Gaviscon: Uses, Presentations, Mechanism of Action, Administration, Side Effects and Precautions

It can be used to treat  acid reflux and indigestion.

This medicine forms a protective coating that floats on the contents of your stomach.

Gaviscon contains an alginate, which is a type of medicine that is particularly effective in relieving acid reflux.

Alginates are not systemic (they are not in the bloodstream), they work faster than H2 blockers, and they last longer than traditional antacids .

This prevents stomach acid from escaping. Gaviscon also contains an antacid that neutralizes excess stomach acid and reduces pain and discomfort.

Unlike other medications that simply reduce or inhibit stomach acid production, Gaviscon gets to the root of the problem by forming a foamy protective barrier between the stomach and the esophagus (throat).

This barrier helps prevent stomach acid from splashing into your esophagus, providing fast, effective, and long-lasting relief from acid reflux and heartburn.

Gaviscon presentations

Gaviscon comes in tablet or liquid form in bottles or sachets. It also comes as a powder for babies and children under 2 years of age. You can buy Gaviscon in pharmacies and supermarkets. Some types of Gaviscon are available by prescription.

Gaviscon tablets

Gaviscon regular strength tablets

Chewable tablets that provide fast and long-lasting relief from acid reflux and heartburn, day or night. Available in fruity flavor.

Gaviscon Extra Strength Tablets

Chewable tablets that provide quick, extra strong and long-lasting relief from acid reflux and heartburn, day or night. Flavors include fruit, orange blast, caramel and mint with refreshing action.

Gaviscon relief tablets max

Chewable tablets that provide fast, super strong and long-lasting relief from acid reflux and heartburn, day or night. Flavors include berry (18 and 50 ct) and mint (50 ct) with refreshing action.

Gaviscon in pocket bags

For quick and long-lasting heartburn relief on the go, gaviscon pocket bags fit easily in your pocket or purse, when you need them most!

You can find bags of gaviscon at your local drug or drug store. Available in fruity flavor.

Gaviscon in liquid presentation

Gaviscon soothing liquid

Gaviscon’s unique soothing liquid formula provides fast, soothing and long-lasting relief from acid reflux and heartburn, day or night. Available in frozen fruit and mint with refreshing flavors.

Gaviscon key facts

It is usual to take Gaviscon after meals and at bedtime. Do not give Gaviscon to a child younger than 12 years old, unless your doctor prescribes it. It is safe to take acetaminophen at the same time as Gaviscon, but do not have ibuprofen or aspirin.

If you bought gaviscon without a prescription, do not take it for more than 7 days without consulting a doctor. There are different types of Gaviscon. Ask your doctor or pharmacist which one is best for you.

How the gaviscon works

Gaviscon is a medicine that relieves reflux. It is important to know that the Gaviscon formula varies from country to country. The US version is not very useful. The formula sold in the UK is much more effective against reflux.

Gaviscon’s unique formula works quickly to stop acid reflux and heartburn where they start! The active ingredient in gaviscon tablets and liquids triggers the foaming action that you may feel when you chew the tablets.

Gaviscon liquid foam is activated when it comes in contact with stomach acid. Once ingested, the foam creates a protective barrier between the upper part of your stomach and your esophagus (throat).

The foam prevents backflow because it acts as a physical barrier. Stomach juices and gases must pass through the Gaviscon layer before they can re-infiltrate the esophagus. As a result, reflux is less frequent and less severe.

This barrier prevents stomach acid from splashing (refluxing) into your esophagus, essentially performing the function of your lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Blocking acid reflux, in turn, prevents the painful sensation of heartburn.

Some of the reflux will still make it through the foam. However, alginates have a second interesting effect: they filter back flow.

In reflux, it is not only acid that causes damage. Bile and the stomach enzyme pepsin also play a role. Pepsin, especially, is infamous as the leading cause of all airway reflux symptoms like hoarseness, chronic cough, and asthma .

The alginates filter parts of those harmful substances out of the reflux. The effect of the filter will be strongest immediately after taking gaviscon and will then diminish within a few hours.

That is why you should take the medicine about 30 minutes after eating. This is when stomach enzymes are most active and reflux is most likely.

Several studies have shown that alginates can reduce the classic symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, such as heartburn. Gaviscon contains alginates in a highly concentrated form.

A smaller number of studies specifically looked at Gaviscon. This study has shown that medication reduces GERD symptoms more effectively than placebo.

Another study showed that gaviscon can be combined with an acid blocker medication for even greater relief from gastroesophageal reflux disease than with acid blockers alone.

Take Gaviscon to treat acid reflux and heartburn at the first sign of symptoms. Gaviscon’s double action goes to work in two ways:

Effectively neutralizes stomach acid. It also forms a physical layer, or a protective barrier, over the stomach contents to help prevent acid reflux into the food pipe.

The dual action Gaviscon therefore offers double relief against heartburn and indigestion. Plus, not only does it go to work instantly, but it also lasts up to twice as long as antacids.

So, as you can see, stomach acid is a vital part of the digestive process. He is primarily our friend, but even if he becomes our enemy, there are effective steps that can be taken to help.

All information presented is not intended to diagnose or prescribe. Gaviscon for heartburn and indigestion.

Always read the label. If the symptoms are severe or prolonged, you should consult a doctor or pharmacist. Always talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medicine.

Who can and cannot take Gaviscon?

Gaviscon can be taken by adults, including pregnant and lactating women. If your baby or child has reflux or indigestion problems, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. Treat them only with Gaviscon if your doctor prescribes it.

To make sure a particular medicine is safe for you, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have:

  • You had an allergic reaction to Gaviscon or other medicines in the past.
  • You have been recommended to eat a diet low in calcium or low in salt (low in sodium).
  • Kidney or heart disease
  • A rare inherited disease called phenylketonuria.
  • Low levels of phosphate in the blood.

How and when to take Gaviscon

It is usual to take Gaviscon up to 4 times a day. It is best taken after meals and before bedtime. This is usually when the pain and discomfort is worst. If your doctor has prescribed Gaviscon for you, take it when directed.

You can get Gaviscon in tablet form. You can also get it as a liquid in bottles or sachets. It is presented in powder for babies and children under 2 years of age. Mix the powder with cold boiled water or formula milk.

The dose depends on the type of Gaviscon you are taking. Follow the directions on the package or, if your doctor prescribed it, take the dosage that is prescribed for you.

If you are using the liquid form of this medicine, shake the bottle well before pouring in each dose. Refrigerating the suspension can improve the taste. Do not freeze. The liquid form works best if it is taken without other liquids. You can mix your dose with a little water if necessary.

If your acid problems persist or worsen after using this product for 1 week, or if you think you have a serious medical problem, seek medical attention immediately.

If you use this medicine regularly every day for more than 2 weeks, you may have a medical problem that needs different treatment. Ask your doctor if this is the right medicine for you.

When to take it

If you experience occasional mild heartburn or indigestion, only take Gaviscon when needed. If you often have heartburn or indigestion, take Gaviscon regularly after meals and before bed, up to 4 times a day, whether or not you have symptoms.

If you have been taking Gaviscon for more than 7 days and you still feel uncomfortable or in pain, talk to your doctor.

How long should I take Gaviscon

Depending on the reason you are taking Gaviscon, you may only need it when you have symptoms. Or you may need to take it for a few weeks or months, or for many years. Talk to your doctor about what is best for you.

What if I forget to take it?

If you usually take Gaviscon regularly, but you miss a dose, do not double the dose the next time. Just skip the missed dose and take the next dose as normal.

If you frequently miss doses, it may help to set an alarm to remind you. You can also ask your pharmacist for advice on other ways to help you remember to take your medicine.

What if I drink too much?

Taking too much Gaviscon by accident can cause side effects like wind and bloating (when your stomach feels tight and gassy). This is unlikely to cause you any harm. If you are concerned, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Gaviscon side effects

Small bowel disorders are possible. It seems to be more common among people who already have stomach and bowel problems. I’m not sure if this is really a Gaviscon effect or if something new would upset your digestion.

Just give it a try to see how you react to it. Gaviscon is a very safe drug. Most people who take it do not have any side effects, as Gaviscon is generally notable for its low side effect profile.

It simply creates a physical foam barrier over the stomach contents when ingested.

It does not need to enter the bloodstream. Most pharmaceuticals cause problems because they are distributed throughout your body, which means that they cause some chaos in your biochemistry.

Unlike the American version, Gaviscon does not significantly neutralize stomach acid. It is not an antacid. You need a little stomach acid to digest food properly.

If you neutralize too much acid, it can relieve heartburn in the short term, but it can make your digestion worse in the long term. If you have a side effect, it is likely to be mild and will go away when you stop taking Gaviscon.

Some types of Gaviscon may make you sick or cause vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea because of its ingredients. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you notice any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.

Severe allergic reaction to Gaviscon

In very rare cases, it is possible to have a severe allergic reaction ( anaphylaxis ) to Gaviscon. This happens in less than 1 in 10,000 patients. Contact a doctor immediately if:

  • You have a skin rash that may include itching, redness, swelling, blistering, or peeling.
  • It’s hissing.
  • It contracts in the chest or throat.
  • You have trouble breathing or speaking.
  • Your mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat begin to swell.

These are warning signs of a serious allergic reaction. A severe allergic reaction is an emergency.

These are not all the side effects of Gaviscon. For a complete list, see the leaflet inside the drug package.

Pregnancy and breastfeeding

Gaviscon is generally safe to take during pregnancy and while breastfeeding. Tell your doctor if you are trying to get pregnant, are already pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

If you are pregnant, it is best to treat indigestion without taking a medicine. For example, it can help:

  • Eat smaller meals more often.
  • Avoid fatty or spicy foods.
  • Raise the head of your bed a little.

If this doesn’t work, your doctor or midwife may recommend a medicine like Gaviscon.

Gaviscon and breastfeeding

Gaviscon is safe to take while you are breastfeeding. However, if your baby is premature or has health problems, check with your doctor first.

Precautions with other medications

Some medicines should not be taken at the same time as Gaviscon. This is because medications can interfere with each other. Do not take Gaviscon within 2 hours before or after taking:

  • Antihistamines .
  • Some antibiotics (quinolones and tetracyclines).
  • Iron tablets.
  • Medicines to treat yeast infections.
  • Beta-blockers (for heart problems).
  • Penicillamine (for rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Steroids (for inflammatory and autoimmune disorders).
  • Antipsychotic medications (for mental health problems such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia).
  • Chloroquine (for malaria).
  • Estramustine (for prostate cancer).
  • Bisphosphonates such as alendronic acid (to treat and prevent bone problems such as osteoporosis).
  • Levothyroxine.
  • A protein pump inhibitor (ppi) such as omeprazole and lansoprazole.

It is safe to take acetaminophen at the same time as Gaviscon. Do not take other pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, with Gaviscon without first checking with your doctor or pharmacist. These can make your symptoms worse.

Mixing Gaviscon with herbal remedies and supplements

There are no known problems with taking herbal remedies and supplements together with Gaviscon.

For your safety, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including herbal remedies, vitamins, or supplements.

Why take gaviscon

If you think you may be experiencing acid reflux (perhaps by now you have recognized the symptoms with which you had not associated it), why don’t you consider that Gaviscon can help you? Its dual effect can help relieve associated heartburn or indigestion.

The Gaviscon gets to work quickly. It neutralizes acid and also forms a raft, or layer, over the contents of your stomach. This helps physically keep stomach acid in your stomach where it belongs.

Gaviscon also lasts up to twice as long as other acid reflux treatments known as antacids.

So as you can see, there may be more symptoms associated with acid reflux than you previously thought. The long-term effects of acid on the sensitive lining of your esophagus can have additional consequences if left unchecked or untreated.

So if you think you are suffering from some or all of these symptoms, but are not sure whether they are acid reflux or not, always consider getting medical advice.