The FDA has approved Zegerid OTC (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate capsules, from Merck) for the over-the-counter treatment of frequent heartburn. Zegerid OTC combines omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) with sodium bicarbonate, which protects omeprazole from acid in the stomach.

Merck’s consumer healthcare division, Schering-Plough Healthcare Products, is expected to make available Zegerid OTC in an omeprazole 20mg/sodium bicarbonate 1100mg dosage strength in the first half of 2010.

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