Gaviscon is prescribed for those who suffer from gas, heartburn, indigestion or sour stomach. Drugs.com states that this drug can be taking as a liquid or tablet and should not be taken longer than 2 weeks. Though many side effects associated with this drug are mild, for some they may become severe.
No matter the type of Gaviscon medication (chewables, extra relief or Gaviscon 2), there is the possibility that patients may experience an allergic reaction. Common side effects are usually mild, but symptoms can become much more severe. Symptoms that may be a sign of an allergic reaction are difficulty breathing, chest tightness, any swelling of the face or mouth, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting and the slowing of reflexes.
General Side Effects
General side effects caused by Gaviscon can be very severe. Many people's bodies accumulate high volumes of aluminium, which is found in Gaviscon. Usually high levels of aluminium are found in those who take high daily dosages. Studies have shown that long-term use of aluminium-concentrated drugs like Gaviscon can put aluminium into bones, joints and the brain, according to Drugs.com. Hypotension, nausea, vomiting, respiratory depression, change in mental status and coma have been connected to high aluminium intake
According to drugs.com, gastrointestinal side effects are the most common side effect associated with Gaviscon. Most patients have reported experiencing diarrhoea and constipation while taking the drug. Lower dosages are usually given to those who experience both, and in most cases, symptoms will ease. But it seems that diarrhoea, explains Drugs.com, may continue to be a problem. In rare cases, obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract has been reported.
Musculoskeletal side effects may become severe for those using Gaviscon. Symptoms include softening of the bones (osteomalacia), which may be due to the amount of aluminium in the bones, malaise, bone pain and muscle pain and weakness. With the weakening of bones and muscles comes the possibility of tears and fractures. Osteomalacia, states Drugs.com, is usually found in those with chronic renal failure. If aluminium continues to be deposited into joints, arthritis may also occur.
Other Side Effects
Reported nervous system side effects include disease of the brain (encephalopathy) in those using Gaviscon for long periods and those with renal failure. Seizures, coma, tremors and speech defects may be signs of encephalopathy. Renal calculi or kidney stones have also been experienced by those taking Gaviscon. Other common side effects include increase pH levels in the stomach and urinary tract.