Antacids for reflux

A lot of us have probably reached for an antacid at some point in our lives to deal with the burning sensation of reflux.  Available in chewable tablet and liquid, antacids work quickly to neutralise the burning that occurs when stomach contents that is acidic travels up from the stomach.  Heartburn is a common symptom of reflux because the burning pain can seem like it is coming from the region where the heart is located.


Causes of reflux

Too much of the “good things” can cause reflux.  Too much alcohol, tea, coffee, spicy foods, chocolate, citrus foods and more can cause reflux.  Symptoms are also more likely to occur if you bend over after a large meal or in those who are overweight or pregnant because the stomach has less room.  Some people need to avoid or limit the good things to avoid or reduce symptoms.

When to use antacids

Antacids are helpful for symptoms that are mild and infrequent.  Antacids work quickly to give relief because as soon as they come in to contact with the acidic stomach contents they neutralise it.  There are many different types of antacids and they work slightly differently though the main outcome is neutralising acid and some put a protective layer over the top of the stomach contents also.

Antacids can be helpful to have on hand if you sometimes suffer with reflux symptoms. They can be used in combination with other reflux treatments if needed.

If symptoms are becoming more frequent or more troublesome or antacids are not relieving the symptoms then see your Doctor.

Something to remember when taking an antacid

Antacids can cause some other medicines to be absorbed more quickly and can make others be absorbed slower or not at all.  Generally it is best to use antacids two hours away from other medicines to prevent problems with absorbing them.


Antacids are the first step in treating reflux.  There are two more steps that can be used instead of or as well as antacids if necessary.  We’ll look at the next step, Histamine2 antagonists, next week.


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