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Maalox helps relieve symptoms of excessive stomach acidity in patients with indigestion, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or stomach or duodenal ulcers. In large doses, it can act as a laxative. The trademark is owned by Novartis International AG, and was first used commercially in 1949.
Some may find certain Maalox medications, such as Maalox Multi-Action, to be a successful anti-diarrhea treatment due to the aluminum hydroxide content, which in normal situations has a tendency to result in constipation. Maalox may also be used to treat nausea and stomach cramps associated with dyspepsia, diarrhea, or constipation.
Maalox Regular Strength chewable tablets contain 600 mg of calcium carbonate whereas Maalox Extra Strength + Anti-Gas tablets contain 1000 mg of calcium carbonate as well as 60 mg of simethicone.
Maalox is used to treat moderate dyspepsia, which includes symptoms of a burning sensation in the stomach or chest area, bloating, and/or gas pain, especially occurring after meals. It is used in combination with oxycodone to treat esophageal pain in cancer therapy patients. It is also a common component of a GI cocktail used in emergency rooms.
Maalox is used in scientific research to simulate for silt/mud/soil in water, along with other dissolved particulates. The particulate size exceeds 11 micrometres.
Maalox can be used as a standalone antacid treatment or in conjunction with prescription strength medication such as proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers.
Maalox generally doesn’t produce serious side effects in individuals who use it for less than two weeks, but some mild side effects may appear. Possible side effects of Maalox include nausea, diarrhea, constipation, and headaches. These symptoms generally go away without further treatment. It may be necessary to contact a doctor if these symptoms become severe or persist for long periods of time. Maalox has been linked to phosphate deficiencies in some individuals as a result of the aluminum binding to phosphate in the stomach. This causes the body to flush out this important chemical which can lead to a deficiency.
Women who are pregnant can, with the permission of a health care provider, use this product as the aluminum content is deemed safe for the developing or nursing child. Individuals who suffer from kidney issues, however, should not take this product unless advised to do so by a doctor.
In February 2012, Novartis Consumer Health announced that they were temporarily voluntarily suspending operations at the Novartis Consumer Health Lincoln facility that produces Maalox® as well as suspending shipments. As of March 2013 there has been no update.