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All about: Maalox

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Brand names: Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums

Why is Maalox prescribed?

Available under a number of brand names, antacids are used to relieve the uncomfortable symptoms of acid indigestion, heartburn, gas, and sour stomach.

Most important fact about Maalox

Do not take antacids for longer than 2 weeks or in larger than recommended doses unless directed by your doctor. If your symptoms persist, contact your doctor. Antacids should be used only for occasional relief of stomach upset.

How should you take Maalox?

If you take a chewable antacid tablet, chew thoroughly before swallowing so that the medicine can work faster and be more effective. Allow Mylanta Soothing Lozenges to completely dissolve in your mouth. Shake liquids well before using.

--If you miss a dose...

Take Maalox only as needed or as instructed by your doctor.

--Storage instructions...

Store at room temperature. Keep liquids tightly closed and protect from freezing.

What side effects may occur?

When taken as recommended, antacids are relatively free of side effects. Occasionally, one of the following symptoms may develop.

  • More common side effects may include:
    Chalky taste, constipation, diarrhea, increased thirst, stomach cramps

Why should Maalox not be prescribed?

Do not take antacids if you have signs of appendicitis or an inflamed bowel; symptoms include stomach or lower abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, soreness, nausea, or vomiting.

If you are sensitive to or have ever had an allergic reaction to aluminum, calcium, magnesium, or simethicone, do not take an antacid containing these ingredients. If you are elderly and have bone problems or if you are taking care of an elderly person with Alzheimer's disease, do not use an antacid containing aluminum.

Special warnings about Maalox

If you are taking any prescription drug, check with your doctor before you take an antacid. Also, tell your doctor or pharmacist about any drug allergies or medical conditions you have.

If you have kidney disease, do not take an antacid containing aluminum or magnesium. If you are on a sodium-restricted diet, do not take Gaviscon without checking first with your doctor or pharmacist.

Possible food and drug interactions when taking Maalox

If antacids are taken with certain other medications, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining antacids with the following:

Cellulose sodium phosphate (Calcibind)
Isoniazid (Rifamate)
Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Mecamylamine (Inversine)
Methenamine (Mandelamine)
Sodium polystyrene sulfonate resin (Kayexalate)
Tetracycline antibiotics (Achromycin, Minocin)

Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

As with all medications, ask your doctor or health care professional whether it is safe for you to use antacids while you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

Recommended dosage

ADULTS

Take antacids according to the following schedules, or as directed by your doctor.

Gaviscon and Gaviscon Extra Strength Relief Formula Chewable Tablets

Chew 2 to 4 tablets 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime or as needed. Follow with half a glass of water or other liquid. Do not swallow the tablets whole.

Gaviscon Extra Strength Relief Formula Liquid

Take 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime. Follow with half a glass of water or other liquid.

Gaviscon Liquid

Take 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls 4 times a day after meals and at bedtime. Follow with half a glass of water.

Maalox Antacid Caplets

Take 1 caplet as needed. Swallow the tablets whole; do not chew them.

Maalox Heartburn Relief Chewable Tablets

Chew 2 to 4 tablets after meals and at bedtime. Follow with half a glass of water or other liquid.

Maalox Heartburn Relief Suspension, Maalox Magnesia and Alumina Oral Suspension, and Extra Strength Maalox Antacid Plus Anti-Gas Suspension

Take 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls 4 times a day, 20 minutes to 1 hour after meals and at bedtime.

Maalox Plus Chewable Tablets

Chew 1 to 4 tablets 4 times a day, 20 minutes to 1 hour after meals and at bedtime.

Extra Strength Maalox Antacid Plus Anti-Gas Chewable Tablets

Chew 1 to 3 tablets 20 minutes to 1 hour after meals and at bedtime.

Mylanta and Mylanta Double Strength Liquid and Chewable Tablets Antacid/Anti-Gas

Take 2 to 4 teaspoonfuls of liquid or chew 2 to 4 tablets between meals and at bedtime.

Mylanta Gelcaps

Take 2 to 4 gelcaps as needed.

Mylanta Soothing Lozenges

Dissolve 1 lozenge in your mouth. If needed, follow with a second. Repeat as needed.

Rolaids, Calcium-Rich/Sodium Free Rolaids, and Extra Strength Rolaids

Chew 1 or 2 tablets as symptoms occur. Repeat hourly if symptoms return.

Tums, Tums E-X, and Tums Anti-Gas Formula

Chew 1 or 2 tablets as symptoms occur. Repeat hourly if symptoms return. You may also hold the tablet between your gum and cheek and let it dissolve gradually.

CHILDREN

Do not give to children under 6 years of age, unless directed by your doctor.

Overdosage

Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.

  • For aluminum-containing antacids (Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta)
    Bone pain, constipation (severe and continuing), feeling of discomfort (continuing), loss of appetite (continuing), mood or mental changes, muscle weakness, swelling of wrists or ankles, weight loss (unusual)
  • For calcium-containing antacids (Mylanta, Rolaids, Tums)
    Constipation (severe and continuing), difficult or painful urination, frequent urge to urinate, headache (continuing), loss of appetite (continuing), mood or mental changes, muscle pain or twitching, nausea or vomiting, nervousness or restlessness, slow breathing, unpleasant taste, unusual tiredness or weakness
  • For magnesium-containing antacids (Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta)
    Difficult or painful urination, dizziness or light-headedness, irregular heartbeat, mood or mental changes, unusual tiredness or weakness

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