Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Acid Reflux Remedies
You have asked to review a less intensive treatment for GERD. Typically, less potent treatment medications for GERD can save you money. If you try Step 2 medications and you find that your symptoms are not adequately managed, you can return to Step 3 drug treatment.
Step 2 medicines both relieve and prevent symptoms. They are available over-the-counter or (in higher dose) by prescription. Use Step 2 drugs either on an as-needed basis, daily, or twice daily depending on your need. These medicines bring fairly fast relief, although they do not work as quickly as the Step 1 antacids.
Step 2: Drugs for GERD
Acid blockers of medium potency
These medications, called "H2 blockers", are available over-the-counter or in higher dose by prescription. They reduce the production of acid by the stomach. Examples include famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), and cimetidine (Tagamet). Some people, particularly older individuals, may experience side effects of mild fatigue, confusion or memory loss.
If you have good relief of your symptoms on Step 2 drugs, or if you assume that you will, you may want to review less intensive treatments.