Maalox

Maalox - Use | Dose | Side Effects

Maalox exist in more than one pharmaceutical dose form, as follows:

  • Maalox Regular Strength which contains calcium carbonate at a dose of 600 mg
  • Maalox Plus, which contains three active substances, namely:
    • Magnesium hydroxide at a dose of 200 mg
    • Aluminium hydroxide at a dose of 200 mg
    • Dimethicone at a dose of 25 mg
  • Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength comprising two active ingredients:
    • Calcium carbonate at a dose of 1000 mg
    • Simethicone at a dose of 60 mg

This drug is manufactured in Switzerland by the company Novartis. It is used to treat heartburn and belongs to the group of antacids. Its mechanism of action is very simple. Magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide and calcium carbonate are the chemical compounds which are considered as a weak bases and if you remember your school chemistry, you'll know that the bases neutralize acids. Thus, these substances neutralize the acid which is found in the stomach (hydrochloric acid). Therefore, this drug is used to treat conditions caused by excess stomach acid. Considering the fact that some of its pharmaceutical forms contain simethicone (also known as dimethicone), this drug is also used to treat flatulence and dyspepsia.

Precautions

There have been reports of hypermagnesiemia (high levels of magnesium in the blood) in patients who have used antacids containing magnesium.1 If you notice symptoms of hypermagnesiemia, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Muscle changes

you must contact your doctor immediately.

Since these substances are mainly excreted via the kidney, this drug must not be used in patients who have severe kidney damage.

Maalox should not be used in the following conditions:

  • In children
  • In patients with cachexia (general weakness)
  • In patients with porphyria

If taken in large doses, aluminum can disrupt the metabolism of phosphorus and this leads to degradation / resorption of the bones. Bone resorption leads to release of calcium from the bones into the blood and then that calcium is transported to the kidneys, where it is eliminated through urine. Therefore, hypercalciuria (increased excretion of calcium in the urine) may also appear and all of this results in a weakening and softening of the bones (also known as osteomalacia).

Therefore, this drug should be used for the shortest possible time.

Use of Maalox during pregnancy and breastfeeding

Consult your doctor if you want to apply this medicine during pregnancy. Pharmaceutical forms containing aluminum and magnesium can be used during breastfeeding, because very small amounts of these compounds are excreted into breast milk.

Dosage

This drug exists in the form of chewable tablets and syrups.

It should be administered 20-60 minutes after meals and before going to bed.

It should not be used longer than 10 days.

It should not be used in children.

The recommended dose for Maalox Plus chewable tablets is two tablets four times per day. The maximum daily dose is 16 chewable tablets.

Interactions

This medicine may reduce the absorption of many drugs and because of that it should be administered at intervals of at least 2 hours after or before other medications. It is best, in general, to completely avoid concomitant use with other medicinal products.

Side effects

Maalox may cause the following side effects:

  • Digestive disorders (nausea, diarrhea or constipation)
  • Hypermagnesiemia
  • Hypophosphatemia
  • Hypercalciuria
  • Osteomalacia
  • Angioedema
  • Anaphylaxis
  • Rash

References

  1. NCBI link