In order to make a good choice when it comes to selecting antacid medications, it is important first to understand what the various types of antacids are. In general, there are four basic types of antacid medications. These include sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate, and aluminum and magnesium compounds. While each of these provides relief of the symptoms of stomach acid, some may not be recommended for those with particular health conditions.
One of the most common types of antacid medications is sodium bicarbonate, otherwise known by its common name as baking soda. Typically, sodium bicarbonate is only recommended for use for a short period of time, as its very high sodium content can be dangerous for individuals who have previously been diagnosed with high blood pressure. Those who do use sodium bicarbonate for an extended period of time may also experience an increase in urinary tract infections, heart and kidney dysfunction, and the development of other serious health conditions that can require long-term treatment.
Calcium carbonate is another of the common antacid medications available for use. Due to its proportion of calcium, which results in speedy relief, calcium carbonate is a popular choice for many. Unlike sodium bicarbonate, which should not be used for an extended period of time, calcium carbonate can actually be taken every day, if need be. It is important to understand, however, that long-term use of calcium carbonate can result in the development of moderate to severe constipation, and in some cases can even lead to the formation of kidney stones, or kidney dysfunction.
Aluminum compound is sometimes recommended for those looking for good antacid medications. While aluminum compound has been found to be highly effective when it comes to treating symptoms of stomach acid, it may be slower-acting than other forms of antacid medications. Like calcium carbonate, long-term aluminum compound use can result in constipation. In addition, this antacid has been linked to decreased levels of calcium in the body, suggesting that those who use it may be at an increased risk for the development of osteoporosis or osteoarthritis. Those who us aluminum compound, therefore, should consider supplementing this diet with over-the-counter calcium pills.
Magnesium compound is another antacid which is commonly used in the treatment of stomach acid. Unlike calcium carbonate and aluminum compound, magnesium actually appears to have laxative properties. Because of this, magnesium is often recommended for the elderly, individuals who have been previously diagnosed with diabetes, or other similar conditions.