Aluminum Hydroxide

What is aluminum hydroxide?

Aluminum hydroxide is an antacid available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, sour stomach, and upset stomach. Aluminum hydroxide can be found in heartburn medicines that contain more than one antacid active ingredient. It can also be found in medicines that treat other symptoms, such as gas.

What is aluminum hydroxide used to treat?

  • Heartburn
  • Acid Indigestion
  • Sour Stomach
  • Upset Stomach
Common brands containing aluminum hydroxide:
  • Gaviscon
  • Gelusil
  • Maalox
  • Mylanta
  • Store Brands (ex. Walmart’s “Equate” store brand or CVS Health store brand)

How much aluminum hydroxide can you take?

Different types of products containing this active ingredient have different strengths. That’s why it is always important to read and follow the Drug Facts label. Most medicines warn against use of an active ingredient for longer than 7-10 days. Stop and ask a doctor if symptoms persist.

Safety guide for aluminum hydroxide

Aluminum hydroxide is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label.

Ask a healthcare provider before use if:

  • You are taking a prescription medicine.
  • You are on a magnesium-restricted diet. Certain heartburn medicines may also contain the active ingredient magnesium hydroxide.
  • Talk to a healthcare provider before giving an OTC medicine containing aluminum hydroxide to a child under the age of 12.

Do not use if:

  • You have kidney disease, unless you are under the supervision of a healthcare provider.
  • Tamper-evident packaging features such as seals, locks, and films are not clear or seem broken.

Stop use and ask a doctor if:

  • Your symptoms last more than two weeks.
  • You take too much, immediately contact your healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.

What are the side effects of aluminum hydroxide?

  • Hard stools (constipation)
  • Loss of appetite