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eWellness: OTC drugs should not be taken without a doctor’s advice

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Dr KK Aggarwal    02 September 2017

Over–the–counter (OTC) drugs do not mean that they can be taken without a doctor’s advice. For example, OTC antacids are often used to relieve mild cases of heartburn or acid reflux. Though they are available without a doctor’s prescription they should be taken only under a doctor’s advice. As per American Academy of Family Physicians

  • There are different types of antacids that work in different ways.
  • One should talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.
  • To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken in conjunction with an antibiotic.
  • If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, one should prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.
  • In some, antacids may have minor side effects such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  • One should read the label carefully to make sure that one is not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  • People with kidney disease may not be able to take all types of antacids.
  • An antacid may interact with other medications.

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