How Do I Choose the Best Antacid for Heartburn?

Patti Kate

When choosing an antacid for heartburn, your options include chewable tablets, time released pills, and liquid antacids. You can consider whether instant relief is needed, whether you need to be able to use the antacid on the go, or if you need an antacid that lasts for a long time. It's also important to look at the ingredients in antacids, as some are not suitable for those with certain medical conditions.

An antacid.
An antacid.

If you require antacid relief on the go, chewable tablets that come in a roll can be convenient. These small packs can easily be placed in a purse or pocket. Time-released tablets may work for up to 12 hours, allowing you the freedom of not having to take frequent doses. If you have trouble swallowing pills or prefer a medication that does not have to dissolve in the stomach, you may want to choose a liquid antacid for heartburn.


If you are also experiencing diarrhea, avoid antacids that contain any type of magnesium. Taking magnesium in excess may cause loose or watery stools, which may lead to dehydration. Look for ingredients such as aluminum hydroxide when selecting your antacid for heartburn.

Drinking a mixture of baking soda and water can help with heartburn.
Drinking a mixture of baking soda and water can help with heartburn.

An antacid for heartburn may contain an added ingredient that can help reduce symptoms of gas. Simethicone is typically the ingredient added to most antacids to control flatulence. This may be helpful after consuming a meal that makes you feel bloated. Keep in mind that any antacid for heartburn is not intended for continual use. Antacids should be used as directed and only as needed.

A time-released antacid for heartburn may be purchased over the counter. Try a medication referred to as a Histamine 2 (H2) blocker if you want extended relief. If you experience any side effects such as stomach pain or vomiting, stop using at once and consult a physician.

When heartburn symptoms are severe or recurring, it might be best to see a physician for a complete examination and evaluation. Some cases of chronic heartburn may be caused by a serious medical condition such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD causes symptoms of painful heartburn, as stomach contents and acid leaks up to the esophagus.

If you find yourself using over the counter antacid medications frequently and with little relief, your health care provider may recommend a prescription antacid for heartburn. Prescription antacids can reduce stomach acid that leads to heartburn, while it facilitates healing.

Before buying over the counter antacids for heartburn and acid indigestion, read the packaging. Some antacids may interact with prescription medications, or should not be taken by individuals with certain medical conditions. If in doubt, ask your health care provider or pharmacist for advice. In addition, if you suspect you could be pregnant, do not use any antacid without consulting your doctor.

The best antacid for heartburn can depend on whether instant relief is more important than long-lasting relief.
The best antacid for heartburn can depend on whether instant relief is more important than long-lasting relief.

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Discussion Comments


@ddljohn-- I have never tried a time released antacid pill before so I have no idea about how effective they are. You should probably ask your doctor or a pharmacist for the best advice.

I personally use a liquid antacid that mostly contains sodium alginate. It also has less amounts of potasium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate. This product works very well for my heartburn. I too have tried many tablet and liquid antacids and this is the best one in my opinion.

Having said that, different antacids work for different people. For example, if you have high blood pressure, it might not be safe for you to use an antacid which contains sodium. So please talk to your doctor and always check the ingredients list of antacids before buying them.


I use a calcium based tablet antacid right now for acidity and heartburn but I'm not very satisfied. It doesn't work well and I need at least three tablets to notice any difference. Should I switch to a different type of antacid? Are the liquid antacids generally better than the tablets? And has anyone here tried a time released antacid?

I really need some advice because my heartburn has been worse than usual lately.


In the old days when antacids weren't widely available, people would mix baking soda and water and drink it as an antacid. Many people still use this as a heartburn remedy and it's quite effective.

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