Our stomach produces acids that aid digestion. When this acid production exceeds the requirement of your body, it results in heartburn, stomach upsets, indigestion, and sometimes even ulcers that can be very painful. An antacid is a medication prescribed by doctors to help with the excess production of stomach acids. While you can always have a spoonful of antacid liquid, there is the more convenient antacid chewable tablets too.
What Are Antacid Chewable Tablets?
Antacid chewable tablets, as the name suggests, are tablets that you can chew to help get some relief from stomach acids related issues like heartburn. You can get them over the counter without a prescription.
They look like any other tablet, but you can chew them instead of swallowing them. You can pop them into your mouth anytime you feel heartburn and chew on them slowly.
What Are Antacid Chewable Tablets Used For?
You can chew an antacid tablet if you are suffering from the following:
- Sour stomach
- Acid indigestion
- An upset stomach that is not related to the food you consumed
- Peptic ulcers
When To Consider Taking Antacid Chewable Tablets?
Antacid tablets are available across the counter and are usually used for stomach upsets and heartburns. However, if you have other pre-existing medical conditions like kidney stones or a calcium-restricted diet, you need to consult a doctor before you can pop one of these tablets into your mouth.
Pregnant women and nursing mothers experience a lot of heartburn and digestion issues. No matter how tempting the antacid chewable tablets are, it is advisable to consult your doctor first and consume the tablet only after approval.
Considerations When Buying Antacid Chewable Tablets
When you go to the pharmacy to buy your antacid chewable tablets, you need to consider the following aspects:
- Understand what your issue is. Is it indigestion caused by stomach acids or just indigestion caused by the food you ate?
- Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions that can be triggered by certain medications?
- Has your doctor advised you against antacids or other heartburn-related medications? If yes, you will have to consult your doctor before you take the chewable antacid tablets.
- Did you have any side effects the last time you chewed any of these antacid tablets?
- Do you have any kidney issues? If yes, you need to check with your doctor before chewing antacid tablets
- Are you on any medications that can be interfered with by antacids? Can you take these tablets at a different time than other medications?
- Finding it difficult to chew an antacid? You can pick and choose from the various flavours available
- If you are on other medications, what combination of antacids should you consume to avoid any side effects or drug interference.
Benefits Of Antacid Chewable Tablets
Antacid tablets are available across the counter and can benefit you in the following ways:
- You can sort out your heartburn on your own without having to visit a doctor
- You can stock up on your antacid chewable tablets without having to worry about spilling
- You can discreetly pop one tablet into your mouth, anywhere anytime
- You can chew these tablets anytime you experience indigestion or heartburn. There is no particular time to chew these tablets
- You don’t have to change your diet or avoid any foods to take these tablets
- They are very common and you can get them in all pharmacies at all times.
Do Antacid Chewable Tablets Have Any Side Effects?
Like any other drug, antacid chewable tables have their own set of benefits and side effects too. If you continue to take them for more than 2 weeks at a stretch or consume more than the recommended dosage in a day, you are bound to suffer the side effects. Some of the common side-effects you may suffer from are:
- Laxative effect causing you to visit the toile too many times
- Food sensitivity
- Allergic reactions due to certain ingredients used in the tablets
- Too much aluminium in the antacid tablets can lead to osteomalacia or hypophosphatemia
- Too much magnesium might make it difficult for the kidneys to eliminate the magnesium via urine.
If you were to misuse the antacids chewable tablets by consuming them when not needed, it might lead to:
Overdose of calcium as these tablets have calcium in them. As a result of too much calcium in your blood, you may experience
- Kidney stones
- Changes in your mental state
Antacid tablets need to be taken to counter the excess acid production in the stomach. If you over-consume antacids, it can lead to an imbalance where the stomach acids become insufficient. This can result in various issues.
Tips For Antacid Chewable Tablets Usage
Here are some tips for safe usage of antacid chewable tablets:
- Start slow- No matter how severe your heartburn is, do not chew more than one tablet at a time, and always give sufficient gap before you chew the next tablet. If the symptoms are very severe, it is safer to consult a doctor than chewing many tablets at a time.
- Dosage – Check the dosage instructions. If you are taking the maximum dosage instructed or prescribed by your doctor, do not exceed 2 weeks. If your symptoms persist despite chewing antacid tablets for 2 weeks, you need to check with your doctor. As per the manufacturer’s instructions, do not chew more than 8 tablets in a day.
- Avoid During Pregnancy – Never chew antacid tablets if you are pregnant or nursing. Ask your doctor for medications that are safe for you. Your doctor will prescribe medication and also recommend home remedies, to reduce your dependency on the tablet.
- Storage – Store at the recommended temperature. Storing it in too much heat will melt the tablet, compromising some important properties.