Are Antacids Effective in Relieving Acidity and Gas?


Millions of people worldwide experience the pain and distress that comes with common gastrointestinal problems, including acidity and gas. Antacids are a popular means of treating these medical problems, providing relief from symptoms such as heartburn, indigestion, and bloating. However, do antacids actually work to reduce gas and acidity? It’s essential to investigate antacids’ components, permitted applications, and target audience to provide a thorough understanding.

Understanding Antacids: Their Function and Purpose

Over-the-counter (OTC) antacids are a group of medications that are used to neutralise stomach acid and create comfort from acid reflux, gas, heartburn, and sour stomach. Pepsin, whose function is to secrete acid that breaks down the food for digestion, is hindered by antacids that neutralise the acid in your stomach. They help in the treatment of the pain caused by acid reflux and related conditions by increasing the stomach pH level, which reduces acidity.

Symptoms that are relieved by antacids could be:

  • A sensation of burning in the gut and chest, predominantly at night or after eating.
  • Varying degree of pain in your stomach and chest.
  • The acidic or sour-like sensation of your tongue.
  • Feeling full or bloated.

A lot of people suffering from intermittent gas and acidity prefer antacids because they provide quick and short-term relief.

Components of Antacid Formulations

Antacids comprise a variety of active substances, each of which addresses acid-related symptoms differently. Antacids’ active components differ based on their kind and brand. Antacid compositions often comprise the following ingredients:

  • Calcium Carbonate: Known for its rapid elimination of stomach acid, calcium carbonate neutralises stomach acid and relieves heartburn and indigestion quickly.
  • Aluminium Hydroxide: This substance relieves acid reflux symptoms and lessens gastrointestinal discomfort by neutralising stomach acid and covering the stomach lining in a protective layer.
  • Magnesium Hydroxide: This substance is helpful for those who are experiencing both acidity and constipation since it neutralises stomach acid and encourages bowel movements in an antacid method.
  • Simethicone: Known for its capacity to disintegrate gas bubbles in the stomach, Simethicone relieves bloating and other discomforts brought on by an excess of gas. This ingredient is frequently used in antacid formulas.
  • Sodium Bicarbonate: Sodium bicarbonate, sometimes called baking soda, neutralises stomach acid and can relieve heartburn quickly. However, people on a low-sodium diet or those with hypertension may find it inappropriate because of its high salt level.
  • Magnesium Carbonate: Because it neutralises excess stomach acid and encourages the ejection of gas from the digestive tract, magnesium carbonate, an ingredient in antacids, helps relieve acidity and gas in two ways, easing gastrointestinal pain in two different ways.

Approved Uses of Antacids

Antacid uses have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to treat minor cases of indigestion and heartburn. Heartburn that occurs infrequently or rarely as opposed to daily is referred to as a mild case. Also, these help in reducing :

  • Heartburn
  • Stomach lining inflammation (gastritis).
  • Acid reflux (GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease).
  • Sour stomach
  • Upset stomach due to excess acid
  • Gas and bloating associated with indigestion

For a few hours, antacids immediately ease discomfort. But it’s important to remember that antacids aren’t meant to cure underlying issues like ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A medical expert must assess persistent or severe symptoms in order to make the proper diagnosis and course of treatment.

Who can take Antacids?

For most people, antacids are generally regarded as safe, including:

  • Adults and minors over the age of twelve (unless instructed differently by the doctor)
  • Females who are expecting (under the supervision of a healthcare practitioner)
  • Those without conditions that would prevent them from using a particular antacid component, such as allergies, renal illness, or hypertension
  • Those looking for relief from sporadic gas and acidity symptoms

Nonetheless, some groups of people should take care or refrain from using antacids entirely, such as:

  • Kidney disease patients: Some are include magnesium or aluminium can build up in the body and impair renal function.
  • People taking specific medications: Antacids might hinder the absorption of other medications, so it’s important to speak with a doctor before taking them at the same time.
  • Those with hypertension or heart failure: These medical conditions may be made worse by antacids with a high salt concentration, including sodium bicarbonate.

Side Effects of Antacid

Although antacids are usually regarded as safe when taken as prescribed, adverse effects are sometimes possible, especially with extended or excessive usage. Antacid side effects that are common include:

  • Constipation or diarrhoea 
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting 
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Abdominal ache or cramps in the stomach.

Serious adverse effects could consist of:

  • Rebound Acidity: Using antacids excessively can create rebound acidity, which makes the stomach generate extra acid to make up for the medication’s neutralising effect. Over time, this can exacerbate acidity symptoms.
  • Neurotoxicity: Antacids alter how your nervous system works.
  • Hypercalcemia: Excessive levels of calcium in the blood.
  • Microcytic Anaemia: Iron deficiency.

Antacids may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb other medications. To find out if taking antacids is suitable for you, speak with your healthcare physician before starting. To avoid interactions with medicines, take other medications (only after the doctor’s recommendation) an hour before or at least four hours after taking an antacid.

Evaluating the Efficacy of Antacids in Alleviating Acidity & Gas

Antacid efficacy in reducing gas and acidity varies based on a number of variables, such as the degree of symptoms, each patient’s reaction to treatment, and the particular brand utilised. 

Here are some important things to think about:

  • Prompt Relief: Antacids are renowned because they start to work instantly as they relieve symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion right away. Antacids turn out to be quick and relevant help for those who have the occasional one-off episodes of gas and acidity.
  • Relief from Particular Symptoms: Different antacid compositions may be more successful at treating particular symptoms. For example, Simethicone, containing antacids, works exceptionally if you are wondering how to reduce gas and bloating, whereas other antacids are focused on neutralising extra acid.
  • Temporary Relief: Though antacids may initially relieve symptoms, the need for additional doses is always there. They may not be suitable for maintaining treatment options for long-term ailments such as peptic ulcers or GERD. When dealing with ongoing symptoms in these scenarios, particularly in the long-term, other lifestyle changes and medications may become necessary.
  • Adjunct Therapy: Antacids often become a coupling element of a comprehensive regimen, which usually also includes dietary changes, lifestyle adaptations and other medications. These medications reduce symptoms, and they treat the causes as well, which can work together with other treatment approaches.

Individuals may respond differently to antacid therapy. These capsules can provide full symptom alleviation for some people but just partial or no relief for others. The results from treatment might be impacted by variables such as underlying medical issues, drug interactions, and way of living.

Best Antacid Medicine Available

The optimal medication for treating gas and acidity may be based on the symptoms‘ level and the patient’s current condition. Through the functionality of reducing stomach acid, common over-the-counter antacids capsules like Tums, Maalox, and Rolaids are the best gastric capsules and offer quick relief. The use of Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs), e.g. omeprazole and H2 blockers, can effectively curb acid production, reducing the severe or chronic symptoms of GERD.

In India, a few of the most common antacid medications are:

  • Simgel
  • Acidflux
  • Omez
  • Olicid-S
  • Gelusil MPS liquid
  • Rabjox-DSR

It should be noted that medication can be used while making the necessary lifestyle changes, such as stress management and dietary adjustments, to ensure symptom control. It is always vital to consult a doctor who is able to make the right decision when two or more scenarios are possible.


For a number of people, these capsules provide an easy way to relieve the symptoms of gas burning and acid reflux. Their effectiveness in treating complex or chronic gastrointestinal diseases, on the other hand, may have some limitations. Use capsules with caution by following the dosing and safety instructions and request a provider for medical attention if the symptoms become worse or don’t go away.