|Questions on health are answered by Dr Yasmin Neggers, PhD
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Over-the counter (OTC) products may bring adults short-term relief from stomach symptoms. Here are a few things that you must consider:
Read the package carefully before taking any OTC product
Follow the manufacturer's directions
See a doctor if your symptoms persist
For children, talk to their doctor before using these products
Some commonly available OTC Medications are the following and here is how they work:
Pepto-Bismol - treats indigestion, nausea, vomiting, heartburn and diarrhea. The medication decreases the flow of fluids and electrolytes into the bowel. Reduces inflammation in the intestine and may kill organisms that cause diarrhea.
Imodium A-D - treats diarrhea by slowing the movement of undigested food through the intestines.
Ex-lax - treats occasional constipation by stimulating the movement of food through the digestive system.
Alka-Seltzer - treats indigestion, heartburn, upset stomach, headache, body aches by neutralizing stomach acids. The product contains aspirin that relieves pain.
Tums - treats heartbur, indigestion, upset stomach by helping to reduce stomach acid.
Axid AR, Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB and Zantac 75 - all treat gastric ulcer, gastro-esaophgeal reflux disease by decreasing stomach acid concentration and volume.
Prilosec OTC - treats heartburn by blocking acid production
Gas-X - treats intestinal gas and bloating by decreasing the surface tension of gas bubbles so that they are more easily eliminated.
Beano - treats abdominal gas by breaking down complex sugars ( found in gassy foods) into easily digestible sugars before they reach teh colon.