Gaviscon vs Tums – Comparison of Uses & Side Effects

Gaviscon

It is the brand name of a combination of 2 ingredients – magnesium carbonate and aluminum hydroxide. These belong to a family of drugs called antacids.

Magnesium carbonate is an inorganic salt which is a white solid. It is a common over the counter remedy for upset stomach and heartburn caused by overproduction of acid in the stomach.

Aluminum hydroxide is a form of aluminum that is used as an antacid, and to treat hyperphosphatemia and peptic ulcer disease. Aluminum hydroxide is also used to reduce phosphate levels in patients with certain kidney conditions.

Mechanism of Action

It works by neutralizing acid in the stomach.

Uses

This over the counter medication is used to treat heartburn due to acid indigestion.

Dosage

Chew 2-4 tablets after meals and at bedtime as needed. The maximum recommended dose is 4 tablets in a 24 hour period.

Note – for best results follow by a half glass of water or other liquid.

Side Effects

Common side effects may include:

  • loose stools (diarrhea);
  • hard stools (constipation).

Rare side effects may include:

  • muscle weakness
  • severe stomach pain
  • loss of appetite
  • black or tarry stools;
  • tired feeling
  • extreme drowsiness;
  • pain when you urinate;
  • coughing up blood that looks like coffee grounds.

Precautions

Before taking magnesium carbonate and aluminum hydroxide, tell your healthcare provider if you have:

  • if you drink alcohol frequently;
  • a history of kidney stones;
  • if you are dehydrated;
  • severe constipation;
  • kidney disease.

Alcoholalcohol beer

Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while taking magnesium carbonate and aluminum hydroxide since alcohol use can substantially increase the risk of side effects.

Drug Interactionst

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • ranitidine;
  • aspirin;
  • Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol);
  • atorvastatin;
  • prednisone;
  • bisoprolol;
  • gabapentin;
  • diazepam.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Magnesium carbonate and aluminum hydroxide may pass into breast milk and could harm a nursing infant. Do not use this antacid without telling your healthcare provider if you are breastfeeding an infant.

It is not known whether this medication is harmful to a developing fetus. Before taking this antacid, tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant.

Tums

Image credit – https://www.flickr.com/photos/kkgmarketing/7700564988

It is the brand name of a medication called calcium carbonate, that is part of a family of medications known as antacids.

Contraindications

Before taking this medication, notify your healthcare provider if you have the following conditions:

  • problems absorbing nutrients from food;
  • problems with low levels of stomach acid;
  • heart disease;
  • pancreas disease.

Uses

This OTC medication is used to treat heartburn and acid indigestion. Heartburn is an irritation of the esophagus which is caused by stomach acid.

Moreover, it can be used as a tool to decrease colon cancer risk, the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome, and high blood pressure.

Alcohol

This product does not interact with alcohol.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • urinating more than usual;
  • decreased appetite;
  • nausea;
  • constipation;
  • increased thirst;
  • vomiting.

Less common side effects may include:

  • joint pain;
  • feeling tired or restless;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • muscle pain or weakness;
  • stomach pain;
  • confusion.

Mechanism of Action

It works by neutralizing stomach acid in the body.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • K-Phos (potassium acid phosphate);
  • sodium acid phosphate;
  • Aczone (dapsone);
  • Nimotop (nimodipine);
  • Milk of Magnesia;
  • antifungal medications, such as – Sporanox or Nizoral;
  • antibiotics, such as – Arestin or Terramycin;
  • medications for HIV/AIDS, like – Reyataz or Rescriptor;
  • Sprycel (dasatinib);
  • Tamsulosin;
  • Kayexalate (sodium polystyrene sulfonate);
  • sodium phosphate.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

There are no studies to determine whether calcium carbonate could harm an unborn baby.

This medication is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers. But, you should tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding an infant before taking this product.

Dosage

The usual recommended dosage is 2-4 tablets taken with a full glass of water.

Important note – do not take more than 15 tablets in a 24 hours period.

Bottom Line – Gaviscon vs Tums

Gaviscon (active ingredients – aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate) is a medicine that is used to treat symptoms of increased stomach acid, such as upset stomach, heartburn, and acid indigestion.

Tums (active ingredient – calcium carbonate) is a medication that goes to work in seconds to start neutralizing gastric acid in the esophagus.

Regarding their price, the average retail price for 60 tablets of Gaviscon is $14, while the average retail price for 60 tablets of Tums is $8.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28464343
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25041141
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26909885

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