The Surgical Practice of Robert Sewell, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Unique Services We Offer
for your appointment
Seeing patients in the offices of
Wise County Medical & Surgical Associates
1001 W. Eagle Dr.
Decatur, Texas 76234
Common antacids like Rolaids® and Tums® use calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide rather than sodium bicarbonate. These chemicals are very effective in neutralizing stomach acid, and since they contain large amounts of calcium, they can be a source of supplemental calcium, especially for women at risk for osteoporosis. However, when used in excess they may lead to an increased risk of kidney stones and calcium deposits in various parts of the body. These problems are unlikely when antacids are used in moderation. The main drawback to the routine use of antacids is the fact that the relief they provide is usually temporary, so they must be taken repeatedly.
Antacids are the oldest and the least expensive way to manage heartburn. They have been around for centuries. For a long time Bicarbonate of Soda was one of the most common home remedies for treating acid indigestion and heartburn. However, taking it frequently can cause a variety of problems including metabolic and electrolyte abnormalities, so it is NOT recommended. There are safer alternatives.
Some people prefer antacids in a liquid form, rather than the chewable tablets. The mechanism of action is the same, but there are those who believe liquid antacids like Mylanta® or Gaviscon® work better. Almost all brands of antacids are now available in both liquid and chewable tablet form. Sometimes these medications can cause diarrhea when taken frequently, because of the high concentration of magnesium salts. There are alternatives, including Amphojel®, which is an Aluminum based antacid, and not as prone to causing diarrhes. It too is available in both liquid and tablet form.