Zegerid is the brand name of an acid-reducing medication that is comprosed of two active ingredients: omeprazole, which is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), and sodium bicarbonate, a salt, which is included in the formulation to help the omeprazole work more quickly. This medication is available both over the counter, as Zegrid OTC, or by prescription as Zegerid. Finding the right alternative will depend on your reasons for switching from Zegerid.
Need faster relief?
If you have purchased Zegerid OTC to help relieve heartburn that is of mild to moderate intensity and you're not getting fast enough relief from your symptoms, you may want to try an antacid, such as Maalox or Tums, or an acid blocker, such as Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB or Zantac. These over-the-counter medications work more quickly than Zegerid OTC for relief of occasional heartburn that is not severe.
On a salt-restricted diet?
If you are purchased Zegrid OTC because you have frequent heartburn (heartburn that occurs on 2 or more days a week) and need to switch because it contains sodium bicarbonate (or salt), you can try either of the other 2 over-the counter PPIs: Prilosec OTC, which contains the same active ingredient found in Zegerid OTC (omeprazole) without the sodium bicarbonate, or Prevacid 24 Hour, in which the active ingredient is lansoprazole, a different PPI that is also very effective. Sodium bicarbonate is included in the Zegerid formulation to help omeprazole work more quickly; however, there are no data to show that Zegerid OTC relieves heartburn more quickly than the other over-the-counter PPIs.
Still experiencing symptoms?
If you purchased Zegerid OTC, have completed the two-week course of therapy and are still experiencing symptoms, you should talk with your health care provider. Over-the-counter PPIs are intended for short-term treatment of frequent heartburn. If you are experiencing heartburn that persists despite therapy with Zegeric OTC, you have a more serious condition called acid reflux disease or GERD, which only a physician can treat.
Looking for a generic?
There is no generic formulation that contains both omeprazole and sodium bicarbonate. So if you are on either prescription Zegerid or Zegerid OTC and looking for a generic substitute, talk with your doctor about alternatives. Your doctor may wish to write you a prescription for generic omeprazole. Omeprazole is the first PPI that was marketed and has been shown to be highly effective in treating patients who suffer from frequent, persistent heartburn.