Can You Take Tums During Pregnancy For Heartburn and Nausea?

Tums During Pregnancy

Nearly 80% of pregnant women have heartburn in their third trimester. Though harmless, heartburn can be uncomfortable and needs proper medical attention (1).

You may want to use Tums, the generic antacid, for treating heartburn.

Here, MomJunction tells you if Tums is safe during pregnancy, how it can help you as well as have some side effects.

What Is Tums?

Tums is an antacid comprising sucrose (sugar) and calcium carbonate. It is the brand name for a specific variety of antacid that is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline. The over-the-counter (OTC) drug is available at most retail stores in the US.

Tums is known to provide quick and effective relief from heartburn, indigestion, gas, acid reflux, bloating and stomach upset. The medication is available in the form of chewable tablets, which come in a variety of flavors (2).

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Is It Safe To Take Tums When Pregnant?

Yes, Tums is safe for pregnant women, but only when its potential benefits outweigh the possible risks. The US FDA has classified the medicine under category C drugs, which means animal studies have shown adverse effects on the fetus but the drug has not been tested on humans (3).

[ Read: Remedies To Treat Heartburn In Pregnancy ]

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Side Effects Of Tums During Pregnancy

Unlike a few other medications, Tums is likely to cause specific potential side effects during pregnancy. They are:

  • Dry mouth
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Belching
  • Frequent urge to urinate

You need to be cautious, and keep a few things in mind when taking Tums during pregnancy.

  • Avoid taking Tums if you have a history of kidney disorder or parathyroid gland disorder. Tums, which is high in calcium content, might lead to kidney stone formation and imbalance the calcium levels in the body (4).
  • Ask your doctor about the right dosage to take to prevent side effects. Do not exceed the required dosage.
  • Taking Tums for heartburn can increase your calcium intake, but the medication should not be used as a calcium supplement during pregnancy.

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Ideal Dosage Of Tums During Pregnancy

You may take two to four tablets of Tums every two hours to get the needed relief from heartburn (5). However, it is advisable to consult your doctor before taking any antacid. Also, always maintain a gap of at least two hours between taking an antacid and iron supplements to derive maximum benefits from both the medicines (6).

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How Does Tums Help You During Pregnancy?

The doctor might allow you to take the medicine for quick relief from heartburn caused by acidity. Usually, antacids that contain calcium and magnesium are used as the first line treatment for treating heartburn during pregnancy (7). Since Tums is a good source of calcium, taking them for heartburn will also increase your calcium intake and help you get the ideal amount of the nutrient during pregnancy.

The right amount of calcium in your diet prevents lead absorption in bones and may also lower the risk of hypertensive disorders and preeclampsia (8) (9).

Over usage of the medicine, however, could have adverse effects on you. Next, we address some commonly asked questions about Tums during pregnancy.

[ Read: Measures To Prevent Indigestion In Pregnancy ]

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I take Eno Tums while pregnant?

Yes, you can use Eno Tums, which is just another brand of the antacid that has similar effects.

2. Besides Tums, what else can I take for heartburn during pregnancy?

You may consider taking other antacids such as Rolaids, Maalox, Pepcid and Zantac (10). However, check with your healthcare provider before using any of these medications. Besides medication, eating smaller meals, avoiding acidic and spicy foods, drinking lots of water, unsweetened coconut water, and mint tea can also provide relief from heartburn.

3. Can I take Tums and Zofran together?

Yes, Tums and Zofran can be taken together, since there are no studies to show that their interaction is negative. While Tums is for heartburn, Zofran treats nausea and morning sickness.

4. Can I take Tums for nausea while pregnant?

Yes, Tums might help in relieving nausea, which is likely to occur alongside heartburn or an upset stomach.

5. Can too many Tums hurt the baby during pregnancy?

Yes, excessive intake of Tums can increase calcium levels in the body (hypercalcemia), which is known to cause maternal, fetal and neonatal complications. (11)

Heartburn during pregnancy is extremely uncomfortable, but you can surely avoid it by making some smart changes to your diet and lifestyle. Stay away from foods and beverages that trigger gastrointestinal distress, eat small meals at frequent intervals, drink enough water every day and avoid eating close to bedtime.

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[ Read: Consuming Antacid During Pregnancy ]

Have you used Tums while pregnant, and how did it help you? Share your experiences in the comments section below.

References:

1. James P Neilson; Interventions for heartburn in pregnancy; Cochrane Database Syst Rev; 2014
2. TUMS EX– calcium carbonate tablet; U.S. National Library Of Medicine; 2016
3. R. A. Black & D. A. Hill; Over-the-Counter Medications in Pregnancy; AAFP; 2003
4. Over The Counter Medications; IUPUI; 2015
5. Medications Safe For Pregnancy; University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System; 2018
6. Taking iron supplements; US National Library of Medicine
7. R Law et al.; Treatment of heartburn and acid reflux associated with nausea and vomiting during pregnancy; Motherisk (2010)
8. Path to Parenthood; Department for Children and Families Agency of Human Services, Vermont; 2008
9. Calcium supplementation during pregnancy to reduce the risk of preeclampsia; WHO; 2018
10. Heartburn (GERD); Student Health & Wellness Services And Counseling & Psychological Services; 2018
11. E Rey et al.; Hypercalcemia in pregnancy – a multifaceted challenge: case reports and literature review; Clin Case Rep. (2016)

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Rebecca Malachi

She is a Biotechnologist with a proficiency in areas of genetics, immunology, microbiology, bio-engineering, chemical engineering, medicine, pharmaceuticals to name a few. Her expertise in these fields has greatly assisted her in writing medical and life science articles. With 8+ years of work experience in writing for health and wellness, she is now a full-time contributor for Momjunction.com. She is passionate about giving research-based information to readers in need. Apart from writing, she is a foodie, loves travel, fond of gospel music and enjoys observing nature in silence. Know more about her at: linkedin.com/in/kothapalli-rebecca-35881628
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