Rolaids: Ingredients and Side Effects

Your Guide to the 6 Different Antacid Products in the Rolaids Product Line

Sick man taking antacid
Sick man taking antacid. OJO_Images

Rolaids is an over-the-counter product used to relieve the symptoms of acid indigestion, heartburn, gas, and sour stomach and is available over the counter in different strengths: Ultra Strength, Extra-Strength, and Regular as well as in different forms: soft-chews and liquid.

The Best Way to Use Rolaids

If taking Rolaids by tablet or soft-chew, chew thoroughly before swallowing and drink a full glass of water afterward.

If using the liquid, be sure to shake it well before each dose to mix the medicine evenly. 

Follow the directions on the package label or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you don't understand. You will want to take them exactly as directed. Heartburn isn't a condition that you should try to treat yourself without medical guidance. Antacids should not be taken for more than two weeks without doctor supervision. 

Comparison of Rolaids Products by Active Ingredients

All formulations contain calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide. There is another products called Rolaids Advanced that includes the anti-gas ingredient, Simethiccone USP. See below for a head-to-head comparison.

Comparison of Rolaids Products by Active Ingredients
 Advanced Ultra StrengthExtra StrengthRegular Soft chewsLiquid
Calcium carbonate (antacid)1000mg1000mg675mg550mg1330mg1000mg
Magnesium hydroxide (antacid)200mg200mg135mg110mg235mg200mg
Simethiccone USP (antigas)40mg     

What to Tell Your Doctor Before and During Your Treatment

Before taking any medications, there are some things that you need to discuss with your doctor, such as:

  • Whether you are allergic to calcium carbonate or any other drugs.
  • What prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking. Your doctor will be able to tell you whether you can take antacids with these medications, and if so, whether you can do so at the same time, or take the medications at a different time. The time delay is usually at least 2 hours of taking an antacid.
  • If you have or have ever had kidney disease or stomach conditions.
  • If you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking calcium carbonate, call your doctor.

What Are the Side Effects of Taking Rolaids

Although side effects from Rolaids are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:

  • upset stomach
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain
  • belching
  • constipation
  • dry mouth
  • increased urination
  • loss of appetite
  • metallic taste

Sources:
"Calcium Carbonate." MedlinePlus. 26 Jan 2016  <http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/druginfo/meds/a601032.html>.
"OTC Drugs for Upset Stomachs." Food and Drug Administration (FDA). 3 Dec 2006 <http://www.fda.gov/fdac/graphics/reprints/tummy.pdf>.
"Patient Education - Drugs - calcium carbonate." Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology. 3 Dec 2006 <http://www.gicare.com/pated/calcium_carbonate.html>.

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