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Gaviscon is a non-prescription medication for the treatment of heartburn and GERD (acid reflux). It is produced and distributed in the UK by Reckitt Benckiser and by GlaxoSmithKline in the US and Canada.

Gaviscon is taken as a relief from heartburn, as are other actacids. Gaviscon however contains "alginate" (alginic acid + sodium bicarbonate). When taken by mouth the combination of the alginic acid and bicarbonate creates a protective barrier which prevents stomach acid from refluxing back up into the esophagus.

Gaviscon claims the protective barrier helps reduce the number of reflux episodes and provides up to four hours action against heartburn. If reflux occurs, this protective barrier is the first to contact the esophageal mucosa, and thus provides protection against the gastric contents.

It may be helpful to combine treatment with lifestyle modifications such as loss of weight, raising the head of the bed at night, reduction in alcohol consumption and cessation of smoking[1].

Gaviscon works in a non-systemic way, so the treatment does not enter the bloodstream. Being sugar free it is a drug of choice for diabetics.


  1. ^ Kumar & Clark: Clinical Medicine 6e p.276 Elsevier 2005
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Gaviscon". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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