Nexium Control tablets are now available for general sale.
Previously only available on prescription, the tablet for reflux symptoms in adults, has been reclassified by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency.
Antacids have traditionally been the over the counter medicine of choice for heartburn, working by neutralising stomach acid, or alginates, which line the stomach and oesophagus.
Nexium belong to a group of medicines called proton pump inhibitors, which reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach, by blocking acid producing cells.
It is claimed one in six adults experience frequent heartburn more than twice a week.
Medical director for Pfizer consumer healthcare, Dr Toby Shephard, said the news was welcomed by Pfizer as “by allowing frequent heartburn sufferers greater access to this clinically-effective PPI treatment, it will help more people take better control of their symptoms without the need to see a GP unless symptoms persist.”
Chief executive of Day Lewis Pharmacy, said: “Frequent heartburn is a common reason for repeat visits to the pharmacy.
“The reclassification of Nexium as an over the counter treatment is good news as it provides customers with access to another effective heartburn medication
Nexium Control tablets should be taken for a maximum of 14 days and will be available from mid-February 2015.