What Are Antacids and Acid Reducers?
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.Aluminum hydroxide
is a mineral found in nature, and is often added to products that relieve heartburn, acid reflux and antacids. Typically it is combined with magnesium hydroxide to help eliminate the pain quickly.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.
How Do Antacids Work?
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.
How Do Acid Reducers Work?
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.
How Long Does It Take For Antacids To Work?
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.
How To Get Rid Of Acid Reflux?
Aside from taking over-the-counter antacids, there are other things you can do to lessen or completely eliminate acid reflux. Here are some tips to help you get rid of acid reflux:
- Eat foods slowly, making sure that you completely chew everything between bites.
- Don't lie down immediately after eating. Sit up straight and let your food digest completely before you take a nap or go to bed. You should also avoid eating at least three hours before bedtime.
- Carbonate beverages like soda can make your acid reflux worse, and caffeinated beverages like coffee can, too. Try to eliminate these drinks from your diet to see if you notice an improvement.
- If you smoke, now is a great time to quit. Smoking can relax the lower part of the esophagus, resulting in severe acid reflux.
- Try to sleep on an incline using a wedge pillow to help keep your head upright, especially if you suffer from acid reflux during the night.
When To Take Antacids
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.
What Is The Best Antacid For You?
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.
Stomach Acid Reducer
The reason you experience heartburn or indigestion is due to the increase in the production of stomach acid. Antacids reduce this effect by neutralizing the acid to give you quick, short-term relief. You'll find most antacids in the form of a chewable tablet, liquid, or a dissolving tablet you can drink with a glass of water. Another type of antacid called H2 blockers reduces the volume of acid that your stomach makes. These products take a little bit longer to work, but the effects last much longer than traditional antacids. These products typically start working within an hour after taking them. Finally, proton pump inhibitors can also help with stomach acid production by reducing the amount your body creates. If regular antacids or H2 blockers don't work for you, consider proton pump inhibitors next. While they do take longer to work, you'll get longer-lasting relief. This option is ideal for those suffering from chronic heartburn that lasts for more than two days a week.
Antacid Side Effects
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.
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