Antacids are medicines that
neutralize stomach acid.
Antacids are used to relieve acid indigestion, upset stomach, sour
stomach, and heartburn. Some antacid products also contain the
ingredient Simethicone to relieve gas.
Antacids are taken by mouth and work by neutralizing excess stomach
acid. They contain ingredients such as Aluminum Hydroxide, Calcium
Carbonate, Magnesium Hydroxide, and Sodium Bicarbonate, alone or in
various combinations. Antacid products may also contain other
Antacids differ in how quickly they work and how long they provide
relief. Those that dissolve rapidly in the stomach, such as
Magnesium Hydroxide and Sodium Bicarbonate, bring the fastest
relief. Antacids that contain Calcium Carbonate or Aluminum dissolve
more slowly and can take up to 30 minutes to begin working. The
longer an antacid stays in the stomach, the longer it works. Those
that contain Calcium Carbonate or Aluminum work longer than those
that contain Sodium Bicarbonate or Magnesium. Also, taking any kind
of antacid after a meal, instead of on an empty stomach, provides
longer-lasting relief because the medicine stays in the stomach
Among the brands of antacid products on the market are
Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Tums, and Rolaids. Generic forms are
also available. These products can be bought without a prescription
and come in tablet (regular and chewable), lozenge, and liquid
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