Boots WebMD Partners in Health
Return To Boots

Heartburn/GORD health centre

Select a topic to explore more.
Select An Article

Antacids for heartburn

Heartburn is a burning chest pain or discomfort that may occur after eating. Antacids are a common medicine available over the counter to relieve heartburn symptoms and indigestion.

If antacids fail to relieve your symptoms, seek medical advice about other available heartburn treatment options. A check-up for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease ( GORD) may be recommended.


Antacids for heartburn

Antacids are available without prescription over-the-counter to neutralise stomach acid to help relieve heartburn.

Antacid medicines are available as chewable tablets or liquids. Generic names for antacids, rather than their brand names, include:

Aluminium hydroxide

Magnesium carbonate

Magnesium trisilicate.

Antacids may be combined with other medicines to help relieve the heartburn symptoms.

Some antacids have simeticone added to help relieve wind symptoms or flatulence.

Antacids may also contain alignates, which help form a protective layer over the stomach contents to prevent these (including stomach acid) from flowing into the gullet or oesophagus.

Antacids side-effects

Side-effects of antacids may include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence
  • Stomach cramps
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting.

Antacids cautions

Most antacids are not recommended for use by children under 12 years of age or people with some health conditions, including kidney disease.

Antacids may also interfere with other medications taken at the same time. Seek medical advice if you have concerns.

Longer term heartburn treatment

While antacids can be effective for short-term heartburn relief, if symptoms persist, seek medical advice.

More effective prescription medicines can treat recurring heartburn. These include proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) that reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

Doctors may also recommend lifestyle changes, such as losing weight if overweight, quitting smoking and eating smaller meals and avoiding heartburn triggers.

Next Article:

WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on October 10, 2016

Mind, body & soul newsletter

Looking after your
health and wellbeing.
Sign Up Now!

Popular slideshows & tools on BootsWebMD

How to help headache pain
rash on skin
Top eczema triggers to avoid
Causes of fatigue & how to fight it
Tips to support digestive health
woman looking at pregnancy test
Is your body ready for pregnancy?
woman sleeping
Sleep better tonight
Treating your child's cold or fever
fifth disease
Illnesses every parent should know
spoonfull of sugar
Surprising things that harm your liver
woman holding stomach
Understand this common condition
What your nails say about your health