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Drugs

Side Effects
Serious

Severe and continuing constipation, dizziness, lightheadedness, and heartbeat irregularities. Bone loss may occur, especially with prolonged use in dialysis patients. Hypophosphatemia (too little phosphate in the blood) may occur with prolonged use and a low-phosphate diet; symptoms include bone pain, fractures, muscle weakness, loss of appetite, mood changes, a general feeling of discomfort, swelling of the wrists and ankles, unusual weight loss, and anemia (decreased number of red blood cells; symptoms include weakness and fatigue).
Common

Chalky taste.
Less Common

Mild constipation, stomach cramps, speckling or whitish coloration of stools, increased thirst, nausea and vomiting.
Aluminum Salts


Drug Class:
Antacid

Available OTC?: Yes

Available Generic?: Yes

Amphojel 600 mg
(Wyeth-Ayerst)
Available In
Why Prescribed
How It Works
Range and Frequency
Onset of Effect
Duration of Action
Dietary Advice
Storage
Missed Dose
Stopping the Drug
Prolonged Use
Over 60
Driving and Hazardous Work
Alcohol
Pregnancy
Breast Feeding
Infants and Children
Special Concerns
Overdose Symptoms
What to Do
Drug Interactions
Food Interactions
Disease Interactions



Available In
Tablets, capsules, oral suspension, gel

Why Prescribed
To treat heartburn, acid indigestion, sour stomach, peptic ulcers, gastritis, esophagitis, and gastroesophageal reflux. May also be used to treat or prevent excess phosphate in the blood or to prevent urinary phosphate stones.

How It Works
Aluminum salts neutralize stomach acid and reduce the action of pepsin, a digestive enzyme. This provides symptomatic relief from excess stomach acid.

Range and Frequency
1 to 2 tablets or capsules or 5 to 30 ml suspension or gel as often as every two hours, up to 12 times per day. Take the dose between meals unless your doctor directs otherwise. When used as sole treatment of peptic ulcer or esophagitis, take it one and three hours after meals and at bedtime. Tablets should be chewed.

Onset of Effect
Within minutes.

Duration of Action
20 minutes to three hours.

Dietary Advice
Avoid a low-phosphate diet during prolonged use, unless your doctor directs otherwise. Some recommended high-phosphate foods include red meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, dairy products and nuts.

Storage
Store in a tightly sealed container away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep liquid forms refrigerated.

Missed Dose
Take it as soon as you remember. Do not double the next dose.

Stopping the Drug
Take as directed.

Prolonged Use
Do not take it for more than two weeks unless your doctor recommends otherwise.

Over 60
Constipation or intestinal trouble is more common in older persons. Older patients who have or who are at high risk for osteoporosis or other bone disorders should avoid frequent use of this medicine.

Driving and Hazardous Work
No special precautions are necessary.

Alcohol
Alcohol decreases the effect of antacids.

Pregnancy
Consult your doctor before taking aluminum salts while pregnant.

Breast Feeding
Aluminum-containing antacids pass into breast milk. It is unknown whether this poses any risk to nursing infants. Consult your doctor for advice.

Infants and Children
Antacids should not be dispensed to children under age six unless otherwise instructed by a physician.

Special Concerns
Use over-the-counter antacids only occasionally unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Persistent heartburn not readily relieved by antacids may be signaling a heart attack or another serious disorder. In such cases, seek medical help promptly.

Overdose Symptoms
Shallow breathing, dry mouth, constipation or diarrhea, confusion, headache, weakness or fatigue, bone pain, stupor.

What to Do
Seek medical assistance immediately.

Drug Interactions
Other medications may lose their effectiveness when taken within one hour of antacids. Consult your doctor for specific advice if you are taking amphetamines, bisacodyl, citrates, chenodiol, digoxin, enteric-coated medications, iron salts, isoniazid, ketoconazole, mecamylamine, methenamine, penicillamine, phosphates, nitrofurantoin, quinidine, salicylates, or tetracyclines.

Food Interactions
Taking an aluminum salt with food can decrease its activity. Wait at least 60 minutes after eating before taking it.

Disease Interactions
Do not take aluminum salts if you have any symptoms of appendicitis or an inflamed bowel (abdominal pain, cramps, soreness, bloating, nausea, vomiting). Aluminum salts are not recommended for Alzheimer's patients. Consult your doctor if you have chronic constipation, colitis, ileostomy, colostomy, intestinal or stomach blockage, bone fractures, diarrhea, kidney disease, hypophosphatemia, heart disease, liver disease, edema, stomach bleeding, intestinal bleeding.

Date Published: 04/13/2005
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