TUMS (calcium carbonate) is a commonly used over the counter antacid that is used to neutralize stomach acid and relieve symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. Antacids have a rapid response time and will begin working quickly, but they also quickly leave the stomach. Typically, TUMS will relieve symptoms for 30 to 60 minutes if taken on an empty stomach and 2 to 3 hours if taken with food. The shorter action of TUMS requires more frequent dosing for persistent cases.
When discussing interactions with TUMS, it is typically an interaction that involves either increasing or decreasing the absorption of the other medications in the stomach. For this reason it is better to ensure proper absorption by separating TUMS by at least 2 to 3 hours from other medications.
With the above being said, TUMS does not interact with all medication. For example, there are no known drug interactions between TUMS and lisinopril, clonidine, clindamycin, or Klonopin (clonazepam).
It is important to remember that antacids do not treat the gastrointestinal issues, but instead they help to alleviate symptoms. If your heartburn or indigestion is very frequent, occurring daily and in the evenings, you should contact a doctor to determine if the issue is more serious and may require prescription treatment.
Calcium levels could increase when taking TUMS for long periods of time. Constipation is a common side effect when taking TUMS, but can be corrected with a high fiber diet. Some symptoms of hypercalcemia when taking TUMS include altered mental status, loss of appetite, vomiting, restlessness, and fatigue.