Which medications in the drug class Antacids are used in the treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease?

Updated: May 23, 2019
  • Author: Marco G Patti, MD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Antacids

Antacids were the standard treatment in the 1970s and are still effective in controlling mild symptoms of GERD. Antacids should be taken after each meal and at bedtime. These agents are used as diagnostic tools to provide symptomatic relief in infants. Associated benefits include symptomatic alleviation of constipation (aluminum antacids, such as ALternaGEL and Amphojel) or loose stools (magnesium antacids, such as Phillips Milk of Magnesia).

Aluminum hydroxide (ALternaGEL, Amphojel)

Aluminum hydroxide increases gastric pH to greater than 4 and inhibits the proteolytic activity of pepsin, reducing acid indigestion. Antacids can initially be used in mild cases. They have no effect on the frequency of reflux, but they decrease its acidity.

Magnesium hydroxide (Phillips Milk of Magnesia, Phillips Chewable)

Magnesium hydroxide is used as an antacid to relieve indigestion. It also causes osmotic retention of fluid, which distends the colon and increases peristaltic activity that provides a laxative effect. In vivo, it forms magnesium chloride after reacting with stomach hydrochloric acid.


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