Antacids perform a neutralization reaction, i.e. they buffer gastric acid, raising the pH to reduce acidity in the stomach. When gastric hydrochloric acid reaches the nerves in the gastrointestinal mucosa, they signal pain to the central nervous system. This happens when these nerves are exposed, as in peptic ulcers. The gastric acid may also reach ulcers in the esophagus or the duodenum
Antacids neutralize the acid in your stomach. They can provide fast, short-term relief. Many OTC drugs combine different antacids.H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. While they donít relieve symptoms right away, H2 blockers relieve symptoms for a longer period of time than antacids.Some products combine antacids and an H2 blocker. One example combines famotidine, calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide (brand name: Pepcid Complete). These combination medicines can relieve symptoms right away and the relief can last for many hours
Antacids are taken by mouth to relieve heartburn, the major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or acid indigestion. Treatment with antacids alone is symptomatic and only justified for minor symptoms. Peptic ulcers may require H2-receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors.The utility of many combinations of antacids is not clear, although the combination of magnesium and aluminum salts may prevent alteration of bowel habits.