Antacids - Working Mechanism and Benefits

Antacids are medications that neutralize stomach acid to relieve indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux symptoms.
Where to get
Over-the-counter in various forms like tablets, liquids, and chews.
Applicable for
Prepared by Shruti Sahoo, reviewed by Dr. Eugene Smith

Antacids FAQ

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What are antacids used for?

Antacids can be used to treat symptoms of excess stomach acid, such as: acid reflux, which can include regurgitation, bitter taste, persistent dry cough, pain when lying down, and trouble swallowing heartburn, which is a burning sensation in your chest or throat caused by acid reflux

What are the different types of antacids?

Antacids include: Aluminium hydroxide. Magnesium carbonate. Magnesium trisilicate. These come in various brand names and are available as tablets and liquids. What conditions are antacids used to treat? Antacids may be used: To reduce the symptoms of acid reflux which may cause heartburn or inflammation of the gullet (oesophagitis).

How do antacids affect your stomach?

Antacids neutralize the acid that your stomach makes. This can make you more comfortable. On the other hand, H2 receptor blockers and PPIs can block your stomach from making too much acid. This can allow the damage in your stomach and esophagus to heal.

What are the side effects of antacids?

Side effects associated with common antacid ingredients include (some are rare): Aluminum: constipation, low blood phosphate levels, aluminium toxicity, osteomalacia Sodium bicarbonate: increased blood pressure, nausea, bloating, gas. Antacids that are consumed at too high a dose for too long a period can also cause a condition called acid rebound.

What is an antacid used for?

An antacid is a substance that neutralizes stomach acidity and is used to relieve heartburn, indigestion, or an upset stomach. Some antacids have been used in the treatment of constipation and diarrhea. Marketed antacids contain salts of aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or sodium.

How do antacids work?

Antacids work by counteracting (neutralising) the acid in your stomach. They do this because the chemicals in antacids are bases (alkalis) which are the opposite of acids. A reaction between an acid and base is called neutralisation. This neutralisation makes the stomach contents less corrosive.

Do antacids need a prescription?

Antacids are medications that do not require a prescription; in other words, they are self-prescribed. Antacids are a combination of various compounds with various salts of calcium, magnesium, and aluminum as active ingredients. The antacids act by neutralizing the acid in the stomach and by inhibiting pepsin, which is a proteolytic enzyme.

What are antacids formulated with?

Antacids may be formulated with other active ingredients such as simethicone to control gas, or alginic acid to act as a physical barrier to acid. Several liquid antacid preparations are marketed. Common liquid preparations include milk of magnesia and magnesium/aluminum combinations.

Antacids References

If you want to know more about Antacids, consider exploring links below:

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