Can Taking Antacids for Years Hurt Me?

Monday, 29 Jul 2013 09:59 AM

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Question: I have been using an antacid for heartburn for more than 20 years. Could this have any negative long-term effects?

Dr. Hibberd’s answer:
Long-term use of an antacid like Pepcid AC is usually a clue you need a physician evaluation. Although the product can be safely used for a long time under a physician’s supervision, it’s important to first determine what’s causing the problem and whether there is a better treatment.
All drugs can have adverse side effects, and though antacids are commonly available without a prescription, your long-term use exceeds the period advised for self-management of heartburn. See your doctor and consider an endoscopic evaluation to check the health of your esophagus and stomach to be sure you don’t have a more serious problem.

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