How do antacids work?
Antacids are over-the-counter (OTC) medications that They help neutralize stomach acid.
They work differently than other acid reducers, such as H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). these drugs They work by reducing or preventing the secretion of stomach acid.
Antacids can be used to treat symptoms of excess stomach acid, such as:
acid refluxwhich may include regurgitation, bitter taste, persistent dry cough, pain when lying down, and difficulty swallowing
heartburn, which is a burning sensation in the chest or throat caused by acid reflux
indigestionwhich is pain in the upper intestine that may feel like gas or bloating
types of antacids
Antacids generally come in the following drug forms:
- chewable gum or lozenge
- tablet that dissolves in water to drink
antacids are usually safe for most people. However, those with certain medical conditions should talk to their doctors before taking certain antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate.
For example, people with heart failure they can have sodium restrictions to help decrease fluid buildup. However, antacids often contain a lot of sodium. This people should check with their doctor before using antacids.
People with kidney failure can develop a aluminum buildup after using antacids. This can cause aluminum toxicity. People with kidney failure also tend to have problems with electrolyte balance. All antacids contain electrolytes, which could make electrolyte balance problems worse.
antacids in children
The children do not usually develop symptoms of excess stomach acidso your symptoms could be related to another condition.
Side effects of antacids
Side effects of antacids are rare. Nevertheless, can occur, even if you use them according to the instructions.
antacids pcan cause constipation or have a laxative effect. Some people have had allergic reactions. antacids too may increase the risk of developing sensitivities to certain foods.
Side effects of misusing antacids
Many of the side effects of antacids come from not taking them as directed.
many antacids, contain calcium. If you take too much or for longer than directed, you could overdose on calcium. Too much calcium can cause:
- Mood changes
- kidney stones
- Excess calcium can also cause alkalosis. In this condition, your body it does not produce enough acid to function properly.
If you feel like you need to use a lot of antacid to relieve your heartburn, that could be a symptom of another disease. If you have taken an antacid according to the directions and have not gotten relief, then it is best to see a doctor.
Interactions of antacids with other substances
antacids may interfere with the function of other medications. If you take other medications, check with your doctor or pharmacist before using antacids.
There are some antacids that contain aspirin. If you take another medication that may increase your risk of bleeding, such as a blood thinner or an antiplatelet drug, You shouldn’t take those kinds of antacids.
Make sure to talk to a doctor before taking antacids containing aspirin if:
- You have a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding disorders
- You are over 60 years old
- If you drink three or more alcoholic beverages a day.
When to call a doctor?
Antacids can often relieve symptoms of excess stomach acid. However, sometimes these symptoms mean that you have a more serious disease.
It is important that you know how to recognize these conditions and how to respond to them. An upset stomach could actually be gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or a peptic ulcer.
Antacids can only relieve, not cure, some of the symptoms of these conditions. If you have severe pain that doesn’t get better after using the recommended dose of antacids for two weeks, see your doctor.
IMPORTANT: Some symptoms of a heart attack can also LOOK like heartburn. You may be having a heart attack if you have severe chest pain that lasts more than two minutes with any of the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- radiating pain to the arms, shoulders, or jaw.
- neck or back pain
- vomiting or nausea
If you think you may be having a heart attack, call 131, the local emergency services or the private emergency system if you have one contracted.
To avoid all these risks, here we leave you a fact of natural medicine: home remedies for heartburn
You can make them with super cheap things that you surely have at home. This way you avoid the side effects and possible risks of self-medicating with chemical products.