This Is How Long It Takes For Tums To Start Working

When our body experiences a build-up of stomach acid, it can prompt a variety of different responses. For many Americans, this includes heartburn. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health MedlinePlus Magazine, heartburn affects over 60 million people in the U.S. every month. Of the many things that can trigger heartburn, certain food items are among them, such as citrus fruits, coffee, chocolate, and alcohol, as well as foods that are high in fat, reports WebMD. As a result, many of us reach for fast relief in the form of antacids.

As a base, antacids create a reaction with the acid in our stomach (via Patient). In this reaction, our stomach acid is neutralized, thereby lessening the severity of symptoms associated with conditions such as heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, and more. Head to any drugstore and you'll see a wide selection of antacid options to choose from, Tums being among them. As per WebMD, the medication offers relief by decreasing the levels of acid in our stomach. But just how long does it take before its effects kick in?

How do Tums work?

Using calcium carbonate, Tums targets acid in both the esophagus and stomach, immediately neutralizing it to alleviate symptoms of upset stomach, acid indigestion, and heartburn (via Tums). Offered in a variety of products, including smoothies and chewable tablets, Tums come in the form of 500 milligrams (mg), 750 mg, or 1000 mg doses. As per their website, Tums wastes no time once ingested and kicks in within mere seconds. According to experts at the Portland Clinic, the effects can be felt in as little as five minutes (sometimes even less) and may last up to approximately 30 minutes for mild cases of heartburn. When taken with food, experts at Revere Health state that the effects of antacids may last for as many as three hours.

However, it's important to note that Tums is not designed to treat all forms of digestive discomfort. As per their website, Tums is not intended for treatment of diarrhea, bloating, or constipation. Additionally, Tums should not be used for long-term treatment of an underlying health condition, cautions Revere Health. Rather, WebMD notes that the highest allotted dosage for Tums should not be taken for longer than a period of two weeks.

Short-term vs long-term heartburn relief

Although Tums has the benefit of being fast-acting, it is not intended to be long-lasting. In other words, experts at Revere Health explain that Tums will not fix any pre-existing health issues that may be the cause of your digestive discomfort. If symptoms persist after two weeks of using antacids, be sure to consult with your physician, as those with chronic heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux may experience complications if not properly treated, reports the American College of Gastroenterology. Such complications include severe chest pain, obstruction of the esophagus, bleeding, choking, weight loss, or difficulty swallowing.

According to experts at the Portland Clinic, there are ways in which we can help keep heartburn at bay. Suggestions include eating smaller meals, minimizing consumption of heartburn-inducing foods, exercising, not laying down until three hours after eating, and keeping your head elevated six to eight inches while sleeping are all preventative strategies to reduce one's chances for heartburn.