What are the best remedies for heartburn?

How to be the best consumer you can be.
Nov. 25 2003 12:14 PM

Be Still, My Heartburn

What's the best way to treat acid reflux?

(Continued from Page 2)

Zantac (75 mg) 30 tabs/$9.99
Type: H2; OTC
Lunch: 1 grilled steak/black bean burrito with spicy red salsa; 1 beer; 1 Peppermint Pattie; 1 coffee
p/H (6/4) = 1.5

Notes: Most of the day, I felt the foreshadowing of heartburn—a tickle around the sternum. Though it never rose up into the throat, a bitter tang hovered behind my ribs all afternoon.

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Generic Famotidine (10 mg) 30 tabs/$7.99
Type: H2; OTC
Lunch: 8 spicy buffalo wings; 2 slices of baked ziti pizza; 2 beers (oops); 1 slice of blueberry pie; 1 Peppermint Pattie; 1 pack of peanut M&M's
p/H (10/6) = 1.6

Notes: Famotidine, the active ingredient of the Pepcid family, muffled one of my fieriest lunches. For a few hours, I was symptomless, but a midafternoon burp unleashed a quick and powerful jolt of acid that lingered until dinnertime.

Prilosec OTC (20 mg) 28 tabs/$19.99
Type: PPI; OTC
Lunch: 8 spicy buffalo wings; 1 slice of pepperoni pizza; 1 beer; 1 box of Junior Mints
p/H (8/4) = 2

Notes: With the approval of Prilosec for over-the-counter sale, uninsured heartburn sufferers now have relatively cheap access to a PPI. But this PPI didn't work as well for me as some of the H2s: A slight burn in the chest worsened as the day went on, forcing me to parry with antacids.

Axid (75 mg) 50 tabs/$13.99
Type: H2; OTC
Lunch: 1 wedge of lasagna; 1 beer; 1 slice of blueberry pie
p/H (8/3) = 2.6

Notes: I didn't expect much from a product whose name so closely resembled what it was meant to alleviate. A moderate lunch, but over the course of the day, I gorged on popcorn, beer, candy, a Reuben, nachos, and ice cream. Axid tamped it all down with only a few Tums for backup.

Prevacid (30 mg) 30 caps/$120.99
Type: PPI; Rx
Lunch: 1 slice of baked ziti pizza; 1 beer; 1 slice of blueberry pie
p/H (3/1) = 3

Notes: No heartburn until a minor burst around dinner (near the end of the testing period), and this was a stressful day—the first in our new apartment.

Protonix (40 mg) 30 tabs/$98.99
Type: PPI; Rx
Lunch: 1 grilled steak/black bean burrito with spicy red salsa; 1 beer; 1 slice of blueberry pie; 1 coffee
p/H (7/2) = 3.5

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