The calcium carbonate is used as an antacid for the purpose of relieving heartburn, indigestion and other gastric problems. It can also be administered as a food supplement in case of calcium deficiency (hypocalcaemia).
What is calcium carbonate?
It is an inorganic salt whose action is carried out by neutralizing gastric acids. The consequent increase in pH can block the action of pepsin , an enzyme that digests proteins inside the gastric juice. Furthermore, the increase in bicarbonate ions and prostaglandins can cause a protective effect against cells.
How is calcium carbonate taken?
Calcium carbonate can be taken orally and possible formulations include chewable tablets, capsules and solutions. Typically the dosage includes 3 to 4 assumptions per day. In case of hypocalcaemia it must be administered during or immediately after meals.
Side effects of calcium carbonate
Potential side effects include:
- stomach upset
- sense of constipation
- dry mouth
- increased urination
- loss or loss of appetite
- metallic taste in the mouth
Contraindications and warnings
Calcium carbonate must be taken 1 or 2 hours apart from other possible medicines, the effect of which could otherwise be compromised. Furthermore, before taking it, it is recommended to inform your doctor:
- about the presence of any allergies to any drug;
- medicines, phytotherapics and supplements already taken in the past (citing in particular etidronate, phenytoin, tetracycline digoxin and vitamins);
- if you suffer (or have suffered in the past) from kidney disease or stomach upset;
- if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.