Zegerid OTC to hit drug store shelves in 2010

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WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J. — The Food and Drug Administration has approved Zegerid OTC as a nonprescription treatment for heartburn.

The product will be marketed by Schering-Plough HealthCare Products Inc., the consumer health care division of Merck & Co.

A proton pump inhibitor, Zegerid OTC treats heartburn by controlling and suppressing acid around the clock, the company says. It combines omeprazole, a leading acid-reducing medicine, with sodium bicarbonate, which protects the omeprazole from acid in the stomach.

The capsules are in their original prescription formula and are expected to be in chain drug stores and other retail venues in the first half of next year, according to the company.

Zegerid OTC is a 14-day course of treatment to treat frequent heartburn, a condition that impacts about 25 million Americans every day.

"Zegerid OTC is a another demonstration of our commitment to bringing innovative treatments to consumers," Stan Barshay, executive vice president of Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, said in a statement. "We’re pleased to offer this unique, dual-ingredient over-the-counter product."


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