Your Local Pharmacist is

Jay Koovarjee

 92 Pitt St
Sydney NSW 2000
ph: (02) 9221 0091
fax: (02) 8880-8326

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:: In Brief


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:: Indigestion & Heartburn

Everyday Ailments - Heartburn & Indigestion
  Everyday Ailments
  Indigestion & Heartburn

Indigestion is discomfort or pain felt after eating or drinking too much.  Heartburn is a form of indigestion.

Once food is chewed and swallowed, it is pushed down your food pipe (oesophagus) and through a sphincter (or muscle ring) into the stomach. Sometimes, even in healthy individuals, the valve between the oesophagus and the stomach does not close properly.  Contents of the stomach squeeze up through the sphincter and back into the oesophagus. This is called 'reflux' and feels like a burning sensation behind the breastbone.

Indigestion, also known as upset stomach or dyspepsia, is discomfort or a burning feeling in the upper abdomen, often accompanied by nausea, abdominal bloating, belching, and sometimes vomiting.

Signs & Symptoms:


  • heartburn
  • burping or flatulance
  • abdominal pressure and flatulence
  • mild nausea
  • vomiting


  • excessive burping
  • regurgitation (when fluid or food comes back into the mouth)
  • sudden filling of the mouth with saliva
  • difficulty swallowing
  • sore throat
  • persistent dry cough
  • chest pain (if you are experiencing chest pain, contact your doctor immediately)

The best thing is to reduce your symptoms of indigestion:

  • cut down on fatty foods, tea, coffee and alcohol
  • eat little and often
  • stop smoking
  • sleep in a more upright position, propped up on a pillow
  • reduce your stress levels
  • Non-prescription medicines
  • You can buy a range of indigestion treatments from your pharmacist without a prescription


  • Antacids - to neutralise acid, or help stop the stomach contents flowing back (refluxing) into the oesophagus. They come as tablets, capsules, liquids or powders
  • H2 blockers - if antacids don't work, or if you need to take large quantities of antacid medicines to relieve your symptoms, your pharmacist may recommend a more powerful medication. H2 blockers work by reducing the amount of acid that the stomach produces


If your symptoms continue after taking antacids or H2 blockers, your GP can prescribe another type of medicine called proton pump inhibitors. These work by stopping your stomach producing acid.

Other medicines work by coating the stomach lining, to protect it from the acid. These include bismuth, sucralfate or carbenoxolone. However these are used less often than H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.

More Information:


Ask Your Pharmacist about:

  • help with heartburn

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