How Does Gaviscon Work to Relieve Heartburn?

Gaviscon is a brand name antacid medication that helps to relieve heartburn symptoms such as acid reflux, indigestion, and upset stomach. The active ingredients in Gaviscon are sodium alginate, aluminum hydroxide, and magnesium carbonate. These ingredients work together to create a barrier that prevents stomach acid from flowing back up into the esophagus, providing relief to the sufferer.

How does Gaviscon work?

Gaviscon works by reducing the acidity of the stomach contents that refluxes into the esophagus, which is the primary cause of heartburn. The mechanism of action is through the formation of a physical barrier in the stomach, which creates a raft or foam that floats on the stomach contents. This barrier helps to prevent the reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus, reducing the burning sensation caused by acid reflux.

The Active Ingredients of Gaviscon

As mentioned earlier, Gaviscon contains three active ingredients: sodium alginate, aluminum hydroxide, and magnesium carbonate.

  • Sodium Alginate: This is a naturally occurring substance found in seaweed that reacts with the stomach acid to form a gel-like substance. This gel floats on the stomach contents, thus preventing the reflux of acid-rich stomach contents into the esophagus.
  • Aluminum Hydroxide: This ingredient acts as an antacid by neutralizing the stomach acid, which helps to provide relief from heartburn symptoms.
  • Magnesium Carbonate: This ingredient helps to balance the pH levels of the stomach content and also acts as an antacid.

The Mechanism of Action of Gaviscon

The mechanism of action of Gaviscon involves the formation of a physical barrier in the stomach that prevents the reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. The sodium alginate, which is present in Gaviscon, reacts with the stomach acid to create a gel-like substance. This gel then forms a raft or foam that floats on the surface of the stomach contents, reducing the reflux of the acid-rich stomach contents into the esophagus. The aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate ingredients of Gaviscon also help to neutralize the stomach acid and create a soothing effect.

How to Use Gaviscon

If you are suffering from heartburn, it is essential to use Gaviscon correctly. Here are the steps on how to use Gaviscon:

  1. Take 2 to 4 teaspoons or tablets of Gaviscon after meals and at bedtime.
  2. If using tablets, chew the tablet carefully before swallowing it.
  3. If using liquid formulas, shake the bottle well before use.
  4. Follow your doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions carefully, and do not exceed the recommended dose.

Benefits of using Gaviscon

Gaviscon has several benefits when used correctly. Here are a few of them:

  • It provides fast relief from heartburn symptoms.
  • It does not contain sugar, making it suitable for people with diabetes.
  • It is available in different forms, such as tablets, liquids, and chewable tablets, making it easy to use according to your preference.
  • It is safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • It is available without a prescription, making it easily accessible for those who need it.

Side Effects of Gaviscon

As with most medications, Gaviscon may have side effects. Some common side effects include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Nausea

If you experience any unusual side effects, consult your healthcare professional immediately.

Precautions When Using Gaviscon

While Gaviscon is generally safe, there are some precautions you should take when using it. Here are a few:

  • Do not use Gaviscon if you are allergic to any of its ingredients.
  • Consult your doctor before using Gaviscon if you have any underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease or heart failure.
  • Consult your doctor before using Gaviscon if you are taking any other medications, as some medications may interact with it.

Gaviscon and Pregnancy

Gaviscon is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it’s still best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking it just to be safe.

FAQs on Gaviscon

1. How does Gaviscon work?

Gaviscon works by creating a physical barrier in the stomach that prevents the reflux of acid-rich stomach contents into the esophagus. The barrier is formed by the reaction of sodium alginate with stomach acid to form a gel that floats on the stomach contents. The aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate ingredients of Gaviscon also help to neutralize stomach acid and provide a soothing effect.

2. Is Gaviscon safe to use during pregnancy?

Yes, Gaviscon is safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, consult with your doctor or pharmacist before taking it to be safe.

3. What are the side effects of Gaviscon?

The common side effects of Gaviscon include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea. If you experience any unusual side effects, consult your healthcare professional immediately.

4. How should I use Gaviscon?

You should take 2 to 4 teaspoons or tablets of Gaviscon after meals and at bedtime. If using tablets, chew the tablet carefully before swallowing it. If using liquid formulas, shake the bottle well before use. Follow your doctor’s or pharmacist’s instructions carefully, and do not exceed the recommended dose.

5. Are there any precautions to take when using Gaviscon?

Do not use Gaviscon if you are allergic to any of its ingredients. Consult your doctor before using Gaviscon if you have any underlying health conditions, such as kidney disease or heart failure. Consult your doctor before using Gaviscon if you are taking any other medications, as some medications may interact with it.

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