We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

How Do I Choose the Best over-The-Counter Proton Pump Inhibitors?

By David Bishop
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
WiseGEEK is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At WiseGEEK, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs used to help reduce the production of stomach acid in patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other medical conditions related to the digestive system. Several over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors are available in the United States and elsewhere for treatment of persistent acid reflux. While these drugs are chemically similar and present many of the same side effects, a patient may respond differently to the various types of PPIs. Some PPIs are combined with sodium bicarbonate to enhance absorption. The risk of harmful side effects means patients may want to discuss alternative treatments for acid reduction with a doctor or pharmacist before beginning to take PPIs.

In general, over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors are intended for use over a two-week period to help reduce acid and allow erosions in the esophagus to heal. Most PPIs are packaged and sold as a pack of 14 pills designed to be taken once a day. A doctor may recommend longer-term regimes for the treatment of more serious conditions, though those also may come in prescription form rather than over the counter.

These drugs can be expensive for patients needing long-term treatment and for those on a fixed budget. Buyers who are concerned about cost may wish to consider a generic version of one of the various medications, which can be cheaper than both prescription and branded forms of the drug. PPIs are fairly similar in terms of effectiveness and side effects, so there are few added drawbacks to using the generic versions.

When selecting a PPI, it is important to note the ingredients and dosages of the drug. Some PPIs contain fewer milligrams of active ingredients and may not be as effective for some patients. Patients may wish to switch to a different PPI if they experience negative side effects or have difficulty taking a larger pill.

In some over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors, the active ingredient is mixed with sodium bicarbonate. This helps keep acids in the stomach from breaking down the PPI before it has a chance to be absorbed by the body. While this can increase its effectiveness for some people, patients with high blood pressure or a sensitivity to salt may wish to avoid these products because of the sodium content.

While PPIs generally are considered to be a safe drug, they can have significant side effects, particularly for older patients and those using the drug for long periods of time. In particular, the risk of hip and other bone fractures may increase with PPI use. Patients who are concerned about potential side effects from the use of over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors should discuss the risks and benefits of this family of drugs with a healthcare professional.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

Discussion Comments

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

WiseGEEK, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.