Over-the-counter (OTC) medications can help ease symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn. They are divided into three groups: antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPI).
Antacids can quickly provide relief from the pain and discomfort of heartburn and acid indigestion. They also reduce stomach upset.
Maalox is a safe and effective over-the-counter (OTC) medication that is used to relieve acid indigestion, heartburn, sour stomach, upset stomach, and pressure and bloating commonly known as gas. It also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that causes the contents of the stomach to back up into the esophagus.
Maalox contains aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide which have a base effect that helps to neutralize stomach acid. It also contains simethicone which has a foaming effect to help relieve trapped wind and reduce bloating.
It is recommended that Maalox is taken after meals and around bedtime to provide maximum relief from acid indigestion, heartburn and other symptoms of GERD. If you experience serious side effects from using Maalox, contact your physician immediately.
It should not be given to children and teenagers under 12 years of age. It is also not recommended in patients who are taking oral anti-diabetic medications, blood thinning medications, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or those with a history of gastrointestinal ulcer disease.
Sodium bicarbonate, also called baking soda, is an over-the-counter (OTC) medication that helps to relieve heartburn symptoms. It works by neutralizing the acid in your stomach.
Typically, it is taken 1 to 2 hours after meals with a full glass of water. It should never be taken on an empty stomach or with large amounts of dairy products, which can increase the chance of side effects.
It should be used only as directed on the product label or as prescribed by a doctor. Using it in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended can lead to serious health problems, such as kidney damage.
In addition to reducing the amount of stomach acid, sodium bicarbonate can also be used as a treatment for an excess of acid in the blood or urine. It is also used to treat a certain type of cancer, and to make urine more alkaline for some people with a urinary tract infection.
Mylicon is the safest acid reflux medication for babies and children. It’s a combination of simethicone, which gently breaks gas bubbles in the stomach, and calcium carbonate, an antacid.
Mylicon also comes in a chewable tablet that’s great for kids, and even adults, who need an extra dose of anti-gas medicine. These tablets treat gas and bloating, acid indigestion, heartburn, and discomfort from overeating.
The chewable tablets are easy for young children to chew and swallow. They come in an orange color and have a sweet taste.
Mylicon liquid drops are also available and can be mixed with water, formula, or breast milk to make it easier for your baby to swallow. The drop form can be used at every feeding, up to 12 times a day.
Antacids are one of the safest acid reflux medications. They work by neutralizing stomach acid, which helps relieve heartburn, indigestion and sour stomach symptoms.
Some antacids also include an alginate (an insoluble substance that increases surface tension in liquid) compound, which floats on the stomach contents to protect the esophagus. Several types of antacids also contain sodium bicarbonate, which can help reduce excess gas and stomach acid in people with GERD by counteracting the effects of hydrochloric acid on the mucus that lines the esophagus.
Another important thing to remember about antacids is that they can only work for 20 to 40 minutes before they are quickly emptied into the duodenum, so it’s best to take them with food to get the most relief.
However, some antacids contain aluminum and magnesium compounds that can cause constipation or diarrhea in some people. If you have any of these conditions, talk to your doctor before taking an antacid.