Prozac for Heartburn?

A panel of “experts” wants to convince millions of Americans that heartburn is all in your head.1 And instead of treating the real source, these researchers are recommending antidepressants…

But that’s dangerous advice.

I think drugging patients with antidepressants is misguided and unethical. Shame on this panel of “experts.”

If you’ve ever suffered from heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion, then you know the pain isn’t in your head. It’s a very real disease called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Nearly 60 million Americans reach for one of Big Pharma’s proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) every single day to treat this disease.

PPI drugs — like Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Nexium — “treat” heartburn by blocking acid-producing cells in the lining of the stomach. But they are some of the most dangerous drugs on the market.

PPIs have been linked to a long list of serious side effects like heart attack, stroke, dementia and more.

But for 40% of these patients, the drugs don’t even work anyway.

Then, if your doctor deems you “hypersensitive,” how can dulling and masking your pain with antidepressants ever be a solution?

If you’re knocked out on antidepressants you won’t notice that your GERD symptoms might be getting worse. You could be on your way to a damaged esophagus — and even esophageal cancer.

In GERD, acids and other contents from the stomach frequently run back up. They irritate the sensitive tissues of your esophagus.

And antidepressants are far from safe. Serious side effects include liver damage, weight gain, sexual dysfunction, reduced brain function and even suicide. And a stunning 86% of patients get at least one side effect from these drugs.2

Besides, despite what most doctors say, heartburn is NOT caused by too much stomach acid.

One of the real causes of heartburn is your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This small muscle opens and closes to let food pass from your esophagus into the stomach. It also blocks stomach acid from coming back up.

As you get older your LES doesn’t work as well as it did. An overload of unnatural grains, preservatives, artificial sweeteners and other additives in the modern American diet weaken it. Even a slight opening can let burning acid back into your esophagus.

Ditch the “Purple Pill” for All-Natural Relief

When my patients tell me about heartburn and indigestion, I listen.

I want to know all about their digestion, what they’re eating, and when. And I only recommend safe natural remedies when heartburn strikes. Here are my favorites:

  1. The best heartburn remedy is ginger root. This is the go-to remedy I recommend first for all my patients. This medicinal plant is known in many traditional cultures as a “universal remedy.” Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties and speeds up the digestive process, preventing gas build up. It also helps to regulate bile and gastric juices in your digestive system.

    Adding a cup of ginger tea to your daily diet can work wonders. It also tightens your LES, helping with the back-flow of stomach acid.

  1. If that doesn’t work, try D-limonene. If ginger root isn’t making you feel as well as you want, try this orange peel extract. In one trial, 90% of people taking D-limonene reported complete relief of their heartburn in just two weeks. And the effect lasted six months after they stopped taking it.3

    I recommend one 1,000 mg capsule once a day after a meal.

  1. If the problem continues, use melatonin. If you’re still suffering from symptoms, I suggest taking this hormone before bed. You may know melatonin as a sleep hormone, but it also helps normalize LES pressure to allow it to close more effectively. One randomized study compared melatonin to Prilosec for GERD patients. After just 40 days, 100% of the melatonin group had a complete remission of their symptoms. But only 65.7% of the Prilosec group got relief.4

    Look for a melatonin spray, drops or a sublingual that melts under your tongue. Take 6 mg about 20 minutes before bed.  

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS


1. Yadlapati R, et al. “Management options for patients with GERD and persistent symptoms on proton pump inhibitors: recommendations from an expert panel.” Am J Gastroenterol. 2018; 113(7):980-986.
2. Kelly K, et al. “Toward achieving optimal response: understanding and managing antidepressant side effects.” Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2008;10(4):409-418.
3. Willette RC, et al. “Purified d-limonene: An effective agent for the relief of occasional symptoms of heartburn. Proprietary study.” WRC Laboratories, Inc. Galveston, TX.
4. de Souza Pereira R. “Regression of gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms using dietary supplementation with melatonin, vitamins and aminoacids: comparison with omeprazole.” J Pineal Res. 2006;41(3):195-200.