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Monday, September 19, 2011


Antacids are weak basic drugs that react with gastric hydrochloric acid to form a salt and water thus reducing the intragastric acidity. They are used to treat peptic ulcer pain associated with hyperchlorhydria.

How do antacids act? Mechanism of action

1.      By chemically neutralizing hydrochloric acid
2.      By inhibiting pepsin at ph>3.5

After a meal about 45mEq/h of hydrochloric acid is secreted. A single dose of 156 mEq of antacid given after 1 hour of meal neutralizes gastric acidity for 2 hours. However the acid neutralizing ability of antacids depend upon different formulations.

Treatment of acid peptic disease:

Basically there are 4 approaches of treating a patient of acid peptic disease:

1.      Acid suppression by drugs that decrease acid secretion
2.      Cytoprotection(Mucosal defense enhancement)
3.      Neutralization of acid and pepsin by antacids(chemical neutralization)
4.      Eradication of helicobactor pylori by antimicrobial agents

Acid peptic diseases can be treated by using drugs of two kinds: