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Nonprescription Antacids for Heartburn

Nonprescription Antacids for Heartburn

Many people take nonprescription antacids for mild or occasional heartburn.

  • Antacids are substances that neutralize some of the stomach acid.
  • Some antacids have a foaming agent (alginate) that floats on top of the stomach's contents. This may reduce the amount of acid that comes in contact with your esophagus.

Examples of nonprescription antacids include:

  • Rolaids.
  • Maalox.
  • Mylanta.
  • Gaviscon.
  • Tums.

Most nonprescription antacids are safe to use during pregnancy to treat heartburn symptoms. Antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate should not be taken by pregnant women because they can cause fluid buildup.

If you need to use antacids frequently, talk with your doctor or pharmacist about his or her recommendations and cautions. Be sure to follow the package directions.

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
Current as of March 20, 2012
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