Heartburn - antacids; Reflux - antacids; GERD - antacids
Antacids help to treat heartburn (indigestion). They work by neutralizing the stomach acid that causes heartburn.
You can buy many antacids without a prescription. Liquid forms work faster, but you may prefer tablets because they are easy to use.
All antacids work equally well, but they can cause different side effects. If you use antacids often and have problems with side effects, talk with your health care provider.
Antacids are a good treatment for heartburn that occurs once in a while. Take antacids about 1 hour after eating or when you have heartburn. If you are taking them for symptoms at night, do not take them with food.
Antacids cannot treat more serious problems, such as appendicitis, a stomach ulcer, gallstones, or bowel problems. Talk to your provider if you have:
Call your provider if you need to use antacids on most days.
You may have side effects from taking these medicines. Antacids are made with 3 basic ingredients. If you have problems, try another brand.
Antacids can change the way your body absorbs the other medicines you are taking. It is best to take any other medicine either 1 hour before or 4 hours after you take antacids.
Talk to your provider or pharmacist before taking antacids on a regular basis if:
Falk GW, Katzka DA. Diseases of the esophagus. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 129.
Katz PO, Gerson LB, Vela MF. Guidelines for the diagnosis and management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Am J Gastroenterol. 2013;108(3):308-328. PMID: 23419381 pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23419381/.
Prozialeck W, Kopf P. Gastrointestinal disorders and their treatment. In: Wecker L, Taylor DA, Theobald RJ, eds. Brody's Human Pharmacology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019 chap 71.
Richter JE,Vaezi MF. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 46.BACK TO TOP
Review Date: 10/31/2022
Reviewed By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Emeritus Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
Health Content Provider
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- 2023 A.D.A.M., a business unit of Ebix, Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.