Gaviscon is (most likely) the most well-known brand of liquid antacid. Antacids are used to relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion (dyspepsia). Heartburn is a common symptom experienced during pregnancy. Today I will look into the use of Gaviscon in pregnancy by looking at the main recommendations of heartburn treatment in pregnancy. I will conclude which particular Gaviscon product is the best to use in the pregnancy. Summary:
- What is Gaviscon?
- Gaviscon range
- Guide on the management of heartburn in pregnancy
- Can you take Gaviscon in pregnancy? (Is it safe to take Gaviscon in pregnancy?)
- List of Gaviscon alternatives for heartburn in the pregnancy
What is Gaviscon?Gaviscon is a brand name of a medicine called antacid. Antacid help with the symptoms of indigestion/heartburn by neutralising stomach acid. Gaviscon Advance and Double Action contain sodium alginate, which creates a ‘hj‘ in the stomach, preventing acid from escaping and therefore help to control symptoms of heartburn. Gaviscon, like many other antacid products, is available over the counter from supermarkets and pharmacies. Certain Gavison products may be restricted to the sale from a pharmacy counter due to their size, for example. When looking at different medicines for the management of heartburn, Gaviscon and other antacids are perceived as least effective; however, they can still provide relief from symptoms.
What is dyspepsia?Dyspepsia is defined as a condition which affects the upper gastrointestinal tract (GI) and is characterised by the following symptoms (ICGT, 2019):
- upper abdominal pain or discomfort,
- heartburn: burning feeling in the chest
- acid reflux,
- nausea, or
What causes dyspepsia in pregnancy?Two main factors contribute to the presence of dyspepsia in the pregnancy:
- hormonal changes
- reduction in lower oesophagal sphincter pressure: sphincter muscle which is located at the end of the ‘food’ pipe relaxes which allows stomach acid to escape causing the burning sensation characterised to dyspepsia.
Gaviscon rangeGaviscon range of products include:
- Gaviscon Original (liquid, chewable tablets and liquid sachets)
- Gaviscon Double Action (liquid, chewable tablets and liquid sachets)
- Gaviscon Advance liquid and chewable tablets
Guide on the management of heartburn in pregnancyNational Institute of Health (NICE) recommends lifestyle advice as first-line management of indigestion in the pregnancy, for example (NICE, 2017):
- Eating smaller portions more frequently throughout the day
- Avoiding eating at night
- Avoiding foods and drinks that may cause indigestion, such as spicy and fatty food, juices, and caffeine.