Step 4: Read and complete the decision guide to learn more about your symptoms.
Acid Reflux Treatment
You have asked to review less intensive drug treatment for GERD. If your symptoms are infrequent, you can probably manage by using over-the-counter medicines on our first step. If you find that your symptoms are daily or persistent on Step 1 treatment, you can return to using Step 2 drugs.
Step 1 medicines relieve symptoms, but they wear off too quickly to be used for prevention. Use Step 1 drugs on an as-needed basis, during times that your symptoms are active.
Step 1: Drugs for GERD
Some over-the-counter slurries, such as sucralfate (Carafate), deposit a coating along the esophagus that can protect it from acid injury.
The mildest anti-acid medicines are those that absorb and neutralize acid that is already present in the stomach. These medicines work quickly and wear off within two or three hours. Examples include Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, and others.