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Gaviscon is a non-prescription medicine, which is taken orally to treat heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).[1] Gaviscon is available as a solid, syrup or tablet. It is produced and distributed in the UK, Ireland, Australia, India and Malaysia by Reckitt Benckiser,[2] in the US by GlaxoSmithKline and in Canada by Prestige Brands.[3]

The formulation of Gaviscon varies by manufacturer. The three active ingredients in Reckitt Benckiser's version are sodium alginate, a bicarbonate (either sodium or potassium in variants) and an antacid (calcium carbonate).[4][5] The GlaxoSmithKline variant lists only antacids as its active ingredients (aluminum hydroxide and either magnesium carbonate or magnesium trisilicate). Alginic acid and sodium bicarbonate are listed as inactive ingredients.[6][7]

The combination of alginic acid and a bicarbonate forms a layer on the contents of the stomach, which prevents stomach acid from refluxing up into the esophagus.[8] If reflux does occur the protective barrier is the first to contact the esophageal mucosa, instead of gastric contents.[9]

Gaviscon infant, for children of 1 year and older, contains only the gelling agents sodium alginate and magnesium alginate.[10] It helps stabilize the child's stomach contents to reduce reflux and regurgitation, but it is not an antacid.[11]


  1. ^ "Gaviscon U.S. home page". GlaxoSmithKline. 
  2. ^ "Gaviscon U.K. home page". Reckitt Benckiser. 
  3. ^ "Gaviscon". GlaxoSmithKline. 
  4. ^ "Gaviscon (UK)". Gavicon. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Gaviscon (Australia)". Gaviscon. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Gaviscon (US)". Gaviscon. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  7. ^ "Gaviscon". Daily Med. Retrieved March 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Malmud, LS; Charkes, ND; Littlefield, J; Reilley, J; Stern, H; Rosenberg, R; Fisher, RS (1979). "The mode of action alginic acid compound in the reduction of gastroesophageal reflux". Journal of nuclear medicine 20 (10): 1023–8. PMID 231639. 
  9. ^ "Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER), and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)', Foaming agents". National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. 
  10. ^ "Gaviscon AU Infant page". Reckitt Benckiser. 
  11. ^ "Gaviscon Infant". Medicines Online. 

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