Why is this medicine prescribed?
Aluminum hydroxide is used for the relief of heartburn, sour stomach, and peptic ulcer pain and to promote the healing of peptic ulcers.
Are there other uses for this medicine?
Aluminum hydroxide is also used sometimes to decrease the amount of phosphate in the blood of patients with kidney disease. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
How should this medicine be used?
Aluminum hydroxide comes as a capsule, a tablet, and an oral liquid and suspension. The dose and frequency of use depend on the condition being treated. The suspension needs to be shaken well before administration. Follow the directions on the package or prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking aluminum hydroxide,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to aluminum hydroxide or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially allopurinol (Lopurin, Zyloprim), alprazolam (Xanax), chlordiazepoxide (Librium, Mitran, and others), chloroquine (Aralen), cimetidine (Tagamet), clonazepam (Klonopin), clorazepate, dexamethasone (Decadron and others), diazepam (Valium, Valrelease, and Zetran), diflunisal (Dolobid), digoxin (Lanoxin), ethambutol (Myambutol), famotidine (Pepcid), halazepam (Paxipam), hydrocortisone (Cortone, Hydrocortone), isoniazid (Laniazid, Nydrazid), levothyroxine (Levothroid, Levoxyl, Synthroid, and others), lorazepam (Ativan), methylprednisolone (Medrol), oxazepam (Serax), penicillamine (Cuprimine, Depen), prednisone (Deltasone, Orasone), products containing iron, tetracycline (Sumycin, Tetracap, and others), ticlopidine (Ticlid), and vitamins.
- be aware that aluminum hydroxide may interfere with other medicines, making them less effective. Take your other medications 1 hour before or 2 hours after aluminum hydroxide.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had hypertension, heart or kidney disease, or gastrointestinal bleeding.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking aluminum hydroxide, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget to take a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medicine cause?
Aluminum hydroxide may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- loss of appetite
If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately:
- unusual tiredness or discomfort
- muscle weakness
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online ( http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch ) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website ( http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p ) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
What other information should I know?
Do not use aluminum hydroxide for more than 2 weeks unless your doctor tells you to do so.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.