Antacids are readily available as over-the-counter drugs in the form of chewable tablets, liquid, dissolving forms of tablets, as well as chewing gum – all to be taken via the mouth. As compared to the other forms of antacids, the liquid antacids are more effective in warding off symptoms.

How do the Antacids Work? 

  • Antacids are responsible for neutralizing stomach acids | juices.
  • Antacids that contain alginic acid, for example ‘Gaviscon’, contain a foaming agent necessary for floating at the brim of stomach contents. The foaming agent ensures that the stomach’s contents are kept away from the esophagus.
  • Some antacids constitute simethicone, for example, Mylanta Gas or Maalox Anti-Gas, necessary for breaking down any present gas bubbles in your stomach – helps in warding off burps that at times may push the stomach juices up your esophagus.

Why use Antacids? 

Often, people who occasionally have mild to moderate heartburn symptoms turn to antacids to relieve heartburn symptoms.

Normally, doctors will campaign for the long-term use of antacids in the case that they help relieve your heartburn symptoms. Nonetheless, DO NOT put antacids to use for more than two weeks without prior consultation with your doctor on their long-term use.

Also, you can take antacids to ward off heartburns which come about when you are on acid reducer medication, for example, Prilosec.

Some of the antacids, such as Tums and Rolaids, constitute calcium carbonate which can help boost the women’s calcium intake – for the women interested in developing osteoporosis.

Are Antacids Effective?

Unfortunately, antacids don’t have identical effects on different people. As compared to people who have severe GERD, antacids have proved to be more effective for those who occasionally have mild to moderate heartburn symptoms.

In the case that you wish to only take the antacids when the heartburn symptoms spawn, they are a good option to relieve them quick. Usually, a single dose of an antacid will relieve heartburn symptoms for up to an hour.

Safety Profile

Just as other medications, antacids have side effects too. It’s a question of whether you can live with the probable side effects or not. Consult with your general practitioner, or the pharmacist, on the side effects of the antacid prescribed or one you are about to purchase. Note, the side effects of each antacid are listed in the information leaflets which come with the medicine. Here are some important points to note:

  • The positive effects of the antacids surpass the minor side effects they hold.
  • At times, the side effects fade away with recurred use of the medicine.
  • If the symptoms persist even with sustained use of the medication, consult with your doctor. The doctor may be in a position to lower or alter your medication. Also, DO NOT put the prescribed antacid medication to a sudden halt unless your doctor advises you to.