Antacids are a type of over the counter medicine that can help to neutralize stomach acid and may help relieve uncomfortable symptoms caused by heartburn or indigestion. Acid reducers can help cut down on the production of acid in the stomach to help relieve heartburn symptoms. Always be sure to take antacids or acid reducers exactly as directed on the package, or as instructed by your doctor, and ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions. If you need to use antacids or acid reducers for longer than two weeks, or if you are not noticing any improvement in your symptoms, you should call your doctor. He or she can help determine the root cause of your symptoms and discuss treatment options with you.
Antacids can work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach. This can help reduce symptoms of heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and upset stomach. Some common antacid ingredients that are designed to help neutralize stomach acid include: magnesium, aluminum, calcium, and sodium bicarbonate. However, it is important to keep in mind that are many different antacid brands, and the specific ingredients in each product may vary.
Acid reducers work differently than antacids. Acid reducers help to cut down on the production of acid in your stomach. Acid reducers fall into two groups: histamine antagonists (sometimes called H2 antagonists or H2 blockers), and proton pump inhibitors. You can buy both types of acid reducers over the counter, but if you aren’t getting the relief you need, your doctor may prescribe a higher strength acid reducer; these are available by prescription only.
Each body is different, so results may vary. However, in general, most antacids start working shortly after you take them. Acid reducers like histamine blockers and proton pump inhibitors act more slowly, so you may not experience symptom relief right away. If you have questions or concerns about how quickly you can expect to feel relief with either antacids or acid reducers, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
There are multiple different types of antacids and acid reducers available over the counter, and they can each have different directions of use, so it is important to read the directions carefully. Always follow the directions printed on the packaging exactly, unless your prescriber has told you otherwise. If you have questions or concerns, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
It is important to be aware that antacids can have side effects. Antacids formulated with magnesium may cause diarrhea, while antacids containing calcium or aluminum could cause constipation. On rare occasions, antacids containing calcium may cause kidney stones. If you take any other medication regularly, including over the counter and herbal remedies, you should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking antacids. You should also consult your doctor or pharmacist before using antacids if: you have kidney disease, high blood pressure, or heart disease; if you must follow of low-sodium diet; or if you are currently taking calcium supplements or have had kidney stones in the past.
CVS offers a wide variety of antacids and acid reducers to help you get relief right when you need it. When selecting the best antacid for you, you’ll want to consider a variety of different factors, including the ingredients used and the form it is available in. While most acid reducers come in pill form, there are a few different forms of antacids to choose from, including antacid tablets, chewable antacids, and liquid antacids. If you aren’t sure which antacid or acid reducer is best for you, don’t hesitate to ask your doctor or pharmacist for a recommendation.