Tums and alcohol: mixing, effects, indigestion relief

Tums are one of the most popular over-the-counter antacids for treating heartburn, but drinking alcohol while taking Tums can negate its positive effects.

Tums is an antacid made by GlaxoSmithKline that helps reduce stomach acid production. The main ingredient is Calcium carbonate. This compound works similarly to another common active ingredient in antacids, Sodium bicarbonateIt helps in neutralizing the excess acidity of the stomach.

Currently, there are no studies that highlight a contraindication (reason not to take) or a negative interaction between calcium carbonate and alcohol, but alcohol is a common cause of acid reflux, so combining the two is not recommended.

Alcohol can trigger or worsen heartburn in some people by temporarily opening a ring of muscle — called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — located at the junction between the stomach and esophagus (food pipe). The LES is supposed to close, except when food passes into the esophagus, but the alcohol relaxes the sphincter, creating an opening that allows stomach acid to return to the esophagus.

This leads to a phenomenon known as acid reflux. Backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus leads to a burning sensation in the chest known as heartburn.

This article reviews the effects of mixing alcohol with Tums, why alcohol causes heartburn and how to get rid of indigestion.

Sally Anscombe / Getty Images

Mixing rum and alcohol

The ingredients in Tums and alcohol do not interact negatively, but alcohol can exacerbate stomach acid imbalance and directly open the LES in the same way.


Tums is a relatively simple drug that contains one active ingredient – one of the components responsible for providing a therapeutic effect – calcium carbonate. It also contains several other inactive ingredients, including:

  • adipic acid
  • Corn Starch
  • Food coloring such as those regulated by the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C): FD&C blue #1 Lake, FD&C red #40 Lake, FD&C yellow #5 (tartrazine) lake, and FD&C yellow #6 Lake
  • spices
  • mineral oils
  • Sodium polyphosphate
  • sucrose
  • That

Tums . uses

For heartburn

Tums relieve heartburn, acid indigestion, sour stomach, and upset stomachs associated with these symptoms. Tums work by neutralizing stomach acid, providing therapeutic relief for those who suffer from heartburn.

for stomach pain

Tums can help relieve stomach pain from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Gastritis (inflammation of the stomach lining), peptic ulcers (sores caused by acid eating the lining of the stomach), and gastrointestinal bleeding from leakage of acid into the digestive tract, especially in organs associated with digestion such as the small intestine and pancreas.

To drink too much alcohol

If you feel sick after drinking alcohol and your symptoms are nausea, abdominal pain, and heartburn, you may have GERD. Taking Tums may relieve symptoms. It is worth noting that taking Tums before drinking alcohol is not an effective way to prevent a hangover.

Why does alcohol increase heartburn?

Alcohol is one of the few substances that directly causes and increases heartburn. It does this by stimulating the opening of the LES, a muscular ring at the junction between the esophagus and stomach.

This muscle ring usually closes unless food passes through it. Even the temporary opening of the LES allows acid to back up into the esophagus, causing irritation to the tissues lining the food pipe.

Other heartburn causes

Stomach acid is one of the tools the digestive system uses to turn the raw materials from our food into the nutrients and energy we need to keep you alive, but there are some conditions that can cause the body to produce too much gastric juice, including:

  • Food and Lifestyle: Acid reflux is most commonly caused by lifestyle behaviors and certain foods, ingredients, or food groups such as caffeine, mint, fatty or fried foods, chocolate, citrus, and spicy foods, although smoking, drinking excessively, and lying down after eating may also open up LES, which causes acid reflux and heartburn.
  • GERD: GERD is a medical condition characterized by the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.
  • Genetic conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES): ZES is a rare condition characterized by the development of gastrin tumors In the pancreas (an organ in the abdomen) and the duodenum (the first section of the small intestine). These tumors produce gastrin, a hormone that stimulates acid production. This leads to a combination of too much stomach acid (from high levels of gastrin) and ulcers in the stomach or small intestine.
  • Helicobacter pylori: Germ stomach It is a bacteria that destroys tissues in the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). active acute presence Germ stomach A bacterial infection in your stomach may increase stomach acid, while a chronic infection can reduce stomach acid secretion.
  • Stress: Stress has been shown to prevent the stomach from emptying of acid. Chronic stress can also deplete prostaglandins that protect the stomach lining from acid, increasing the risk of ulcers.
  • Ulcers: Ulcers are common among people who are stressed, take large amounts of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), or have infections. Germ stomach—All are independent factors to increase acid production.
  • Medications: Common heartburn medications, such as histamine-2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors, reduce acid production in the stomach. If you take one of these medicines regularly, you may experience a rebound in stomach acid production if you stop suddenly.

relieve indigestion

Tums . potion

If you have symptoms of heartburn, you should chew two to three tablets, or as directed by your healthcare provider.

Chewable tablets

  • Regular Tums, Tums Smoothies, Tums Extra Strength, Tums Chewy Bites: It is not recommended to take more than six tablets in a 24 hour period. If you are pregnant, you should not take more than four tablets in a 24-hour period.
  • Tums Naturals: Do not take more than seven tablets in a 24-hour period. If you are pregnant, you should not take more than five tablets in a 24-hour period.

If symptoms persist for more than 2 weeks despite taking your usual dose of Tums, you should notify your healthcare professional.

home remedies

Tums is one of the most popular over-the-counter supplements taken to relieve symptoms of heartburn and stomach pain.

Skip the alcohol

Alcohol can lead to acid reflux, even in small amounts. For some people, avoiding alcohol, especially if a recurring offense is causing heartburn symptoms, is the best way to prevent future episodes.


Tums and alcohol do not interact with each other negatively, so, technically, it’s safe to take Tums before or after drinking alcohol, but it’s not recommended because alcohol is a common cause of acid reflux.

Word from Verywell

Tums is one of the most common over-the-counter antacids used to relieve mild to moderate heartburn. Sometimes the cause of this acidity is alcohol intake. It’s not known how much or what type of alcohol triggers acid reflux, but it’s possible that the higher your chance of heartburn.

Remember that Tums only relieve symptoms and do not treat the root cause of heartburn. Ideally, you don’t drink alcohol before or after using Tums, especially if alcohol is the main cause of acid reflux.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is it better to take Tums before or after drinking?

    Tums will likely treat heartburn symptoms after drinking, but it’s important to note that taking Tums only relieves symptoms and does not treat the root cause of heartburn.

    Ideally, you don’t drink alcohol before or after taking Tums, especially if alcohol is the main cause of acid reflux.

  • Can You Take Lots of Tums?

    yes. Tums contain calcium carbonate. Taking too much — more than 7,500 mg — can lead to a condition called hypercalcemia, which is linked to nausea and abdominal pain. Excessively high calcium levels are also toxic to the kidneys and heart.

  • Are there other options besides Tums?

    Yes, Alka Seltzer, Rolaids, and Maalox are over-the-counter antacids that work similar to Tums, but contain a different main active ingredient.

  • How to prevent heartburn from alcohol?

    The best way to prevent heartburn due to alcohol is to avoid alcohol, especially in the presence of other risk factors such as obesity and smoking.

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