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Educate Your Patients About Heartburn

The American College of Gastroenterology reports that more than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month.1 As common as the condition may be, your patients may be unaware of important aspects of their heartburn. Use the following information to help your patients better understand their symptoms, potential triggers and lifestyle changes that can help them manage their heartburn. Taking a proactive, three hundred sixty degree approach through education and recommending a flexible medication like Zantac 360º™ to prevent or relieve heartburn can help your patients with occasional heartburn.

What Is Heartburn?

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest, just behind the sternum, that results when acid from the stomach flows back up into the esophagus. The pain or burning sensation may be noticed after eating or drinking certain beverages, and the pain may be noticed when lying down or bending over. Beyond making diet and lifestyle changes, patients with infrequent, mild heartburn may benefit from an over-the-counter (OTC), flexible medication like Zantac 360º.

Severe or frequent heartburn (2 or more days a week), or heartburn that interferes with daily routine, requires medical care. Frequent or regular heartburn may be a sign of GERD, that requires a medical diagnosis. Zantac 360º is not indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn, acid reflux or GERD.

Heartburn Symptoms

Although the most common symptom of heartburn is a burning sensation, heartburn can present itself in many ways, including:

  • Burning and discomfort behind the sternum
  • Burning sensation in the throat
  • Acidic or bitter taste in the mouth
  • Pain in the chest when bending over or lying down

If your patient has persistent chest pain and is not sure if the cause is heartburn, they should call 911 or get emergency medical help.

Potential Heartburn Causes and Triggers

The triggers and causes of heartburn can vary from patient to patient. Some common triggers include:

  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Citrus
  • Onions
  • Tomato-based foods or products
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Fatty or spicy foods
  • Lying down right after eating
  • Exercising after eating
  • Eating large meals or eating before bedtime
  • Some medications including NSAIDs, benzodiazepines, calcium channel blockers, some asthma medicines and tricyclic antidepressants

Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage Heartburn

Some simple changes to lifestyle can help prevent or minimize the impact heartburn has on your patients’ lives, including:

  • Losing weight
  • Quitting smoking
  • Reducing stress levels
  • Sleeping with the head raised 6-9 inches
  • Avoiding tight clothes around the waist or tight belts

Prevent or Relieve Heartburn with Zantac 360º

Even with lifestyle changes, sometimes heartburn may occur. For those times, suggest an OTC acid reducer like Zantac 360º to prevent or relieve your patients’ heartburn fast, with just one pill. As an H2 receptor antagonist, Zantac 360° offers the best of both worlds — one dose of famotidine can prevent or relieve heartburn and can control stomach acid longer than an antacid2,3 and provide faster relief than a PPI.*4

*Based on product labeling, PPIs may take 1 to 4 days for full effect.

References

  1. Acid reflux: How common is heartburn? GI.org. https://gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/. Accessed February 09, 2021.
  2. Feldman (1996) Comparison of the effects of over-the-counter famotidine and calcium carbonate antacid on postprandial gastric acid. JAMA. Vol 275: 1428-1431
  3. Konturek, et al (2007) The efficacy of hydrotalcite compared with OTC famotidine in the on-demand treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease: a non-inferiority trial. Med Sci Monit. Vol 13(1): CR44-49
  4. Miner, et al (2006) Comparison of gastric pH with omeprazole magnesium 20.6 mg (Prilosec OTC®) o.m. famotidine 10mg (Pepcid AC®) b.d. and famotidine 20 mg b.d. over 14 days of treatment. Ailment Pharmacol Ther: Vol 25: 103-109

Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

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Education & Resources

Get helpful educational materials on managing heartburn to share with patients, as well as resources for healthcare professionals.