Indigestion tablets, also called antacids, work by neutralizing strong acids in the stomach. Some acids produced by the stomach are essential for proper digestion, but too much acid production causes abdominal discomfort and conditions such as heartburn, nausea and indigestion. Antacid tablets reduce the strength and volume of strong acids in the stomach, which restores a proper chemical balance in the digestive tract and reduces symptoms.
Although they share the name of antacids, indigestion medications are created from several different types of ingredients. Commonly, they exist as aluminum hydroxide, magnesium trisilicate or magnesium carbonate compounds. Some antacids also contain an ingredient called simeticone, which is used to reduce excess gas and bloating. Additionally, some antacids include ingredients called alginates, which are chemical substances that form a protective coating on the surface of the esophagus, to protect irritation and damage from strong stomach acids. Alginates come in one of two combinations: sodium alginate or alginic acid. Regardless of chemical composition, antacids are available in different sizes and flavors, and are produced by a variety of brands. In addition to alleviating symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux, antacid tablets can also reduce pain and discomfort caused by ulcers, which typically form in the stomach and duodendum.