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Discharge Instructions: Taking Antacids

Your doctor has prescribed an antacid for you. Antacids are medications that neutralize stomach acid. They are used to relieve acid indigestion, upset stomach, sour stomach, and heartburn.

The name of my antacid is


Guidelines for Use

  • Follow the fact sheet that came with your medication. It tells you when and how to take your medication. Ask for a fact sheet if you didn’t get one.

  • Tell your doctor if you:

    • Have kidney disease

    • Have high blood pressure

    • Are taking any heart medication

  • Don’t take your antacid if you have any signs of appendicitis or an obstructed or inflamed intestine. These signs include cramping, soreness, or pain in your lower abdomen; bloating; and nausea and vomiting.

  • Before you have any medical tests, tell your healthcare provider that you are taking antacids. Antacids can interfere with some tests.

  • Ask your doctor to change your antacid if it causes constipation or diarrhea.

  • Avoid taking antacids when your stomach is uncomfortably full from eating or drinking.

  • Keep antacids out of the reach of children.

  • Check with your doctor before combining calcium-containing antacids with extra calcium or large amounts of milk. Too much calcium can cause kidney damage.

  • Check with your doctor or pharmacist before taking antacids if you are on a low-sodium diet.

  • Try not to use antacids for too long. Antacids may cause kidney problems or make these problems worse. Antacids with calcium may cause kidney stones.

  • If you take chewable antacids, chew them thoroughly. Do not swallow them whole.

  • If you take liquid antacids, measure them with a measuring spoon to be sure you get the right dose.

Possible Side Effects of Antacids

Tell your doctor if you have any of these side effects. However, do not stop taking your medication unless your doctor tells you to stop. Side effects may include:

  • Chalky taste

  • Mild constipation

  • Mild diarrhea

  • Thirst

  • Stomach cramps

  • Whitish or speckled stools

When to Call Your Doctor

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following:

  • Chest pain that does not go away after you take your antacid

  • Heartburn that is not relieved by your antacid

  • Trouble breathing

  • Closing of your throat

  • Swelling of your lips, tongue, or face

  • Hives

  • Dizziness

  • Severe headache

  • Unusual tiredness or muscle weakness

  • Unusual mood changes


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