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Diagnosis and Treatment |

Neutralizing Capacity and Cost Effectiveness of Antacids

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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Daniel Hollander, M.D.; Department of Medicine, University of California, Irvine, Medical Sciences I, Room C340; Irvine, CA 92717.

Irvine and Long Beach, California

© 1981 American College of PhysiciansAmerican College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1981;94(2):215-217. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-94-2-215
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The prescribing physician is faced with a wide choice of antacid preparations. To provide a guide, we tested the commonly available antacids, both liquid and tablet, for their acid-neutralizing capacity. We calculated the cost effectiveness of antacids and tabulated the cost of 1 month of therapy. The acid-neutralizing capacity and cost effectiveness of liquid antacids are generally better than tablet antacids. The most effective liquid antacids, which are composed of either aluminum and magnesium hydroxide mixtures or calcium carbonate, vary in buffering capacity from 3 to 4.2 meq/mL of antacid and range in monthly cost of therapy from $35 to $74. In contrast, the five least effective liquid antacids vary in acid-neutralizing capacity from 0.3 to 2.3 meq/mL of antacid and in monthly cost of therapy from $78 to $498. Because the monthly cost of therapy is influenced primarily by the acid-neutralizing capacity of the antacid, a high-potency antacid should be prescribed. The taste and sodium content of the antacids should also be taken into account by the prescribing physician.





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