eWellness: OTC drug does not mean it can be taken without a doctors advice


Dr KK Aggarwal    04 January 2018

An over–the–counter antacid is 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

  1. Different types of antacids work in different ways.
  2. To manage an ulcer, an antacid may need to be taken in conjunction with an antibiotic.
  3. If one needs more calcium to help strengthen bones, prefer an antacid that contains calcium carbonate.
  4. Antacids may have minor side effects in some such as nausea, headache, diarrhea or constipation.
  5. Read the label carefully to make sure that you are not allergic to any of the ingredients.
  6. People with kidney disease may not be able to take all types of antacids.
  7. An antacid may interact with other medications. So, talk to the doctor before taking an antacid.

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