VOL: 102, ISSUE: 20, PAGE NO: 36
- Gaviscon Advance.
- Gaviscon Infant.
- Rennie Duo.
- 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.
- Taking these preparations at the same time as other medication may impair the medication’s absorption or damage its enteric coating.
- 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