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Mylanta Recall and Possible Natural Alternatives for Indigestion

2010-12-02 17:18

It may be enough to give you indigestion: there is another pharmaceutical recall, this time by Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals, Co. for the antacids Mylanta® liquid and AlternaGEL® liquid products. Whenever there is a recall of medications, some people think about possible natural alternatives.

(See an updated article [November 10, 2013] on “Mylanta Alternatives, Natural Remedies for Indigestion” for the latest information on some of the natural ways to manage indigestion.)

Natural indigestion treatments are an option

If your medicine cabinet has any of the 13 Mylanta or AlternaGEL products being recalled (see the list here), you can continue to use the medication, according to the Mylanta website. The recall is underway because the labels on these products do not note the presence of alcohol from flavoring agents. Some flavoring agents contribute a minute amount (less than 1 percent) of alcohol, and although this amount is unlikely to cause any alcohol sensitivity or absorption related problems, Johnson & Johnson is recalling the products to update the labeling.

Mylanta and AlternaGEL are over-the-counter medications used to treat indigestion, gas, heartburn, and bloating. Several natural remedies are promoted by complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) advocates, including ginger, turmeric, baking soda, peppermint, and rosemary, even though there is little scientific evidence to support these claims.

However, this does not mean such alternative measures are not effective for some people and therefore may be worth trying (after talking with a healthcare professional, of course). Such remedies may be as accessible as your kitchen, but they are also found in health and natural food stores, nutrition centers, pharmacies, grocery stores, and on the internet in formulas containing one or more natural ingredients.

A recent study from Italy, for example, found that a mixture of extracts containing artichoke leaves, turmeric, rosemary, and dandelion was effective in relieving symptoms of dyspepsia (indigestion). Among the 305 patients, 38 percent reported at least a 50 percent reduction in symptoms at 30 days and 79 percent reported the same at 60 days. Which one or more of the extracts was responsible for the improvement is not known.

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Turmeric, an ingredient in curry powder and curried dishes, has long been used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurvedic medicine to assist with digestion, and today is used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and gallstones, according to the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine.

Some people take ginger for indigestion, although there are a few studies which suggest it is more suited for other gastrointestinal symptoms. The National Institutes of Health, for example, notes that ginger can be effective in relieving nausea, vomiting, and morning sickness.

Taking steps to prevent heartburn could eliminate your need for these medications or alternative treatments at all. Perhaps the most important step is to avoid foods that are known to trigger heartburn, which include caffeine, citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, foods high in fat, chocolate, and soft drinks. Another effective measure is to eat slowly and chew your food thoroughly, until it liquefies in your mouth. Yet another recommendation is to not lie down after eating, and finish your last meal at least two to three hours before going to bed.

If you have any questions about the Mylanta and AlternaGEL recall, you can contact the Consumer Care Center at 1-800-469-5268 Monday through Friday from 8AM to 8 PM ET and weekends from 9 AM to 5 PM ET. It may also be a good time to consider some natural alternatives to prevent or treat indigestion.

SOURCES:
Mylanta.com/news
National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine
National Institutes of Health
Sannia A. Minerva Gastroenterol Dietol 2010 Jun; 56(2): 93-99

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Comments

After reading this I now realize that alternative substitutes are always preferable from Mylanta, but it's probably much better to improve diet to prevent heartburn.