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Antacids

Monday, 27 October 2008

Antacids are medicines that neutralize stomach acid commonly associated with acid indigestion, upset stomach, sour stomach and heartburn. Some antacids also help relieve gas.

 

   BUYING TIPS

The Basics

  • Ingredients differ slightly among different brands of antacid, but most include one or more of the following ingredients:

    • Sodium Bicarbonate

    • Magnesium (Hydroxide)

    • Calcium (Carbonate)

    • Aluminum (Hydroxide)

    • Alginic acid/Alginates

    • Simethicone

    • Bismuth

  • Alternatives to antacids, H2 blockers, taken 30-60 minutes before a meal, work to decrease stomach acid and are available over the counter (OTC) and by prescription. They don’t work as quickly as antacids, but they usually work longer.

Be Aware

  • H2 blockers have not been studied on women during pregnancy.

  • Side effects are unusual for H2 blockers, except among elderly patients, and may include mild diarrhea, constipation, dry skin, rash, runny nose, headache, and dizziness.

   TEST CRITERIA

We tested regular strength products (peppermint flavour) both in the lab and with realheartburn sufferers. Each candidate product had a different mix of ingredients.

 

Acid Test

In our lab test, we applied each dose to a cup ofhydrochloric acid (stomach acid) to see how long it would take to neutralizeit.

  • Under 1 minute: Rolaids, Tums

  • 8 minutes: Diovol Plus

  • 20+ minutes: Gaviscon, Maalox

However, some products also include ingredients to soothepain, which we measured in our next test.

Heartburn Test

We asked a group of heartburn sufferers to test each productand keep track of the results.

  • Tums:worked well on mild conditions, convenient, portable, tasted good.

  • DiovolPlus: worked well on medium conditions.

  • MaaloxExtra Strength: worked best for severe conditions, lasted longest.

 

   OUR TOP PICK

For mild heartburn, Tums. For severe cases, Maalox Extra Strength.

 

 

 

 

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