9 Best PEPTAC alternative medicines for heartburn

Are you tired of heartburn disrupting your daily life? If you’ve been relying on Peptac for relief, and could not find the stock, it’s time to explore other effective alternatives that can put an end to your symptoms. In this blog post, we’ll delve into a range of Peptac alternative antacids, that can help you manage heartburn without the need for Peptac.

What is Peptac? What is Peptac used for?

Peptac is a brand name for a liquid combination medicine used to relieve symptoms of indigestion, heartburn, and acid reflux. It is commonly used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers.

Peptac is a pharmacy-only medication, which means it is sold in pharmacies from behind the pharmacy counter, as well as by registered online chemists.

Peptac comes in a 500ml bottle with two flavours: peppermint and aniseed.

The popularity of Peptac comes down to a much lower price as compared to many other branded medicines. When priced correctly, a 500ml bottle of Peptac can be purchased for around £5 (July 23).  

Is Peptac out of stock?

Many high street pharmacies have been unable to dispense or sell Peptac since the beginning of the year due to Peptac being out of stock in a couple of the main pharmaceutical suppliers. Strangely, despite a long-term shortage in high street pharmacies, Peptac is available online, for example, Amazon.co.uk

What is heartburn?

Heartburn is a common symptom characterized by a burning sensation or discomfort in the chest, often rising from the stomach toward the throat. It is also known as acid indigestion. Despite its name, heartburn has nothing to do with the heart; instead, it is caused by stomach acid backing up into the oesophagus.

Heartburn causes - and treatment

The primary cause of heartburn is the malfunction of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LOS). The LOS is a muscular ring located at the junction between the oesophagus and the stomach. Its role is to open to allow food and liquids to enter the stomach and then close tightly to prevent the stomach contents, including stomach acid, from flowing back up into the oesophagus.

When the LOS doesn’t close properly or weakens, stomach acid can reflux (flow back) into the oesophagus. The oesophageal lining is not designed to handle the corrosive nature of stomach acid, and as a result, it leads to the burning sensation and discomfort characteristic of heartburn.

Peptac active ingredients

In order to find the best Peptac alternative medicines, a list of the main active ingredients needs to be reviewed.

Peptac contains three active ingredients:

Sodium alginate (250mg): This forms a protective layer on top of the stomach contents, helping to prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the oesophagus, thus reducing heartburn and acid reflux.

Sodium bicarbonate (133.5mg): This is an antacid that helps to neutralize excess stomach acid, providing relief from symptoms like indigestion.

Calcium carbonate (80mg): neutralises stomach acid. Calcium carbonate reacts with stomach acid (hydrochloric acid) to produce calcium chloride, water, and carbon dioxide. By neutralizing stomach acid, calcium carbonate helps to reduce the overall acidity in the stomach and oesophagus. his helps alleviate the burning sensation and discomfort associated with heartburn. Calcium carbonate can also form a temporary protective coating on the lining of the oesophagus, which may offer additional relief from the irritation caused by stomach acid.

The combination of these three active ingredients in Peptac helps to alleviate discomfort caused by excessive stomach acid and its effects on the oesophagus.

Peptac alternative medicines

Thankfully there are plenty of liquid heartburn medicines which are alternative to Peptac.

1. Acidex: the cheapest Peptac alternative  

Acidex Liquid is the cheaper Peptac alternative which is priced similarly to Peptac. Acidex has two main active ingredients: sodium alginate & calcium carbonate. Both active ingredients are found in Peptac’s formulation.  

Acidex Liquid comes in 500ml bottles in two flavours: peppermint and aniseed. Similar to Peptac, Acidex Liquid is a pharmacy-only medication. Customers may need to ask a pharmacy team about the availability of Acidex since it can be kept in the dispensary, rather than on the display.

Acidex has been affected by the Peptac shortage. Acidex has intermediate availability.

2. Acidex Advanced 

Acidex Advanced has also two main active ingredients, one of which is different to the active ingredients found in regular Acidex liquid. Sodium alginate is the same active ingredient, which is also found in Peptac and Acidex Liquid.

Acidex Advanced - cheap Peptac alternative for heartburn

Potassium bicarbonate is another antacid compound which neutralises stomach acid and helps to regulate PH balance, which may alleviate indigestion and reduce bloating by reducing the production of gas. Potassium bicarbonate is another antacid compound which neutralises stomach acid and helps to regulate PH balance, which may alleviate indigestion and reduce bloating by reducing the production of gas.

Acidex Advanced comes in two sizes (250ml and 500ml) and two flavours, peppermint and aniseed.

3. Gaviscon Original: the best Peptac alternative

Gaviscon is a well-known brand of antacid products, which previously have been reviewed in a related post: Best Gaviscon Alternative Medicines.

Gaviscon Original comes in two flavours and different sizes: 150ml, 300ml and 600ml.

The main active ingredients found in Gaviscon Original:

  • sodium alginate (250mg)
  • calcium carbonate (80mg)
  • sodium bicarbonate (133.5mg)

Peptac alternative - Gaviscon Original contains the same active ingredients

Gaviscon Original has the same active ingredients as Peptac which makes it a great choice for customers who seek the same treatment option. Gaviscon Original is more expensive than Peptac, however, is widely available and comes in different sizes.

Gaviscon Original can also be prescribed. Patients who struggle to find Peptac to fulfil their prescription may ask their GP to change their prescription to Gaviscon.

4. Gaviscon Advanced  

Gaviscon Advance is another antacid in the range. Gaviscon Advanced has two main active ingredients: potassium bicarbonate and sodium alginate.

The inclusion of potassium bicarbonate in Gaviscon Advanced is the primary difference between the Gaviscon Original and Advance. It provides an enhanced antacid effect compared to Gaviscon Original.

Both Gaviscon Original and Gaviscon Advanced work by forming a protective layer on the stomach’s contents and neutralizing stomach acid, helping to alleviate symptoms of heartburn, and acid indigestion. However, the choice between the two formulations may depend on individual preferences and the severity of symptoms.

5. Gaviscon Double Action

Gaviscon Double Action (DA) is designed to provide relief from symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) through a dual-action formula. Gaviscon Double Action is available in various forms, including tablets, liquid, and chewable tablets. Three main active ingredients found in Gaviscon Double action:

  • sodium alginate (500mg)
  • calcium carbonate (325mg)
  • sodium bicarbonate (213mg)

The above combination represents a mix of the same active ingredients found in Gaviscon Original and Peptac. The amount of active ingredients is higher than Gaviscon Double Action than Gaviscon Original or Peptac. Gaviscon Double Action has double the amount of sodium alginate and sodium bicarbonate, hence its name.

Sale
Gaviscon Double Action Heartburn & Indigestion Relief Liquid, Mint Flavour, Pack of 600ML
  • GETS TO WORK INSTANTLY - Gaviscon Double Action's formulation gets to work in seconds to create a protective barrier that lasts up to 4 hours; In fact, 9 out 10 people would use Gaviscon Double Action again (based on a 2012 survey of 45 heartburn and indigestion sufferers compared to control
  • LASTS UP TO 2X LONGER THAN ANTACIDS - Unlike antacids, Gaviscon Double Action forms a raft, or layer, on the top of your stomach contents and to help keep stomach acid in your stomach, where it belongs
  • UNIQUE FORMULATION/COMBINATION FOR DUAL RELIEF OF HEARTBURN & INDIGESTION - Gaviscon Double Action neutralises excess stomach acid to help relieve discomfort; It also forms a protective barrier over the stomach contents to help soothe the burning sensation in your chest
  • SUITABLE FOR USE IN PREGNANCY - Gaviscon products are suitable for use during pregnancy and whilst breastfeeding; Medicines can affect the unborn baby, always speak to doctor or pharmacist before using medicine in pregnancy
  • 40 YEARS OF GAVISCON - For over 40 years, Gaviscon has helped to provide people with fast, effective heartburn and indigestion relief

Peptac vs Gaviscon Original vs Gaviscon Double Action

Looking closer at the composition of Gaviscon Original and Double Action and Peptac it is clear that Gaviscon Original is the best Peptac alternative with the same active ingredients present in the same amounts.

Active ingredient* Peptac Gaviscon Original Gaviscon DA
sodium alginate 250mg 250mg 500mg
calcium carbonate 80mg 80mg 325mg
sodium bicarbonate 133.5mg 133.5mg 213mg

 *amount per 5ml of medicine

6. Maalox Plus

Maalox Plus offers relief from indigestion, heartburn and acidity, however with alternative active ingredients. Each 5ml spoonful of Maalox plus suspension contains:

  • Magnesium hydroxide 200mg
  • Aluminium hydroxide 153mg
  • Simethicone 20mg

The role of main active ingredients:

  • Aluminium hydroxide: This is an antacid that works by neutralizing excess stomach acid, providing relief from heartburn and acid indigestion.
  • Magnesium hydroxide: This is another antacid that also helps neutralize stomach acid and provides relief from indigestion and upset stomach.
  • Simeticone: This ingredient is often added to help reduce gas and bloating associated with indigestion.
Maalox Plus Suspension, Other, 250 ml (Pack of 1)
  • ✔ Fast and effective trapped wind remedy
  • ✔ Triple action against trapped wind, heartburn and indigestion
  • ✔ Removes the gas in the stomach that causes trapped wind
  • ✔ Lemon flavour-sodium free
  • ✔ 250ml Oral suspension

The combination of these active ingredients in Maalox Plus makes it a dual-action medication. The antacids work to neutralize stomach acid, which can cause heartburn and indigestion, while simeticone helps alleviate gas and bloating.

Maalox Plus is less commonly sold medication in pharmacies, however, it can be purchased online. Most pharmacies should be able to order Maalox Plus upon request.

Maalox Plus should definitely be considered by patients who want to try different types of antacids and those who experience bloating alongside heartburn symptoms.

7. Milk of Magnesia

Perhaps Milk of Magnesia is less relevant than Peptac alternative medication, however, it can provide gentle, fast soothing relief from indigestion including excess acid, heartburn and stomach upset. Milk of Magnesia contains only one active ingredient: magnesium hydroxide.

8. Antacid tablets

Various antacid chewable tablets can be purchased in pharmacies and online. Generally, antacid tablets are less effective than antacid liquids in controlling heartburn symptoms. Gaviscon Original tablets have the same active ingredients a liquid form of Gaviscon and Peptac.

TUMS Antacid Chewable Tablets, Extra Strength for Heartburn Relief, Assorted Fruit, 96 count
  • Heartburn Relief
  • Excellent Source of Calcium
  • Fast Long Lasting Relief

9. Over the counter omeprazole and esomeprazole

Omeprazole and esomeprazole belong to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one of the most effective medications for suppressing stomach acid production. They block a tiny pump in the cells of your stomach that releases acid. By doing this, PPIs reduce the amount of acid that your stomach produces.

Omeprazole and esomeprazole can be purchased over the counter. Two popular brands of PPIs are Nexium Control (esomeprazole) and Pyrocalm Control (omeprazole).

PPIs are more effective than Peptac in controlling heartburn symptoms, however, they have the potential to interact with other medicines.

Sale
Guardium Acid Reflux Control Tabs Heartburn Indigestion 14s
  • GUARDIUM PROVIDES CONVENIENT, LONG LASTING RELIEF* FROM FREQUENT HEARTBURN SYMPTOMS - Burning pain in your chest? For sufferers of frequent heartburn, Guardium gets to work in 1 hour* for 24 hours of zero heartburn; Frequent heartburn can be classified as suffering from these symptoms twice a week or more; *Full effects may take 2-3 days
  • ONE TABLET FOR 24H PROTECTION - This box of Guardium by the makers of Gaviscon contains 14 tablets; take one tablet a day for 24 hours protection from heartburn and acid reflux
  • BLOCKS THE ACID PUMPS IN YOUR STOMACH - Guardium by the makers of Gaviscon works by blocking the acid pumps in your stomach, making it less acidic, tackling the problem at its source therefore helping to reduce heartburn
  • GUARDIUM AND GAVISCON ADVANCE CAN BE USED TOGETHER - Guardium can be used for 24h protection and Gaviscon Advance can be used for fast relief of reflux symptom such as heartburn
  • GUARDIUM, BY THE MAKERS OF GAVISCON - Guardium is manufactured by the same company that makes Gaviscon

Conclusion

Despite Peptac’s shortage, there is plenty of other antacids available over the counter. Gaviscon Original is the best choice since it has the same active ingredients.

References

electronic medicines compendium (EMC). Available at: https://www.medicines.org.uk/emc/ Accessed on 29/07/2023

 

I am a qualified pharmacist working in an independent pharmacy in the UK.
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