Brand names: Rolaids, Tums, Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, Antacids
Available under a number of brand names, antacids are used to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of acid indigestion, heartburn, gas, and sour stomach.
Do not take antacids for longer than 2 weeks or in larger than recommended doses unless directed by your doctor. If your symptoms persist, contact your doctor. Antacids should be used only for occasional relief of stomach upset.
If you take a chewable antacid tablet, chew thoroughly before swallowing so that the medicine can work faster and be more effective. Allow Mylanta Soothing Lozenges to completely dissolve in your mouth. Shake liquids well before using.
--If you miss a dose...
Take Gaviscon only as needed or as instructed by your doctor.
Store at room temperature. Keep liquids tightly closed and protect from freezing.
When taken as recommended, antacids are relatively free of side effects. Occasionally, one of the following symptoms may develop.
Do not take antacids if you have signs of appendicitis or an inflamed bowel; symptoms include stomach or lower abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, soreness, nausea, or vomiting.
If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or simethicone, do not take an antacid containing these ingredients. If you are elderly and have bone problems or if you are taking care of an elderly person with Alzheimer's disease, do not use an antacid containing aluminum.
If you are taking any prescription drug, check with your doctor before you take an antacid. Also, tell your doctor or pharmacist about any drug allergies or medical conditions you have.
If you have kidney disease, do not take an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, do not take Gaviscon without checking first with your doctor or pharmacist.
If antacids are taken with certain other medications, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining antacids with the following:Cellulose sodium phosphate (Calcibind)Isoniazid (Rifamate)Ketoconazole (Nizoral)Mecamylamine (Inversine)Methenamine (Mandelamine)Sodium polystyrene sulfonate resin (Kayexalate)Tetracycline antibiotics (Achromycin, Minocin)
As with all medications, ask your doctor or health care professional whether it is safe for you to use antacids while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Take antacids according to the following schedules, or as directed by your doctor.
Gaviscon and Gaviscon Extra Strength Relief Formula Chewable Tablets
Chew 2 to 4 tablets 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime or as needed. Follow with half a glass of water or other liquid. Do not swallow the tablets whole.
Gaviscon Extra Strength Relief Formula Liquid
Take 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime. Follow with half a glass of water or other liquid.
Take 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime. Follow with half a glass of water.
Maalox Antacid Caplets
Take 1 caplet as needed. Swallow the tablets whole; do not chew them.
Maalox Heartburn Relief Chewable Tablets
Chew 2 to 4 tablets after meals and at bedtime. Follow with half a glass of water or other liquid.
Maalox Heartburn Relief Suspension, Maalox Magnesia and Alumina Oral Suspension, and Extra Strength Maalox Antacid Plus Anti-Gas Suspension
Take 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls 4 times a day, 20 minutes to 1 hour after meals and at bedtime.
Maalox Plus Chewable Tablets
Chew 1 to 4 tablets 4 times a day, 20 minutes to 1 hour after meals and at bedtime.
Extra Strength Maalox Antacid Plus Anti-Gas Chewable Tablets
Chew 1 to 3 tablets 20 minutes to 1 hour after meals and at bedtime.
Mylanta and Mylanta Double Strength Liquid and Chewable Tablets Antacid/Anti-Gas
Take 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls of liquid or chew 2 to 4 tablets between meals and at bedtime.
Take 2 to 4 gelcaps as needed.
Mylanta Soothing Lozenges
Dissolve 1 lozenge in your mouth. If needed, follow with a second. Repeat as needed.
Rolaids, Calcium-Rich/Sodium Free Rolaids, and Extra Strength Rolaids
Chew 1 or 2 tablets as symptoms occur. Repeat hourly if symptoms return.
Tums, Tums E-X, and Tums Anti-Gas Formula
Chew 1 or 2 tablets as symptoms occur. Repeat hourly if symptoms return. You may also hold the tablet between your gum and cheek and let it dissolve gradually.
Do not give to children under 6 years of age, unless directed by your doctor.
Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.