The term "antacid" is used to describe certain compounds that directly neutralize stomach acid. Tums, Maalox, and Mylanta all fall into this category. The active ingredients in most antacids are various forms of calcium, magnesium, and aluminum. Antacids are useful mostly for symptomatic relief of uncomfortable "acid stomach" and also may be helpful for heartburn.
Many antacids are available today, including
- Aluminum carbonate (Basaljel)
- Aluminum hydroxide (ALternaGEL, Alu-Cap, Alu-Tab, Amphojel, Dialume, Nephrox)
- Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium carbonate (Duracid)
- Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide (Alamag, Almacone, Aludrox, Gaviscon Liquid, Gelusil, Kudrox, Maalox, Magalox, Mintox, Mylanta, Rulox)
- Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium hydroxide/calcium carbonate (Tempo)
- Aluminum hydroxide/magnesium trisilicate (Alenic Alka, Gaviscon, Genaton, Foamicon)
- Calcium carbonate (Alkets, Amitone, Chooz, Equilet, Gas-Ban, Maalox Antacid Caplets, Mallamint, Mylanta Lozenges, Titralac, Tums)
- Calcium carbonate/magnesium carbonate (Marblen, Mi-Acid Gelcaps, Mylanta Gelcaps, Mylagen Gelcaps)
- Magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia, Phillips' Chewable)
- Magaldrate or aluminum magnesium hydroxide sulfate (Iosopan, Riopan)
- Magnesium oxide (Mag-Ox, Maox, Uro-Mag)
- Sodium bicarbonate (Bell/ans, Bromo Seltzer)
- Sodium citrate (Citra pH)
Other drugs work by reducing the stomach's production of acid. These are discussed separately in the articles on
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
Research suggests that antacids physically bind to folate and reduce its absorption by the body.
Supplementation Possibly Helpful, But Take at a Different Time of Day
Different types of antacids can interfere with the absorption of various minerals. Supplements containing the US Dietary Reference Intake (formerly known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance) of these minerals should be helpful, especially if you take them at a different time of day from when you take antacids, at least 2 hours before or after taking your antacid.
Aluminum-containing antacids can bind with phosphorus and interfere with its absorption, and this can further lead to calcium depletion.
Antacids that contain calcium may also compete for absorption with iron.
May Increase Aluminum Absorption
Concerns have been raised that the aluminum in some antacids may not be good for you.
Since there is some evidence that calcium citrate supplements might increase the absorption of aluminum,
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
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