Are Antacids Safe In Pregnancy

Dosage And Frequency Of Tums

TUMS and Pregnancy | TUMS

Like any other prescription or over-the-counter drug medicine, the dosage and frequency of Tums should ideally come from your doctor. That said, there are some general guidelines to follow when using Tums for heartburn during pregnancy.

Kimberly Langdon, MD, OB/GYN says Tums works best when taken frequently on the order of every 4 hours because it neutralizes the acid rather than preventing it from being released.

With that in mind, Langdon says expecting mothers can take a maximum of two tablets every 46 hours as needed for heartburn.

In general, most women will do fine at this dosage it may only be problematic in women with a history of calcium oxalate kidney stones, says Langdon.

Its important to talk to your OB/GYN about any over-the-counter meds you wish to take during pregnancy. When it comes to Tums, this discussion is especially crucial if you have a history of kidney stones.

Tums comes in a variety of strengths, and most of the recommendations for pregnancy refer to the regular strength, which is the lowest dose at 500 milligrams.

And according to the manufacturer, pregnant women shouldnt exceed 10 tablets in a 24 hour period, and for no longer than two weeks, except under the supervision of a doctor.

Unless your doctor says otherwise, you should always stick to the recommended dosage, especially since Tums has calcium.

Although calcium is a much-needed mineral during pregnancy, too much of it can lead to

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Discuss H2 Blockers With Your Doctor

If an antacid isnât working, it may be time to consider stronger medications.

Your first option will likely be an H2 blocker like Tagamet or Zantac. These drugs suppress stomach-acid production. All four H2 inhibitors on the market are now available without a prescription and considered to be safe during pregnancy. But talk to your doctor before taking them.

âThey really work,â says Einarson. âYou only have to take one or two a day.â

Use Ginger To Soothe The Burn

Some women find that gingerginger ale or ginger candies, such as Chimes Ginger Chews, for examplecan help ease an upset tummy.

This spice can also combat nausea and vomiting, which often go hand-in-hand with heartburn.

Although there’s not much scientific evidence for ginger as a remedy for pregnancy woes, Einarson says, it is safe to consume when you are pregnant.

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What Is Acid Reflux During Pregnancy

People use the terms heartburn and acid reflux to mean the same thing. But they have different definitions:

  • Acid reflux refers to the LES not tightening as it should. This allows the stomach acid to travel from your stomach up to your esophagus.
  • Heartburn, the feeling of pain or burning in your chest, is a symptom of acid reflux.

Women may have acid reflux during pregnancy and experience heartburn due to changing hormone levels and the baby growing.

Are Tums Safe During Pregnancy

Pregnant woman taking antacid

Indigestion, also called heartburn or acid reflux, is common in pregnancy. It can be caused by hormonal changes and the growing baby pressing against your stomach. During pregnancy, hormone changes can allow the muscles in the esophagus, including the LES, to relax more frequently. The result is that more acids may seep back up, particularly when youâre lying down or after youâve eaten a large meal.

In addition, as your fetus grows during the second and third trimesters and your uterus expands to accommodate that growth, your stomach is under more pressure. This can also result in food and acid being pushed back up into your esophagus.

What are TUMS and how do they work?

TUMS is an antacid used to relieve heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion, and upset stomach associated with these symptoms. Many other heartburn medications are absorbed into the bloodstream and can take hours or day to fully work. TUMS, with active ingredient Calcium Carbonate, travels directly to the source of the heartburn.

TUMS has been providing heartburn relief for more than 90 years. Created in 1928 by pharmacist James Howe to treat his wifeâs indigestion, the TUMS brand was introduced to the public in 1930 and quickly became an American favorite among antacid treatments.

Can you take TUMS while pregnant?

How should I take TUMS during pregnancy?

What other things can I do to improve my symptoms?

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Are Other Heartburn Medicines Safe During Pregnancy

Talk with your healthcare provider before taking other types of OTC medications to treat heartburn. Some OTC options can go through the placenta and reach the baby. Other medications dont have as many studies backing up their safety in pregnancy.

Antacids should usually be tried first before moving on to stronger medications. But if you do need something stronger, your healthcare provider can help you weigh the risks and benefits. Studies suggest that histamine-2 antagonists and proton pump inhibitors can be used safely with guidance from a healthcare provider.

When Can I Expect Heartburn To End

Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.

So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.

However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.

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What If You Consume Too Many Antacids During Pregnancy

Antacids are made from different substances such as magnesium, calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate and aluminium. However, they can have different effects on the body. Anything consumed in excess can be harmful, and antacids are no exception. Some of the problems caused by excessive consumption of antacids include vomiting, anaemia, and kidney stones.

Don’t Eat Right Before Bed

Antacid : Uses, indications, doses, contraindications

Having a hearty meal and then heading to bed is a recipe for heartburn, warns Joel Richter, MD, director of the division of gastroenterology and nutrition and the esophageal diseases center at the University of South Florida, in Tampa, who has studied heartburn during pregnancy. He recommends trying not to eat for at least three hours before you go to sleep. You should also try to avoid liquids starting a few hours before bedtime.

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What Medications Are Safe To Take During Pregnancy

Over-the-counter antacids such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox may help you cope with occasional heartburn symptoms. Those made of calcium carbonate or magnesium are good options.

However, it may be best to avoid magnesium during the last trimester of pregnancy. Magnesium could interfere with contractions during labor.

Most doctors recommend avoiding antacids that contain high levels of sodium. These antacids can lead to a buildup of fluid in the tissues.

You should also avoid any antacids that list aluminum on the label, as in aluminum hydroxide or aluminum carbonate. These antacids can lead to constipation.

Finally, stay away from medications like Alka-Seltzer that may contain aspirin.

Ask your doctor for the best option. If you find yourself downing bottles of antacids, your heartburn may have progressed to gastroesophageal acid reflux disease . In that case, you may need a stronger treatment.

Herbal Supplements And Vitamins

Some alternative therapies have been found to safely and effectively alleviate some of the uncomfortable side effects of pregnancy but natural doesnt always mean these herbal supplements are safe. As with any over the counter medication, its important to talk with your doctor about every supplement or vitamin you take while pregnant.

Prenatal vitamins are also an important part of a healthy pregnancy. Multivitamins that include folic acid are safe and important before and during the first few weeks of pregnancy because they can help prevent some birth defects. Your doctor or midwife can advise you about which type of multivitamin with folic acid you should take. Medical providers sometimes prescribe extra folic acid or iron supplements, depending on your specific situation.

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Heartburn Acid Reflux And Gerd During Pregnancy

Its called heartburn, although that burning feeling in your chest has nothing to do with the heart. Uncomfortable and frustrating, it bothers many women, particularly during pregnancy.

The first question you may have is how to make it stop. You may also wonder if treatments are safe for your baby. Learn what causes heartburn during pregnancy and what you can do about it.

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Is It Safe To Take Antacid While Pregnant

What Should I Know About OTC Medications and Pregnancy?

An antacid syrup can help provide instant relief against heartburn and acidity during pregnancy. In fact, syrups are preferred over antacid tablets while pregnant as the syrup variety can readily dissolve and work faster. The majority of antacids that are available are safe to be consumed. However, there are some which can be quite dangerous and even lead to a miscarriage. The key is to have antacids in moderation and get your doctors approval.

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When Should I Talk To My Doctor

If you have heartburn that often wakes you up at night, returns as soon as your antacid wears off, or creates other symptoms , you may have a more serious problem that requires attention.

Your doctor may diagnose you with GERD. This means that your heartburn needs to be controlled to protect you from complications such as damage to the esophagus.

Your doctor may prescribe certain acid-reducing medications to reduce your symptoms. Research indicates that medications called H2 blockers, which help block the production of acid, appear to be safe.

Another type of medication, called proton pump inhibitors, is used for people with heartburn that doesnt respond to other treatments.

If youre concerned about the effects of medications, be sure to talk to your doctor. Doctors can help you control your symptoms while keeping your unborn child safe.

Is It Safe To Take Tums During Pregnancy

Heartburn is a burning sensation that often extends from the bottom of the breastbone to the lower throat. It is caused by hormonal and physical changes in your body. During pregnancy, the placenta produces the hormone progesterone. Progesterone relaxes the smooth muscles of the uterus, but it also relaxes the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. This allows gastric acids to seep back up, which causes the unpleasant burning sensation.

Most people know antacids can provide fast, safe relief for heartburn. The question you have is whether or not it is safe to take TUMS during pregnancy? TUMS provides safe heartburn relief for women who are pregnant. TUMS also adds calcium to your body. When you are pregnant, your body may need between 1,000 mg and 1,300 mg of elemental calcium per day.

Be sure to take TUMS at a different time than you take iron supplements. It is recommended to space doses of these antacids and iron supplements one to two hours apart, to get the full benefit from each medicine or dietary supplement. You should consult with your healthcare provider before taking any antacids containing sodium bicarbonate.

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Is It Safe To Have Antacids During Pregnancy

  • Eating smaller meals more frequently rather than three big meals in a day.
  • Waiting three hours after a meal before lying down.
  • Avoiding fatty and spicy foods, tea, coffee, chocolate and citrus juices.
  • Raising the head of the bed so that your shoulders are higher than your tummy. You can roll a towel and place it under your mattress or simply use several pillows to prop yourself up when you lie down.
  • Milkor curd . Skimmed or semi-skimmed milk is thought to work better than full-fat milk.
  • Peppermint tea. One study showed that it helped pregnant women. However, peppermint tea, like other herbal teas, should be drunk in moderation during pregnancy.
  • Slippery elm. This is a traditional herbal remedy for heartburn. It is thought to have a soothing action and to be safe in pregnancy, but there is very little research into its effectiveness.

What Happens If You Take Too Many Antacids During Pregnancy

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Anything you take in excess is harmful, and so is the case with antacids too. Overconsumption or overuse of antacids can have various effects such as stomach cramps, diarrhea, constipation, a change in bowel movements, vomiting and anemia.

Unsafe antacids during pregnancy include:

  • Antacids containing calcium they could cause constipation and kidney stones .
  • Sodium bicarbonate and sodium citrate they contain higher levels of sodium, causing water retention
  • Those having magnesium trisilicate as it could lead to diarrhea and muscular contractions .

Just as any other medicines, antacids should also be used only if they are really necessary because they might have some side effects.

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Causes Of Heartburn During Pregnancy

Heartburn in pregnancy may happen because of changing hormone levels, which can affect the muscles of the digestive tract and how your body handles different foods.

Pregnancy hormones can cause your lower esophageal sphincter to relax, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into your esophagus. Also, as your baby grows, your enlarged uterus can crowd the abdomen, pushing stomach acids upward. Although it’s rare, gallstones can also cause heartburn during pregnancy.

Pharmaceutical Management Of Gerd During Pregnancy And Lactation

For most patients, lifestyle/dietary modifications are helpful, but may not be entirely sufficient in controlling GERD symptoms. A step-up program with increasing intensification of treatment is commonly utilised for patients with persistent GERD symptoms. The optimum management of GERD in pregnant and breastfeeding women requires consideration of the drugs’ safety as well as efficacy, since the medications may affect the foetus/infant . The effect of specific medications on the foetus/infant during pregnancy and lactation are often not well understood, due to ethical limitations against involving pregnant/breastfeeding women in clinical drug trials. Even so, based on animal studies and/or population-based studies involving pregnant women, certain medications appear to be safe for use in pregnancy. These medications may be a helpful alternative if lifestyle modifications do not adequately relieve symptoms .

GERD during pregnancy is known to predispose patients to postpartum GERD . This may necessitate the need to continue GERD symptom management even after delivery . However, data on the use of medications for GERD while breastfeeding are limited . Medications with minimal systemic absorption are preferred for breastfeeding patients .



Fig. 1

Adapted from Bor et al.

Histamine-2 receptor antagonist

Mucosal protectant

Sucralfate use during lactation has not been studied, although it is likely safe due to limited maternal absorption .


Promotility drugs

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When Should You See A Healthcare Provider About Heartburn Or Reflux During Pregnancy

Check in with your healthcare provider if calcium carbonate antacids dont seem to be helping. You should also reach out to them if you need to use them frequently for more than 2 weeks.

Talk to your healthcare provider if you have any of these other symptoms with your heartburn:

  • Weight loss

  • Pain or cramps in your lower belly, side, or back

  • Severe diarrhea that doesnt go away

  • New or worsening nausea or vomiting

  • Blood in your stool or stools that are very dark

Can I Take Tums While Pregnant

Is it safe for a breastfeeding mom to take antacids?

Pregnant women may experience heartburn for the first time.

We know there are many surprises along the road to motherhood like heartburn. More than 50% of all pregnant women report symptoms of heartburn, particularly during their second and third trimesters. Pregnant women may experience heartburn because of changes to diet, fluctuating hormone levels, and crowding of the abdomen.1

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Causes Of Indigestion In Pregnancy

Symptoms of indigestion come when the acid in your stomach irritates your stomach lining or your gullet. This causes pain and a burning feeling.

When you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to have indigestion because of:

  • hormonal changes
  • the growing baby pressing on your stomach
  • the muscles between your stomach and gullet relaxing, allowing stomach acid to come back up

You may be more likely to get indigestion in pregnancy if:

  • you had indigestion before you were pregnant
  • you’ve been pregnant before
  • you’re in the later stages of pregnancy

How Can I Prevent Heartburn During Pregnancy

They say prevention is the best medicine, so knowing common heartburn triggers can help you keep the acid at bay.

Of course, pregnancy itself is a major trigger for heartburn. As your growing uterus puts pressure on your stomach, this pushes stomach acid up your throat.

Those lovely hormones are no help either. They tend to relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus, which makes it easier for acid to make its way upward.

While theres nothing you can do to stop this entirely, there are a few things that can help prevent heartburn from flaring up during pregnancy:

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Do Antacids Cause Side Effects

The extra calcium from calcium carbonate antacids can cause gas, bloating, or constipation in some people. Antacids can also affect how well you absorb other medications, like iron supplements. Ask your pharmacist to check for interactions and space calcium carbonate antacids 1 to 2 hours apart from other medications when needed.

Reasons To Avoid Antacids During Pregnancy

Can expired antacids cause fetal complications in 9th month of Pregnancy? – Dr. Nupur Sood

Though not serious or rampant, antacids could lead to the below problems during pregnancy.

  • Water retention: As mentioned earlier, antacids contain sodium bicarbonate or sodium citrate that retains water in the body. It could lead to swelling of the feet, hands, and ankles. If you already have swelling in the later part of your pregnancy, then this makes the problem worse .
  • Kidney stones: If you take calcium antacids regularly, the excess calcium cannot be absorbed by the body and hence passes into the bladder, causing kidney stones.
  • Food sensitivity or intolerance: When you take antacids, food may not be broken completely and could leave the proteins undigested. This could trigger the immune system and turn the proteins into allergens, leading to food intolerances .
  • Alters iron absorption: Calcium in antacids can interfere with iron absorption . Therefore, if you are taking antacids regularly, then you need to take the iron supplements after a gap. If you take both together, it could hinder the absorption of iron and lead to iron deficiency.
  • Overly alkaline: Constant intake of antacids could make the body tissues alkaline. It provides the ideal environment for the formation of kidney stones.
  • An antacid is not the only remedy for heartburn and acidity. You may try some safe natural remedies too.

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