Antacids; Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions

Antacids; Uses, Dosage, Side Effects, Drug Interactions

Antacids are over-the-counter medications that help neutralize stomach acid. They work differently from other acid reducers such as H2-receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors, which work by reducing or preventing the secretion of stomach acid. Antacids usually come as a liquid, chewable gummy or tablet, or tablet that you dissolve in water to drink. Antacids are distinct from acid-reducing drugs like H2-receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors and they do not kill the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which causes most ulcers.

Mechanism of Action of Antacids

When excessive amounts of acids are produced in the stomach the natural mucous barrier that protects the lining of the stomach can damage the esophagus in people with acid reflux. Antacids contain alkaline ions that chemically neutralize stomach gastric acid, reducing damage and relieving painFamotidine is an H2 (histamine)-receptor antagonist, also known as an H2-blocker. Histamine is a chemical in some cells of the body that causes the production of acid in the stomach. H2-blockers inhibit histamine action and therefore reduce gastric secretion or the amount of acid produced. Magnesium hydroxide and calcium carbonate are both antacids that function by neutralizing the excess gastric acid.

Indications of Antacids

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Contra-Indications of Antacids

  • Kidney disease with a reduction in kidney function
  • Diarrhea
  • Low amount of phosphate in the blood
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Impacted Stool
  • Stomach or Intestine Blockage
  • Constipation
  • Aluminum Poisoning
  • Chronic Diarrhea
  • Chronic heart failure
  • Severe renal impairment
  • Visible Water Retention
  • Kidney Problems Causing a Decreased Amount of Urine to be Passed
  • The high amount of sodium in the blood

Allergy to the following ingredient

  • Sodium Bicarbonate
  • Magnesium
  • Aluminum Containing Products
  • Alginic Acid

Side Effects of Antacids

The most common


Less common

Drug Interactions of Antacids

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are using any of the following prescription and nonprescription/herbal products: phosphate supplements (e.g., potassium phosphate), sodium polystyrene sulfonate.

Antacids can interfere with the absorption of many other drugs. Be sure to check with your pharmacist before taking antacids with any other medication.

Pregnancy & Lactation

FDA Pregnancy Catagory B

Most nonprescription antacids are safe to use when you are pregnant. But antacids that contain
sodium bicarbonate can cause fluid to build up, so pregnant women should not take them. It is okay to use antacids that contain calcium carbonate.


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