What are Antacids and what are they used for?
Antacids are medicines that neutralize stomach acid. Antacids are used to relieve acid indigestion, upset stomach, sour stomach, and heartburn. Additional components of some formulations include simethicone, to reduce gas pains (flatulence) and alginic acid, which, in combination with antacids, may help manage GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease). Antacids should not be confused with gastric acid inhibitors, such as the H-2 receptor blockers (cimetidine, ranitide and others) or the proton pump inhibitors (lansoprazole, omeprazole and others). Although all three classes of drugs act to reduce the levels of gastric acid, their mechanisms are different, and this affects the appropriate use of the drug. Antacids have a rapid onset and short duration of action, and are most appropriate for rapid relief of gastric discomfort for a short period of time.
Antacids may be divided into two classes:
1.Those that work by chemical neutralization of gastric acid (like sodium bicarbonate) and
2.Those that act by adsorption of the acid (non-absorbable antacids), such as calcium and magnesium salts.
Chemical antacids (like simethicone and alginic acid) show the most rapid onset of action, but may cause "acid rebound," a condition in which the gastric acid returns in greater concentration after the drug effect has stopped . And since these antacids may contain high concentrations of sodium, they may be inappropriate in patients with hypertension.
Drug interactions with Antacids:
Antacids have multiple drug interactions, usually due to inhibition of absorption of other medications. In rare cases, the absorbable antacids may alter the pH of the stomach contents or urine sufficiently to alter drug absorption or excretion. The interactions can be avoided by taking these other drugs one hour before or three hours after the antacid.
Some herbs and supplements that interact with antacids:
Acidophilus and Ginger; antacids affect their absorption.
Drugs less absorbed when taking antacids include:
Tetracycline, Antifungals (Sporonox), Ciprofloxacin (Cipro), Propranolol (Inderal), Captopril (Capoten), Ranitidine (Zantac), Famotidine (Pepcid AC), Allegra (Fexofenadine is the scientific name of this antihistamine), Quinolone antibiotics and iron supplements.
Antacids can also potentiate (make stronger) the following drugs:
- Valproic acid: Used to treat epilepsy, bipolar disease and migraines.
- Sulfonylureas:Drugs used to treat Type II diabetes including: Amaryl,Glyburide, Glucotrol, Chlorpropamide, Diabinese, Tolazamide, Tolinase Acetohexamide, Glipizide, Tolbutamide, Orinase, Glimepiride, Diabeta, Micronase, Glubenclamide and Gliclazide.
- Quinidine: cardiac drug (trade names Quinidex and Quinora) used to treat certain heart arrhythmias.
- Levodopa: and anti-Parkinson’s drug.
- Dixoxin/Lanoxin: heart drugs used in treating congestive heart failure.
The dose depends on the type of antacid.
When using antacids in chewable tablet form, chew the tablet well before swallowing. Drink a glass of water after taking chewable aluminum hydroxide. Lozenges should be allowed to dissolve completely in the mouth. Liquid antacids should be shaken well before using.
Antacids have multiple drug interactions, usually due to inhibition of absorption of other medications. In rare cases, the absorbable antacids may alter the pH of the stomach contents or urine sufficiently to alter drug absoprtion or excretion. Also, many precautions must be taken in antacid administration during pregnancy and breastfeeding. antacids have a no. offside effects and must not be used regularly.thus, being cautious will lead us to better drug effects in our body.