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Compound alginate preparations

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VOL: 102, ISSUE: 20, PAGE NO: 36



- Acidex.



- Algicon.



- Gastrocote.



- Gaviscon.



- Gaviscon Advance.



- Gaviscon Infant.



- Peptac.



- Rennie Duo.



- Topal.



- A number of over-the-counter products are also available.



- Antacids that contain alginates form a raft floating on the surface of the stomach content and therefore reduce reflux and protect the oesophageal mucosa.



- Dyspepsia and gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.



- Compound alginates and proprietary indigestion preparations.



- Management of mild symptoms of oesophageal reflux.



- Hypersensitivity to any of the preparation’s ingredients.



- Salt-restricted diets.



- Stomach distension.



- Nausea.



- Taking these preparations at the same time as other medication may impair the medication’s absorption or damage its enteric coating.



- Tablets.



- Suspension.



- Liquid.



- Oral powder.



- Some preparations may have a high sugar content and are therefore not suitable for those with diabetes.



- Gastro-oesophageal reflux in infants is common and mostly resolves at 12-18 months. Before treatment with alginates is considered, management by changing posture and thickening feeds should be tried.



- The additional ingredients in these preparations varies considerably, so products should not be regarded as freely interchangeable.



- Liquid antacids have the advantage of very rapid onset of action and are often perceived to work more quickly. However, a comparison of the speed of tablet versus liquid antacids has not been clinically evaluated.



- Advice should be given about making lifestyle changes such as avoiding excess alcohol, weight loss, smoking cessation and raising the end of the bed.



- It is safe to stop alginate preparations as soon as symptoms have improved.



- Patients should feel the benefit of an alginate preparation in 10-20 minutes of taking it and the effect should last for around 3-4 hours.



- Tablet preparations need to be chewed rather than sucked to allow the raft-forming mechanism to work effectively.



- Advise patients that they can eat or drink as soon as reflux symptoms subside. However, this will lessen the benefit of the preparation as the reflux-preventing raft will be broken.



Nurses should refer to manufacturer’s summary of product characteristics and to appropriate local guidelines

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