Monday, February 28th, 2011

How Well do You Know Antacids

AntacidIf sale of antacids are any indicator it conveys that a lot of people are suffering from heartburn these days. Heartburn has nothing to do with your heart and everything to do with your lifestyle: stress, obesity, smoking, drinking alcohol and exercise levels in particular. Most of us pop an antacid when heartburn strikes, usually on our own. Read more to know antacids in detail.
Antacids are medicines that neutralize stomach acid. They are used to relieve acid indigestion, upset stomach, sour stomach, and heartburn.
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 ingredients such as simethicone, which relieves gas.

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.

How antacids work

  • Magnesium Hydroxide or baking soda dissolves fast in stomach and provides fast relief.
  • Calcium Carbonate or aluminum dissolves slowly, may take 30 minutes for the effect to kick in for a longer period of relief.

For long-lasting relief from heartburn have an antacid after a meal instead on an empty stomach. The medicine stays in the stomach longer.

Popping an antacid occasionally is harmless, but if you’re having it frequently, this calls for a medical check up with your doctor. In older people antacids can mask symptoms of ulcer.

Ask your doctor—
• If you’re on prescription medicine for diabetes, cholesterol disorders and arthritis
• If you’re on oral contraceptive pills
• If you’ve a medical test scheduled
Schedule an appointment with your doctor—
• Your stomach pain doesn’t get better when you use the medicine, or it gets worse.
• You need to take the medicine for more than 14 days.

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