Pros: Effective, palatable, easy to use, affordable.
Cons: Extra sodium intake.
Several years ago I found myself diagnosed with Gastric Esophogeal Reflux Disease (also known as GERD). The indigestion I felt was becoming worse and keeping me up at nights in particular. It was also difficult to determine whether the pain I felt was heartburn or heart pain. I eventually had some tests in March to determine whether this was a malignant (cancer) or benign (non-cancer) condition. Fortunately, the biopsy was clear and a few more changes to my eating habits and the addition of a new medication seemed to improve the condition rapidly. After a little while I began to have some heartburn again, so I called my doctor. He directed me, when I had these occurrences, to take Gaviscon. For me, this was just the right thing to do. The discomfort gradually became less frequent and responded favorably to the Gaviscon Extra Strength Chewable Antacid Tablets when taken as directed.
The following information is given by Gaviscon (a Smith Kline Beecham PLC
Product) on the website http://www.gaviscon.com/info.htm
In addition to the acid-neutralizing ingredients found in Gaviscon?, all Gaviscon? products contain "alginate" (alginic acid sodium bicarbonate). When chewed (Gaviscon tablets) or swallowed (Gaviscon liquid), the combination of the alginic acid and bicarbonate creates a foam barrier or "raft" which floats on the stomach acid. This raft foam barrier helps reduce the number of reflux episodes and provides longer lasting action against "heartburn" than ordinary antacid products. If reflux occurs, this raft foam barrier is the first to contact the esophageal mucosa, and thus provides protection against the acid-pepsin gastric contents. In fact, Gaviscon? helps keep acid down in the stomach, where it belongs.
* Note - While the antacid materials are considered the "actives", an "inactive" ingredient is what makes Gaviscon? different. This ingredient, listed as alginic acid or sodium alginate, creates the foam barrier, which can actually reduce reflux episodes.
NDA - Gaviscon? Tablets are covered by a New Drug Application (NDA) which allows an indication for "temporary relief of heartburn due to reflux." The other products in the Gaviscon? line (Gaviscon? Liquid, Gaviscon? Extra Strength Liquid and Gaviscon? Extra Strength Tablets) are covered by the OTC monograph for antacid products. Indications allowed by the monograph include: relieve heartburn, sour stomach, acid indigestion and upset stomach.
Gaviscon? Extra Strength Tablets consists of the following ingredients:
Aluminum Hydroxide 160mg & Magnesium Carbonate 105mg.
Alginic acid, calcium stearate, flavor, sodium bicarbonate and sucrose. May contain stearic acid. Contains sorbitol or mannitol. May contain starch.
Gaviscon claims to relieve acid indigestion, heartburn, sour stomach and upset stomach associated with these symptoms. It is promoted to be fast and long-lasting antacid.
There are the routine myriads of warnings found on almost every over-the-counter drug. As with many other products, you should always check with your doctor before using Gaviscon Extra Strength Chewable Antacid Tablets since it may interact with other prescription medications. Another reason to discuss this with your doctor is if you are currently on a sodium-restricted diet.
Never take more than 16 tablets in any day. Also, if your symptoms occur for six months, you should definitely contact your physician.
Keep out of reach of children.
The recommended reaction to indigestion would be to chew 2-4 tablets four times per day or as directed by your doctor. If you are having recurring symptoms, you should probably take a couple after any meal or at bedtime. The tablets do work more effectively if followed by a full glass of water. DO NOT SWALLOW WHOLE.
Buying Gaviscon Extra Strength Chewable Antacid Tablets
Gaviscon is available in most drugstores and large super markets. The tablets (which are large) most often are in containers of 100 chewable tablets.
Once I received the good news that the pain and constant sore throat was indeed not cancer, my stress level lowered quite a bit. That was the good news. The bad news was that I still have the GERD and frequently have indigestion, which seems to occur more often at night. It wakes me from a sound sleep and sometimes I get choked. It also makes my throat hurt. So, I keep these bad boys next to my bed and carry some with me. Now, when my sleep is interrupted I can just reach for the tablets, pop a couple and chew them up. I always have water at my bedside, so its no problem to follow them with a cup of water.
As far as results, these have worked for me since I began using them. They relieve the pain very quickly, but do not relieve the pain in my throat, which is not their purpose. The reason my throat hurts, is due to the backup of the gastric juices. The new prescription medication he has given me is quite effective. Add to that the occasional use of the Gaviscon and things are pretty well under control.
I find the tablets not to be too bad, in fact, I sort of like the taste. To me, they have a sweet sort of minty taste. They chew easily and so you wont be surprise, they sort of grow in your mouth as you chew them. Washing them down with a glass of water is no problem to me. I nearly always get almost instant relief. Besides relieving the pain of the heartburn, they relieve any bloating which also helps the discomfort.
The tablets cost me about $8.98 for a bottle of 100 (by the way, that is a screw on lid). I find this reasonable for the amount of relief it provides.