Antacids are a type of medication that is taken to relieve the symptoms of heartburn or acid indigestion. The most common form of tablet antacids are taken after being dissolved in water. However, ready-to-drink liquid preparations are also popular. Some of the best known brands of antacids are Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Gaviscon, Rolaids, Tums and Mylanta. The formula for each brand of antacid can vary, but calcium carbonate, milk of magnesia, aluminium hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate are commonly used. Continue reading if you want to know how antacids help to relieve heartburn, reflux and acid indigestion.
How do antacids tablets work in the stomach?
The stomach has an muscle at the entrance called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that opens to allow food into the stomach. The stomach then releases a strong acid to begin breaking down the food you have eaten. Sometimes the LES doesn’t close tightly or opens too often and allows some of this strong stomach acid back into the esophagus, which causes the burning sensation. The ingredients of antacids are made of a specific alkali, which create an acid-alkali reaction with the strong stomach acid to weaken this acid and create a more neutral environment (neither acidic or alkaline) in the stomach. Basically, antacids neutralize this acid so that it is not strong enough to continue to cause the burning sensation. They are fast acting and usually relieve the symptoms quickly. However, if you are experiencing ongoing or reoccurring symptoms it is best to seek medical advice.