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With the growing concern over the dangers of long-term PPI (proton pump inhibitor) use, many who suffer from GERD, chronic acid reflux, are focusing on H2 blockers (histamine receptor blockers) for relief.
H2 blockers are a different class of heartburn medication that don’t have the negative side effects of PPIs. H2 blockers work by reducing the amount of acid secreted by glands in the stomach and can provide up to 12 hours of relief.
Related Content: Proton Pump Inhibitors Increase Mortality Risk
Examples of OTC H2 Blockers
- Axid (nizatidine)
- Pepcid (famotidine)
- Tagamet (cimetidine)
- Zantac (ranitidine)
Directions for Taking H2 Blockers
Many take H2 blockers improperly and fail to receive the desired relief from heartburn. Let’s review the directions on the label of a common OTC H2 blocker.
Directions for Maximum Strength Zantac 150 are as follows
Adults and children 12 years and over:
- To relieve symptoms, swallow 1 tablet with a glass of water
- To prevent symptoms, swallow 1 tablet with a glass of water 30 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause heartburn
- Can be used up to twice daily (do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours)
- children under 12 years: ask a doctor
How to Increase the Effectiveness of H2 Blockers
Directions for taking H2 blockers whether for relief or prevention say to take the pill with a glass of water. I’ve found that drinking an 8oz glass of water with the medication is key in relieving heartburn. I took H2 blockers for years without great results. I swallowed the pill with some water but not a whole glass. When I started taking them with an 8oz glass of water, their effectiveness results improved phenomenally.
Note on PPIs and Moving to H2 Blockers
PPIs are getting negative press but many need to be on them in order to heal ulcers and other digestive issues. Pay attention to your doctor and their directions. If you’re concerned about PPIs side-effects, discuss the possibilities of H2 blockers instead of PPIs and remember PPIs have an acid rebound effect when discontinued. It’s best to slowly wean off PPIs to avoid acid rebound.
2 Replies to “Increase Effectiveness of H2 Blockers”
I like what I read here thanks for the information. I’ve been on ppi for several years like 7-8 years. I tried once to get off with my doctor in which she gave me an H2 Zantac and it didn’t work I had trouble vomiting blood not much but she started me on 40 and then now cut me down to 20 after a few months. She said she could give me 10 if this twenty did the job. I have had only a few times re-heartburn but once in a while, I have gerd. I am reading your information and am trying to change diet and lifestyle now. I know I have a pretty long journey to get off these ppi but I am going to see my doctor in Nov and reduce the ppi for a month while changing my diet. Thank you for the info, and will check in as I go forward. Mary
Hello, Mary! You are welcome. Thank you for reading and sharing your story with us! If you haven’t read the post on how to wean off PPIs, it might give you some added information to talk over with your doctor. Keep up the diet and lifestyle changes. They do wonders! Wishing you the best! Keep in touch!
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