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Heartburn Treatments: How Do Antacids Work?

Although these medications do not cause toxicities in high doses, it is imperative to understand their interaction with other medicines, especially in patients on polypharmacy. The dose for antacids depends upon the age of the patient, the purpose of administration (neutralization of acid or off-label use) and the presence of other comorbidities like renal or hepatic impairment. As all the forms of these medications are available as over the counter medication, the dosing recommendation varies by product/and or manufacturer. H2 receptor blockers can be used to treat conditions that cause excess stomach acid.

Aluminum and magnesium antacids work quickly to lower the acid in the stomach. Liquid antacids usually work faster/better than tablets or capsules. Antacids neutralise the acid made by your stomach.

Some individuals experience diarrhea when using magnesium compounds such as Phillips’ Milk of Magnesia. For these reasons, many people prefer combination aluminum-magnesium antacids like Maalox and Mylanta that are less likely to cause constipation or diarrhea. Some of these formulas contain simethicone, an anti-foaming agent that helps reduce bloating by breaking down gas bubbles in your stomach. Sodium bicarbonate antacids, including Alka-Seltzer and Bromo Seltzer, contain baking soda. Pregnant women, individuals with high blood pressure and those on salt-restricted diets should avoid this type of antacid.

To minimize constipation, drink plenty of fluids and exercise. Diarrhea is more common with this product than constipation. This medication can cause nausea, constipation, diarrhea, or headache. If these symptoms persist or become severe, notify your doctor.

A typical cause for gastric distress is eating to quickly. Doing so can fool your stomach into releasing an excess of acid in anticipation of more food.

Barrett’s esophagus and even cancer can occur if reflux and heartburn last a long time. Antacids, in general, work by restoring the pH (the acidity or alkalinity) of your stomach to it’s normal level. Milk of Magnesia is one such antacid that displays some interesting properties as it works to restore the pH in your stomach. If you suffer from an upset stomach this holiday season you might reach for an antacid of some sort for relief.

If you are taking them for symptoms at night, DO NOT take them with food. Sontag SJ. The medical management of reflux esophagitis. Role of antacids and acid inhibition. Antacids can interfere with the function of other drugs. If you take other medications, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using antacids.

Antacids are often taken to relieve symptoms or when symptoms are expected. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you of the dose needed and how often you should take it. Read the leaflet that comes with your particular brand for further information. Many of the common antacids also include alginates. Most alginates work by forming a gel which floats on top of the stomach contents.

Nonetheless, it is not always the best choice for regular use. Magnesium hydroxide is not absorbed by the intestine. However, its interaction with stomach acid produces magnesium chloride that can be absorbed. Magnesium has many functions in human cells, including the heart, and may have harmful effects if levels in the blood rise. This is not a problem for a person with healthy kidneys, but magnesium should be avoided if renal failure is present.

Common Side Effects

Over-the-counter (OTC) antacids and acid blockers are the most commonly used medicines for treating heartburn. Along with diet and lifestyle changes, they can help relieve the symptoms of occasional heartburn.

Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes

Dietary changes can help to ease symptoms. For example, high-fat and salty foods can make GERD worse, while eggs and some fruits can improve it. Learn which foods are beneficial here. There are many different treatments for acid reflux, including lifestyle changes, prescription and OTC medications, and surgical interventions.

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