these do not work in the beginning it is probably worth your time to visit your doctor and see if an extra strength histamine antagonist is available to you.