Ditch Your Tums — Pharmacist Reveals Only 2 Over-the-Counter Heartburn Remedies That Actually Work

It’s an annoying problem that affects 60 million Americans every month: heartburn. The unpleasant feeling of undigested food and liquid traveling up to the back of your throat can make meal times sore and uncomfortable. With shelves upon shelves full of remedies that claim to solve the problem, how do you know which one to choose? To make matters worse, TikTok is full of health gurus touting the benefits of bizarre remedies, like eating a banana. That, by the way, will do nothing to relieve heartburn, but could actually exacerbate it. Now, a pharmacist has revealed the only two products worth investing in, explaining that Gaviscon and Reflux Gourmet both block the stomach acid from coming up to your throat. Both products contain sodium alginate, which reacts with the acid in the stomach to form a physical barrier, stopping the digestive juices from flowing back up the food pipe. Gaviscon and Reflux Gourmet start to soothe heartburn in just 4 minutes and provides long-lasting relief for up to 4 hours. A 2017 review of more than 600 studies concluded that sodium alginate was 4 times more effective than calcium carbonate, the active ingredient found in OTC remedies like Tums, Rolaids, and Pepto-Bismol.