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Gaviscon

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Updated June 11, 2014

Woman dropping liquid medicine into water
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In addition to the acid-neutralizing ingredients found in most antacids, over-the-counter Gaviscon contains alginic acid and sodium bicarbonate. When taken as directed, GlaxoSmithKline, the drug's manufacturer, states the combination of the alginic acid and bicarbonate will create a a foam barrier which floats on the stomach acid. This barrier may help reduce the number of reflux episodes and may provide longer lasting action against heartburn.

Product Details

    Regular Strength Tablets (in each tablet)
    Aluminum Hydroxide 80mg.
    Magnesium Trisilicate 20mg.

    Extra Strength Tablets (in each tablet)
    Aluminum Hydroxide 160mg.
    Magnesium Carbonate 105mg.

    Regular Strength Liquid (in each tablespoon)
    Aluminum Hydroxide 95mg.
    Magnesium Carbonate 358mg.

    Extra Strength Liquid (in each teaspoon)
    Aluminum hydroxide 254mg.
    Magnesium carbonate 237.5mg.

How should this medicine be used?
This medication comes as a chewable tablet and liquid to take by mouth. Chew tablets thoroughly; do not swallow them whole. Drink a full glass of water after taking the tablets. Shake the oral liquid well before each use to mix the medicine evenly. The liquid may be mixed with water or milk.

Follow the directions on the package label or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide antacids exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor. Do not take antacids for more than 1-2 weeks unless prescribed by your doctor.

What special precautions should you follow?

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to calcium carbonate or any other drugs.

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you can take antacids with these medications, and if so, whether you can do so at the same time, or take the medications at a different time. The time delay is usually at least 2 hours of taking an antacid.

  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or stomach conditions.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking calcium carbonate, call your doctor.

What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from Gaviscon are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • belching
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste

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Sources:
"Antacids (Oral)." MedlinePlus. 3 Dec 2006 <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/uspdi/202047.html>.
"OTC Drugs for Upset Stomachs." Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 3 Dec 2006 <http://www.fda.gov/fdac/graphics/reprints/tummy.pdf>.
"Patient Education - Drugs - calcium carbonate." Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. 3 Dec 2006 <http://www.gicare.com/pated/calcium_carbonate.htm>.
"Antacids (Oral) - MayoClinic.com." MayoClinic.com. 3 Dec 2006 <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/drug-information/DR202047>.

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