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Antacids : Definition, Mechanism, Objectives, Indications, Adverse, Precautions and Risk

Tuesday, September 4th 2012. | Medical Treatment

Antacids Definition

Drugs antacids or topical antacid products are salts of aluminum and magnesium, which have the property of reducing gastric acidity by buffering and neutralizing them.

Mechanism of action

Antacids aluminum salts and magnesium antacids are contact; they decrease the acidity of gastric secretion, and by their buffer by direct neutralization of the hydrochloric acid present in the stomach.

Drugs antacids

Drugs antacids (img : foxnews.com)

This action is limited at upper gastrointestinal reflux disease, there is no systemic alkalinization that is in the blood.

Among the various products of this class

  • The aluminum hydroxide has a significant and prolonged neutralizing power, it can cause constipation and phosphorus depletion by uptake of dietary phosphate.
  • Magnesium hydroxide is an antacid action fast and short, it can cause diarrhea.
  • The aluminum phosphate has an antacid slow, it is also a protector of the gastric mucosa.
  • The combination of derivatives of magnesium and aluminum, is designed to avoid the effects on intestinal transit and adding their actions and topical antacids.

Antacids are administered 1 hour 30 minutes to 2 hours after the start of each meal and at bedtime if needed, or 3 to 4 times per day, not to exceed 6 doses per day.


Prescription antacids aims to relieve the patient, the disappearance or reduction of symptoms.


Antacids are indicated in the symptomatic treatment of pain and burns, upper gastrointestinal disorders esophageal.


These are some complications that can occur when taking the drug, knowing that induced side effects vary among individuals.

Under treatment with antacids:

  • There is a possibility of occasional constipation in bedridden people, or older and, due to the presence of magnesium;
  • There is also a possibility of phosphorus depletion in prolonged use or in high doses, because of the presence of aluminum.


Due to alkalizing foods, it is unnecessary to administer antacids during meals.

Patients with renal failure and chronic dialysis, must take into account the presence of aluminum, and the risk of encephalopathy.

Pregnancy and lactation

During pregnancy, the use of these drugs should be considered if necessary.

Breastfeeding may be continued during treatment with antacids.

Driving and using machines

There is no impact on driving and using machines during treatment with antacids.


It is necessary that the patient mark the type of foods that can trigger pain, acid, spices, alcohol and, if necessary, medications such as aspirin, NSAIDs


As a precaution, it should take antacids away from other drugs, due to a decrease in intestinal absorption of drugs taken at the same time.

The association with quinidine is not recommended due to risk of overdose.

There is need for a period of 2 hours or more between shots with H2 blockers, NSAIDs, beta-blockers, chloroquine, digitalis, bisphosphonates, fluoroquinolones, inhibitors of the proton pump, the salicylate, penicillamine.

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