Antacids act by neutralising acid thus leading to prompt disappearance of symptoms. Therefore, antacids regularly serve as rescue medication in studies on the effect of acid inhibitory compounds and are also preferred by patients with sporadic heartburn. However, antacid consumption several times a day (which indicates the presence of reflux oesophagitis) should not be encouraged: intake of high doses of antacids inherits a lot of problems (diarrhoea due to magnesium, aluminium-induced constipation, interference with other drugs taken etc). Therefore, antacids can only be recommended in patients with infrequent heartburn (which according to the definition of GERD that includes impaired quality of life cannot be regarded as sufferers from reflux disease but from sporadic reflux symptoms).

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