THURSDAY, Nov. 22 (HealthDay News) -- It might be a good idea to take stock of the heartburn products in your medicine cabinet before heading out to any holiday parties, an expert advises.
Despite your best intentions, you may end up overindulging in food and drinks and need something to deal with heartburn or bloating, said Gloria Grice, an associate professor of pharmacy practice at the St. Louis College of Pharmacy.
"Products with sodium bicarbonate or calcium carbonate work well for occasional heartburn," Grice said in a college news release. "They neutralize stomach acid, which is usually the cause of the burning sensation. And they can be taken as soon as symptoms begin or up to an hour after a meal that you think may cause heartburn."
Magnesium hydroxide, also known as milk of magnesia, is another option.
"It acts quickly and neutralizes acid," Grice said. "However, patients with kidney disease should avoid this product. Also, it can have a laxative effect for any patient who takes multiple doses in a day."
Aluminum hydroxide doesn't cause these side effects but can cause constipation if not taken with something that also contains magnesium hydroxide.
Grice offered some other suggestions:
The MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia has more about heartburn.
-- Robert Preidt
SOURCE: St. Louis College of Pharmacy, news release, Nov. 12, 2012
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