Antacids are over the counter medications that people take to help them with stomach acid problems.
They’re used to treat the symptoms of excess stomach acid.
People may take antacids if they’re suffering from acid reflux, a bitter taste in their mouth as a result of excess stomach acid, a persistent dry cough associated with acid reflux, heartburn, or indigestion.
Antacids can also come in several forms.
They may come in the form of a liquid, a chewable gummy, a chewable tablet, or a dissolvable tablet that you place in water.
But here’s the real question.
Are they safe?
Many people take antacid tablets on a regular basis.
Some people even take them several times per day.
Of course, the question bears asking:
If you’re having that much trouble with acid reflux, is it possible that you may be suffering from a more serious underlying problem?
It’s possible that you need to talk to your doctor about why you’re having so much acid reflux, and to determine whether or not treatment might be necessary.
It’s also possible, sometimes, that diet changes can help you to avoid such high incidences of acid reflux.
But in the specific case of antacids; today, we’re going to take a closer look at whether or not they’re actually safe to take on a regular basis.
Let’s dive in.
The Basics: Are Antacids Safe?
For the most part, antacids are safe for most people on most occasions.
They are, after all, marketed over the counter in the United States.
And as a general rule, they can be very helpful with occasional acid reflux.
But it’s also important to understand that they’re not without their side effects and dangers.
Granted, legitimate side effects suffered as a result of taking antacids are rare.
But if you take too many of them, or you take them for longer than directed, you could actually overdose on calcium.
This may sound like a weird problem, but it’s actually quite possible.
An overdose of calcium can cause a range of symptoms, including:
- Mental status changes
- And even kidney stones
It’s also possible that excess calcium can lead to a state called alkalosis, which is a condition in which your body doesn’t make enough acid to function properly.
When Should You Call A Doctor About Acid Reflux?
Antacids are great for relieving occasional symptoms of excess stomach acid.
But it’s also highly possible that if you’re suffering from this kind of problem on a regular basis, you may have a more serious underlying medical condition.
For example, you may be suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or a peptic ulcer.
It’s important to understand that antacids really only soothe symptoms, they don’t cure the root of the problem.
Antacids can be very helpful.
And they’re good for the occasional short term relief of excess stomach acid and heartburn.
However, it’s really important to understand that they’re not a cure.
And if your symptoms are leading to you taking over the counter antacids on a regular basis, especially if you’re taking them every day, then there’s most definitely cause for concern; and you should probably talk to your doctor about the underlying causes behind the symptoms.