The key difference between antacid and acid reducer is that the antacids act by neutralizing the stomach acidity whereas the acid reducers can either neutralize the stomach acidity or they can reduce the production of gastric acid.
Antacids are also acid reducers. Therefore, they reduce the acidity of our stomach by neutralizing the stomach acid. Although all antacids are acid reducers, all acid reducers are not antacids. There are some medications that are used in the stomach acid production, but we do not categorize them as antacids.
What is Antacid?
Antacids are a medication that we use to neutralize stomach acidity and to relieve heartburns, indigestion and upset stomach as well. We take these medicines orally (by mouth) to quickly relieve occasional heartburns and other symptoms of indigestion. Moreover, these drugs cannot kill the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, which can cause stomach ulcers.
When there are excessive amounts of acid in our stomach, it can damage the natural mucous barrier that protects the inner wall of the stomach. Antacids contain alkaline ions which can neutralize this gastric acid. It reduces the damage to the stomach and relieves the pain as well. Some common antacids include Alka-seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids and Tums.
Most of the times, this medication is safe for people. But there can be some side effects as well. For example, antacids containing magnesium may cause diarrhoea. Brands containing calcium may cause constipation. Long time use may cause kidney diseases as well. Long-term use of brands with aluminium can cause a person to get osteoporosis as well.
What is Acid Reducer?
Acid reducers are substances that can reduce the acidity of our stomach. All the antacids are acid reducers. Other drugs may include H2-receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors. Although antacids can neutralize the gastric acid, other acid reducers may also decrease the stomach acid production. For example, Ranitidine is a common acid-reducing drug which can decrease the acid production in our stomach. Moreover, we can take this drug via the mouth, by injection into the muscle or into a vein.
What is the Difference Between Antacid and Acid Reducer?
Antacids are a medication we use to neutralize stomach acidity and to relieve heartburns, indigestion and upset stomach as well. The mechanism of action of these drugs is via neutralization of gastric acid. Whereas, the acid reducers are substances that can reduce the acidity of our stomach. These drugs can act via either neutralizing the stomach acidity or by decreasing the acid production in our stomach. This is the key difference between antacid and acid reducer. Moreover, we take antacid orally, in order to get a quick, relieve but we can take acid reducer either orally or by injection into a muscle or into a vein. The below infographic presents the difference between antacid and acid reducer in tabular form.
Summary – Antacid vs Acid Reducer
All antacids are acid reducers. There are some other drugs that act as acid reducers but are not categorized as antacids. The key difference between antacid and acid reducer is that antacids act by neutralizing the stomach acidity whereas acid reducers can either neutralize the stomach acidity or they can reduce the production of gastric acid.