Annette (Gbemudu) Ogbru, PharmD, MBA
Dr. Gbemudu received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Nova Southeastern University, her PharmD degree from University of Maryland, and MBA degree from University of Baltimore. She completed a one year post-doctoral fellowship with Rutgers University and Bristol Myers Squibb.
In this Article
- What are antacids, and how do they work?
- For what conditions are antacids used?
- Are there any differences among the different types of antacids?
- What are the warnings and precautions for antacids?
- What are the side effects of antacids?
- With which drugs do antacids interact?
- What antacids are available?
For what conditions are antacids used?
Antacids are used commonly for symptoms such as heartburn, abdominal pain (sometimes described as sour stomach) and nausea resulting from a number of conditions such as, inflammation or acid-peptic ulcers of the esophagus (esophagitis), stomach (gastritis), and duodenum (duodenitis)
Aluminum carbonate antacids can be used to treat and manage hyperphosphatemia (abnormally elevated levels of phosphate in the blood) since they bind phosphate in the intestine and prevent it from being absorbed into the body. Because of this ability to bind phosphate in the intestine, aluminum carbonate antacids also can be used with a low phosphate diet to prevent the formation of kidney stones, since kidney stones are made up of various elements including phosphates.
Calcium carbonate antacids are used in conditions of calcium deficiency such as postmenopausal osteoporosis since some of the calcium is absorbed into the body.
Magnesium oxide antacids are used to treat magnesium deficiencies from either diets or medications that cause magnesium depletion.
Off label (not FDA-approved) uses for antacids containing aluminum and magnesium or aluminum alone include preventing bleeding from stress-induced ulcers. Other off-label uses for antacids are treatment and maintenance of healing of duodenal ulcers and treatment of gastric ulcers.
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