What are antacids?
Antacids, also known as acid controllers, are the most commonly used products to neutralize acid buildup in the stomach that is produced normally to aid in the digestion of food and to kill harmful bacteria. This acid is contained by a mucous layer in the lining of the stomach which prevents it from causing damage to the lining (which leads to ulcers). Antacids are a common treatment for acid reflux disease, which refers to an issue with the muscular band at the top of the stomach allowing acid to escape and irritate the esophagus (heartburn).
Antacids counteract the effects of stomach acid by introducing bases (alkalis) into the stomach. Combining alkalis and acids will nullify the effects of the damaging effects of the acids in a process called "neutralization." By making the contents of the stomach less corrosive, acid controllers effectively eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with acid reflux and stomach acid issues. Acid controllers are available in liquid form or chewable tablets, but typically contain these ingredients:
- Aluminum Hydroxide
- Magnesium Carbonate
- Magnesium Trisilicate
Why do I need a prescription for antacids?
Resulting from the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as of January 1, 2011, a new set of uniform standards were put into place regarding the reimbursement of medical expenses. To reimburse the cost of OTC medicines and drugs under FSAs, HSAs and other consumer spending accounts, account holders must submit a prescription from a physician for each product. This does not apply to the reimbursement of the cost of insulin (insulin is available without a prescription), but common OTC products like pain relief medications, cold & flu medications, and more medications require a prescription for FSA reimbursement.
However, not every OTC product falls under this distinction, as products like bandages, first aid supplies, diagnostic products and more do not require a prescription for reimbursement. For more information on a specific product, please consult our Eligibility List.