Calcium Carbonate Capsules or Tablets

Calcium carbonate is an antacid medication that comes in a capsule or tablet form. It treats heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach or other symptoms caused by too much stomach acid. It reduces the amount of acid in your stomach. It can also increase calcium levels in your body. Calcium helps strengthen your bones and keep your heart healthy.

What is this medication?

CALCIUM CARBONATE (KAL see um KAR bon ate) treats heartburn, indigestion, upset stomach, or other conditions caused by too much stomach acid. It works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. It belongs to a group of medications called antacids. It may also be used to increase calcium levels in your body. Calcium is a mineral that plays an important role in building strong bones and maintaining heart health.

This medicine may be used for other purposes; ask your health care provider or pharmacist if you have questions.

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What should I tell my care team before I take this medication?

They need to know if you have any of these conditions:

  • Constipation
  • Dehydration
  • High blood calcium levels
  • Kidney disease
  • Stomach bleeding, obstruction or ulcer
  • An unusual or allergic reaction to calcium carbonate, other medications, foods, dyes, or preservatives
  • Pregnant or trying to get pregnant
  • Breast-feeding

How should I use this medication?

Take this medication by mouth with a glass of water. Follow the directions on the label. Antacids are usually taken after meals and at bedtime, or as directed by your care team. Take your medication at regular intervals. Do not take your medication more often than directed.

Talk to your care team regarding the use of this medication in children. While this medication may be used in children for selected conditions, precautions do apply.

Overdosage: If you think you have taken too much of this medicine contact a poison control center or emergency room at once.

NOTE: This medicine is only for you. Do not share this medicine with others.

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What if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, take only that dose. Do not take double or extra doses.

What may interact with this medication?

Do not take this medication with any of the following:

  • Ammonium chloride
  • Methenamine

This medication may also interact with the following:

  • Antibiotics like ciprofloxacin, tetracycline
  • Captopril
  • Delavirdine
  • Gabapentin
  • Iron supplements
  • Medications for fungal infections like ketoconazole and itraconazole
  • Medications for seizures like ethotoin and phenytoin
  • Mycophenolate
  • Quinidine
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Sucralfate
  • Thyroid medication

This list may not describe all possible interactions. Give your health care provider a list of all the medicines, herbs, non-prescription drugs, or dietary supplements you use. Also tell them if you smoke, drink alcohol, or use illegal drugs. Some items may interact with your medicine.

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What should I watch for while using this medication?

Tell your care team if your symptoms do not start to get better or if they get worse. Do not treat yourself for stomach problems with this medication for more than 2 weeks. See a doctor if you have black tarry stools, rectal bleeding, or if you feel unusually tired. Do not change to another antacid product without advice.

If you are taking other medications, leave an interval of at least 2 hours before or after taking this medication.

To help reduce constipation, drink several glasses of water a day.

What side effects may I notice from receiving this medication?

Side effects that you should report to your care team as soon as possible:

  • Allergic reactions—skin rash, itching, hives, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat
  • High calcium levels—increased thirst or amount of urine, nausea, vomiting, confusion, unusual weakness or fatigue, bone pain

Side effects that usually do not require medical attention (report to your care team if they continue or are bothersome):

  • Burping
  • Constipation
  • Gas

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where should I keep my medication?

Keep out of the reach of children and pets.

Store at room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C (59 and 86 degrees F). Throw away any unused medication after the expiration date.

NOTE: This sheet is a summary. It may not cover all possible information. If you have questions about this medicine, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, or health care provider.

Copyright ©2024 Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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Note: Introduction and Additional Common Questions written and medically approved by Cleveland Clinic professionals.

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