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A 24-year-old member asked:

how effective and safe are pepto-bismol and tums (calcium carbonate)? how do they work?

2 doctor answers7 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ronald Kline
Specializes in Colon and Rectal Surgery
Fairly safe: Both are reasonably safe for short term use. However, long term use can lead to problems. Both work primarily by coating the stomach to help acid effects. With prolonged use the normal bacteria in the GI tract can be depleted and abnormal bacteria can overgrow. Alos prolonged use of peptobismol can cause discoloration of the intestinal tract along with elevated levels of bismuth.
Dr. Donald Colantino
Internal Medicine 61 years experience
Instructions: Follow instructions for these products. Tums contain calcium and too much is dangerous. They provide only temporary relief of heartburn by neutralizing stomach acid. Pepto bismol contains bismuth which reduces diarrhea. It may turn your BM's blackish but has little other side effects. Follow directions!

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Similar questions

A 36-year-old member asked:

Is it safe to take antacids if i'm pregnant?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. David Fein
Specializes in Preventive Medicine
Yes: Classic antacids, whether tablets (tums) or liquids (maalox) are certainly safe and sometimes a "life-saver" in the third trimester! however, don't hesitate to mention your symptoms to your ob; worsening heartburn or reflux can be treated or prevented with prescription antacids and ppis (proton pump inhibitors) like Omeprazole (prilosec).
A 34-year-old member asked:

My neck hurts form trying to elevate my head at night, can I take an anti-acid instead?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Jeff Livingston
Obstetrics and Gynecology 22 years experience
Yes: Antacids like Tums are a good choice for heartburn in pregnancy. They neutralize the acid and are good when you have the symptoms. If you have to take them often though taking a preventative medicine daily will be helpful. Omeprazole, Prevacid and Zantac (ranitidine) are good choices. These prevent heartburn before you feel the symptoms.
A 35-year-old member asked:

Do men need calcium supplement?

2 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Quang Nguyen
Specializes in Endocrinology
Depends: We do not recommend calcium supplementation for the heck of supplementing. We always prefer you to get your calcium from your food. However, in men who has osteoporosis or osteopenia, calcium supplementation + vitamin d is appropriate and recommended.
Dr. Michael Thompson
Hematology and Oncology 20 years experience
Dr. Yoder - Great use of the word "heck"!
Nov 15, 2011
Dr. Nicholas Fogelson
Specializes in Gynecology
Not sure this is evidence based.
Nov 16, 2011
A 33-year-old member asked:

Is it safe to take a multivitamin supplement and a calcium supplement everyday?

2 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cayce Jehaimi
Pediatric Endocrinology 21 years experience
Yes: Yes, watch though for the contents of your multi vitamin as you want to avoid over exposure to any vitamin or trace element that can be present also in your calcium pill.
A 43-year-old member asked:

What happens if you take a calcium supplement before having a bone densitometry test?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. William Banks Hinshaw
Obstetrics and Gynecology 43 years experience
Avoid this: Bone mineral density tests measure the amount of mineral in the bone, and this mineral is predominantly calcium. The presence of calcium in your digestive tract may be detected and falsely interpreted as bone mineral, giving an inaccurate increased result.

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Last updated Jan 7, 2019
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