Acid reducing pills sitting on a counter with prescription bottle behind.

Acid Reducers

Julie Weber Is This A Poison

Acid reducer pills sit on a counter top with the prescription bottle behind them.

Toxicity: None or minor toxicity with small, unintentional ingestions or dosing errors.

Expected symptoms: Minor symptoms such a dry mouth, upset stomach, vomiting, and headache.

What to do: Wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth to remove any residue of the medication. Give the child a serving of water or milk to drink.

Quick Facts about acid reducers:

A common call to the Missouri Poison Center is: What are the side effects of acid reducer medications?

Acid reducers are common in many homes since they help relieve symptoms of heartburn, GERD (acid reflux), and ulcers by reducing the amount of acid made in the stomach.  There are many different over-the-counter medications available such as Tagamet® (cimetidine), Pepcid AC® (famotidine), Prilosec OTC® (omeprazole), and Prevacid® (lansoprazole).  There are also medications available with a prescription such as Protonix® (pantoprazole) and Aciphex® (rabeprazole).  The various kinds of acid reducers work slightly differently in the body, but they have a similar end result of decreasing stomach acid.

Sometimes we get calls about children getting into the medication and ingesting an unknown number of pills, but we also get calls from adults after taking a double dose of the medication by mistake.  Fortunately, these medications cause only minor side effects such as a dry mouth, upset stomach with possible nausea and vomiting, drowsiness, or a headache.  Most often, accidental exposures can be handled at home with no need to seek immediate medical care.  

If you find your child has ingested an acid reducer, or if an adult has made a medication error, do not panic.  For a child, take the medicine away from them, wipe out the mouth with a soft, wet cloth and give them some water to drink. With any exposure to acid reducers, it is always best to call the Missouri Poison Center right away at 1-800-222-1222 for expert advice. The poison center is open all day, every day for poisoning emergencies and questions.

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