Antacid-Uses,Treatment For Acid Indigestion,Heartburn And Stomach Ulcers

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antacid

Antacid-Uses,Treatment For Acid Indigestion,Heartburn And Stomach Ulcers

Antacid is known as a medication that is used to stop or treat acid indigestion, heartburn and stomach ulcers. There are different types of antacid; they are :

  • Aluminium hydroxide or magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia)
  • Sodium bicarbonate (bicarbonate of soda, baking soda)
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Cimetidine (tagamet)
  • Ranitidine

ALUMINIUM HYDROXIDE OR MAGNESIUM HYDROXIDE (milk of magnesia)

This medicine often comes in tablets of 500 to 750 mg, or in mixtures with 300 to 500 mg in 5 ml. Sometimes, these are mixed together or with magnesium trisilicate. If simethicone is added, it helps to control gas.

These antacids can be used occasionally for acid indigestion or heartburn or as a regular part of treatment of a stomach (peptic) ulcer. The most important time to take antacids is one hour after meals and at bedtime. Chew 2 or 3 tablets. For severe stomach ulcers, it may be necessary to take 3 to 6 tablets or teaspoon every hour.

CAUTION : DO NOT USE THIS MEDICINES IF YOU ARE ALSO TAKING TETRACYCLINE. ANTACIDS WITH MAGNESIUM SOMETIMES CAUSE DIARRHEA, AND THOSE WITH ALUMINIUM MAY CAUSE CONSTIPATION.

 

SODIUM BICARBONATE (bicarbonate of soda, baking soda)

This comes as a white powder. As an antacid, this should be used in a very limited way, when someone has an occasional stomach upset with heartburn or acid indigestion. It should not be used in treating chronic indigestion or stomach (peptic) ulcers. Although it seems to help at first, it causes the stomach to produce more acid which soon make things worse.

Soda is also useful for the hangover of a person who has drunk too much alcohol the night before. For this purpose (but not for acid indigestion) it can be taken with acetaminophen (paracetamol) or aspirin.

Alka-Seltzer is a combination of sodium bicarbonate and aspirin. As an occasional antacid, mix half a teaspoon of sodium bicarbonate with water and drink it. Do not use often.

For cleaning teeth, baking soda or a mixture of soda and salt can be used instead of toothpaste.

WARNING : Persons with certain heart problems (failure) or with swelling of the feet or face should not take sodium bicarbonate or other products high in sodium (like salt).

 

CALCIUM CARBONATE

This often comes in tablets of 350 to 850 mg. This works more slowly than sodium bicarbonate. It is very effective for occasional acid indigestion or heartburn, but should not be used long term or for treatment of ulcers. Chew one 850 mg tablet or two 350 mg tablets when symptoms occur. Take another dose in 2 hours if necessary.

 

CIMETIDINE (Tagamet)

This medicine often comes in tablets of 200 mg and injections of 200 mg in 2 ml. Cimetidine is an expensive but an effective treatment for ulcers of the stomach and the gut. It calms the pain and helps healing. Long term use can help prevent the most common type of ulcer (ulcer of the gut) from returning. But to keep any ulcer from coming back, it is important to also follow the special diet and other advice for care of an ulcer.

Precaution : Cimetidine should not be taken by women who are pregnant or breast feeding or children.

Side effects : Occasionally causes mild diarrhea, dizziness, rash and sleepiness.

Dosage for an active ulcer of the gut

400 mg (two 200 mg tablets) twice a day or 800 mg (four 200 mg tablets) at bedtime for 6 to 8 months.

Dosage for an active stomach ulcer

300 mg (one and a half 200 mg tablets) 4 times a day for 6 to 8 weeks.

Dosage to help prevent an ulcer of the gut from coming back

400 mg (two 200 mg tablets) at bedtime for up to 1 year.

 

RANITIDINE (Zantac)

This medicine often comes in tablets of 150 mg or 300 mg. Ranitidine is similar to cimetidine but more expensive. It can calm pain and help an ulcer to heal. But be sure to also follow the advice on how to treat and prevent ulcer.

Dosage of ranitidine for treatment of ulcers

150 mg twice a day or 300 mg at dinnertime for 6 to 8 weeks.

Dosage to help prevent an ulcer of the gut from coming back

150 mg (one 150 mg tablet) for 6 to 8 weeks