Aluminum hydroxide acts as an antacid and is most commonly used in the treatment of heartburn, gastritis, and peptic ulcer. This drug is also sometimes used to reduce absorption of phosphorus for people with kidney failure.
Aluminum hydroxide is found in a variety of antacids. People should read the ingredient label for over-the-counter (OTC) drugs carefully before purchase to know exactly what they contain.
Common brand names:AlternaGEL, Amphojel
Summary of Interactions with Vitamins, Herbs, & Foods
Replenish Depleted Nutrients
Aluminum hydroxide may increase urinary and stool loss of calcium. Also, aluminum is a toxic mineral, and a limited amount of aluminum absorption from aluminum-containing antacids does occur. As a result, most doctors do not recommend routine use of aluminum-containing antacids. Other types of antacids containing calcium or magnesium instead of aluminum are available.
Folic acid is needed by the body to utilize vitamin B12. Antacids, including aluminum hydroxide, inhibit folic acid absorption. However, folic acid supplementation can mask a vitamin B12 deficiency. Therefore, people taking antacids are advised to supplement with folic acid and vitamin B12.
Depletion of phosphorus may occur as a result of taking aluminum hydroxide. For those with kidney failure, reducing phosphorus absorption is the purpose of taking the drug, as excessive phosphorus levels can result from kidney failure. However, when people with normal kidney function take aluminum hydroxide for extended periods of time, it is possible to deplete phosphorus to unnaturally low levels.
Reduce Side Effects
A thick gel derived from algae has been used together with aluminum antacids to treat heartburn. Together, alginate gel and antacid were more effective at relieving symptoms and improving healing. Alginate is believed to work by physically blocking stomach acid from touching the esophagus. According to these studies, two tablets containing 200 mg alginic acid should be chewed before each meal and at bedtime.
Potential Negative Interaction
Several studies have shown that combination of citrate, either as calcium citrate supplements or from orange and lemon juice, with aluminum-containing antacids increases aluminum levels in the body. Calcium in forms other than calcium citrate has been shown to not increase aluminum absorption. Drinking 7–10 ounces of orange juice provides sufficient citrate to be problematic. Intake of 950 mg calcium citrate greatly elevates aluminum absorption. People with renal failure may be at particular risk of kidney damage due to elevated aluminum levels if they combine aluminum hydroxide with citrate.
- Top of the page
Last Review: 03-18-2015
Copyright © 2022 TraceGains, Inc. All rights reserved.
Please read the disclaimer about the limitations of the information provided here. Do NOT rely solely on the information in this article. The TraceGains knowledgebase does not contain every possible interaction.
The information presented by TraceGains is for informational purposes only. It is based on scientific studies (human, animal, or in vitro), clinical experience, or traditional usage as cited in each article. The results reported may not necessarily occur in all individuals. For many of the conditions discussed, treatment with prescription or over-the-counter medication is also available. Consult your doctor, practitioner, and/or pharmacist for any health problem and before using any supplements or before making any changes in prescribed medications. Information expires December 2022.