Sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate are antacids, a class of medicines that relieves heartburn, sour stomach, or acid indigestion by neutralizing excess stomach acid. Sodium alginate is a supplement made from seaweeds that is included in some antacids because the gel it forms can help protect your esophagus from stomach acid.

Treatment of symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (GERD), e.g., acid regurgitation, heartburn and indigestion due to reflux of stomach content.

Sodium bicarbonate should be used with caution in: patients with kidney or liver problems, heart failure, high blood pressure, or those on a low sodium diet. It should not be used in persons with allergy to sodium bicarbonate or to any other ingredient in the product.

Pregnant women should avoid taking products with sodium alginate. If your esophagus is inflamed, you should also avoid using sodium alginate.

Common side effects of sodium bicarbonate include stomach cramps and flatulence. Rarely, it may cause allergic (hypersensitivity) reactions (i.e. rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing).

A serious allergic reaction to sodium bicarbonate is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), dizziness, trouble breathing.

Calcium carbonate can cause constipation, gas, and burping. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.


Sodium alginate can cause bloating, diarrhea and nausea.


Before using sodium bicarbonate, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially any of the following: any kidney or liver problems, or heart conditions such as heart failure, history of high blood pressure, or if you are on a low sodiumd iet. Before having surgery, tell your doctor or dentist that you are taking this medication.

Sodium bicarbonate is safe for pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers.

Before taking calcium carbonate, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients (such as milk or dairy products found in some brands), which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.

This product should not be used if you have certain medical conditions. Before using this product, consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have: high calcium levels (hypercalcemia), stomach/intestinal blockage.

If you have any of the following health problems, consult your doctor or pharmacist before using this product: kidney disease (e.g., kidney stones).

Some products may contain aspartame. If you have phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires you to restrict your intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine), consult your doctor or pharmacist about using this drug safely.

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.

This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.



Some products that may interact with calcium carbonate include: digoxin, certain phosphate binders (such as calcium acetate), phosphate supplements (such as potassium phosphate), sodium polystyrene sulfonate.

Calcium carbonate can decrease the absorption of other drugs. Some examples of affected drugs include tetracycline antibiotics (such as doxycycline, minocycline), bisphosphonates (such as alendronate), estramustine, iron, levothyroxine, pazopanib, strontium, quinolone antibiotics (such as ciprofloxacin, levofloxacin), among others. Therefore, separate your doses of these medications as far as possible from your doses of calcium carbonate. Ask your doctor or pharmacist about how long you should wait between doses and for help finding a dosing schedule that will work with all your medications.

Don’t take sodium alginate at the same time as other antacid medications. Sodium alginate may interact with certain medications, including digoxin, levothyroxine, certain antibiotics, iron supplements and certain osteoporosis prevention medications.

If overdose is suspected, bring the victim to the nearest hospital right away. Symptoms of an overdose may include: symptoms of high sodium levels in the blood (hypernatraemia), which may include drowsiness and irritability, fever, rapid breathing (tachypnoea) and increased depth of breathing (hyperpnoea). In more severe instances of acute sodium overload signs of dehydration and fits may occur.

Available brands:

  • Gaviscon (Reckitt Benckiser)
  • Gaviscon Double Action (Reckitt Benckiser)

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