Which Antacid Works the Best? Essay

1184 Words 5 Pages
Which Antacid Works the Best?
     Heartburn is a condition characterized by a burning feeling in the chest and a sour or bitter taste in the mouth. Heartburn usually develops when the acidic contents of the stomach flow back, or regurgitate, into the esophagus, the muscular tube that carries food from the throat to the stomach. Approximately one in ten adults experience heartburn once a week. Heartburn is more common in pregnant women because of the pressure the expanding uterus exerts on the stomach.
When you swallow, the lower esophageal sphincter, a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your esophagus, relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. When it relaxes at the wrong
…show more content…
Several of these medicines are now sold over the counter; others are available only by prescription.
Antacids are medicines that neutralize hydrochloric acid in the stomach, thus, relieving heartburn. Although there are other ingredients in the stomach, antacids only react with hydrochloric acid. They are able to do this because they are bases. Water’s pH is 7. Bases have a higher pH, and acids have a lower pH. Bases, which have a high pH, cause an acid’s pH to rise, thus bringing the pH closer to water. The mixture that results is one of salt and water. Antacids differ in their reaction time, neutralizing capacity, and side effects. For the most part, liquid antacids are more efficient than tablets.
There are four main different types of ingredients in antacids. Each differs in reaction time and power. They are Aluminum hydroxide (Al (OH3)), Calcium carbonate (CaCO3), Magnesium hydroxide (Mg (OH2)), and Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3).
Aluminum hydroxide preparations vary in their solubility and neutralizing ability. The aluminum chloride salt that is formed in the reaction with gastric acid is insoluble and can cause constipation. Tetracycline is absorbed from this antacid also. Phosphate also can also be rendered in absorbable due to salt formation and cause a bone condition called osteomalacia.
Calcium carbonate is a very effective antacid and reacts more slowly than sodium bicarbonate. Some ten percent of the ionic calcium is absorbed and may