Last week, June 6, 2016 the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a news release about the possibility of serious bleeding from taking antacids that contain aspirin. The people at greater risk of bleeding are those who:

  • take blood thinners
  • take steroids like prednisone for inflammation,
  • take non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as   ibuprofen (Advil) or naproxen (Alleve)
  • have three or more alcoholic drinks a day
  • have a history of stomach ulcers
  • are over 60

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If you are among those identified by the FDA as being at greater risk of serious bleeding,  check the active ingredients on the label of the antacid you use. Obviously, look for ‘aspirin’ but also look for acetylsalicylic acid and ASA. They are other names used for aspirin.

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If your antacid does contain aspirin, switch to one of the many non-aspirin antacids. If you aren’t sure if an antacid is aspirin free, ask the pharmacist.

In its news release, the FDA   listed the following antacids as containing aspirin:

  • Alka-Seltzer Original
  • Bromo Seltzer
  • Medique Medi Seltzer
  • Picot Plus Effervescent
  • Vida Mia Pain Relief
  • Winco Foods Effervescent Antacid and Pain Relief
  • Zee-Seltzer Antacid and Pain Reliever

If you use a generic or store brand antacid make sure to check that label, too. Many of them also contain aspirin.

 More information:

FDA - News Release
http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm505110.htm

FDA – Safety Announcement
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Drugs/DrugSafety/UCM505150.pdf

FDA – Over the Counter Drug Fact Label
http://www.fda.gov/Drugs/ResourcesForYou/Consumers/ucm143551.htm

National Library of Medicine – Taking Antacids
https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/patientinstructions/000198.htm


Joanna Hayden, PhD, CHES is the founder of Associates for Health Education and Behavior, LLC, in Sparta, a practice focused on improving health through education. Associates for Health Education and Behavior, offers individual and group health education instruction, individual health behavior change guidance and health consulting for health care professionals. For more information please see www.associatesforhealth.com  To contact Dr. Hayden, email her at joanna@associatesforhealth.com