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What should I know before taking antacids?

Before taking antacids you should know that antacids decrease the acidity of the acids in your stomach. In the short term this is a very safe medication, which can help eliminate discomfort. However, as with all medications there are side effects with long term use, as the acidity of your stomach is changed. These side effects include increased risk of certain types of infection, and decreased absorption of certain vitamins. Therefore, if you need to use antacids for an extended time or more then a few weeks, it is important to consult your healthcare provider.

Donna Hill Howes, RN
Family Practitioner

If you have cirrhosis of the liver or heart failure, you should not take sodium bicarbonate. Other antacids containing sodium may not be good options for you.

If your kidney function is impaired, an antacid may not be a good option for you. If you have kidney failure, you should not take sodium bicarbonate or antacids containing magnesium or aluminum.

If you have phenylketonuria, an antacid may not be a good option for you.

This answer was adapted from Sharecare's award-winning AskMD app. Start a consultation now to find out what's causing your symptoms, learn how to manage a condition, or find a doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.