Recent voluntary recalls of popular antacid drugs ranitidine (Zantac) and nizatidine, which the FDA says may contain “unacceptable” amounts of the carcinogen N-Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), have left some patients looking for heartburn relief alternatives.
According to NBC News, patients have other options. Heartburn medications esomeprazole (Nexium), famotidine (Pepcid), lansoprazole (Prevacid), cimetidine (Tagamet) and omeprazole (Prilosec) have not tested positive for signs of NDMA. While these drugs reduce stomach acid, lifestyle changes – such as losing weight, eating less fat and quitting smoking – also work.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, a common cause of heartburn, happens when the valve that separates the stomach from the esophagus opens at the wrong time. To prevent or alleviate nighttime heartburn, physicians recommend patients sleep on their left side and elevate their head.
Gastroenterologists recommend those suffering from continuous severe heartburn see a doctor if the condition lasts over two weeks. Sometimes heartburn can be an indicator of esophageal inflammation or bleeding, or ulcers. Symptoms include trouble swallowing, nausea and vomiting.