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  1. #1
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    Sep 2005
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    Default Antacids and kidney stones?

    Has anyone else been warned that if they eat too many antacids they will develop kidney stones?

    My dr. (who knows I suffered from horrible acid reflux before pregnancy and that I have a lot of heartburn now) has never once mentioned that eating too many Rolaids/Tums will give me kidney stones. But, 3 different people now have told me stories about so and so who ate too many antacids while pregnant and got kidney stones because of it. Has anyone else heard these stories? Is it really a big risk, or just a few unlucky people who had a bad experience?

    I thought antacids were completely safe. As a matter of fact, when my sister was pregnant her dr. told her to eat antacids daily, whether or not she had heartburn, because she wasn't getting enough calcium.

  2. #2
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    Aug 2005
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    Michelle - I'm in the same boat. Though I didn't suffer before getting pg, it has been bad for me since day one and still is.
    My Dr. told me to take Tums, up to 10 a day. She never mentioned anything about stones to me - but I have read that as well. I guess I just assumed her "10" was in the safe range. I'm not eating that many a day anyway. I take 2 at a time, maybe 6 a day at the most.

    Nothing I eat or don't eat helps it. You?
    Heather & Tim 06.08.02
    Clayton Travis 9.12.06
    Brady Patrick is here! 10.10.10

  3. #3
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    No, there is nothing I can eat or avoid to not get heartburn. I am pretty used to just having it all the time. My dr. did give me the OK to take Pepcid AC if I need to. Last summer my acid reflux got so bad I lost about 13 pounds, which is a lot for someone who only weighed 105 to begin with. Pepcid AC was the only thing that helped. I took it twice a day and felt so much better. After 6 weeks of that I didn't need it at all anymore and I didn't even need my Rolaids. I would get heartburn only once in awhile... like once a month after that. Pregnancy brought back the daily stuff though, which sucks, but since I've been through it before it's not quite as much of a shock. But there is a difference between days when I have heartburn and days when I have reflux.

    I had just never heard that antacids could give you kidney stones. I wonder if the Pepcid AC has the same risk? I also wonder how serious of a risk it is if my dr. didn't even mention it to me. I'll probably ask him about it at my next visit.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2005
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    It happened to me!

    When I was pregnant with DS - I took my prenatals religiously and TUMS probably 5 or 6 per day - I BF'ed DS and continued with my prenatals and took TUMS every day maybe 2 or 3. I also drank milk and ate alot of dairy thinking it would keep me up with my calories and was good for me and DS.

    When DS was 4 months old - I got a kidney stone - a BIG one....was hospitalized and had to have three procedures to break it up b/c it was too big to pass.

    Now - my kidney doc said he can't say that it was DEFINITELY the TUMS but my stone was a calcium stone. So the combo of the prenatals for over a year, the TUMS, the dairy....you get the picture. He said to limit or avoid the following foods - spinach, lunch meat, romaine lettace and a few others - he also said to drink 2 tablespoons of pure lemon juice per day. I should still be doing this but I have gotten out the habit.

    Currently - my OB doesn't want me taking any of the antacids with calcium. I can take Zantac 150mg 2x per day - and he says that is all I can take for the heartburn/acid reflux. It works for me - if I remember early to take it. I am terrified of getting another stone while pregnant or at all. But - I think certain people are more prone to them and once you have one you are likely to have another....I keep my fingers crossed....

    Good luck - see you on the Oct mommies thread!
    Married 2002
    Mommy 1.15.04
    Mommy x2 9.19.06

  5. #5
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    Jun 2005
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    New York
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    My DD is 12 weeks old and I was in the ER last weekend with two kidney stones. Like the previous posted they can not say for sure it was because of all the tums I took during pregnancy, but it could have been. I lived on tums for most of the pregnancy (not knowing about the kidney stone risk) and I only switched to zantac at the end. It could have also been BFing and not drinking enough water which I know I don't but who knows.
    I would switch to zantac just to be safe because the kidney stones were awful!
    Married 6.15.03
    DS 6.29.04
    DD 3.23.06

  6. #6
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    Sep 2005
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    So is it a bigger risk to pregnant women since they are most likely taking pre-natals which means they are getting even more calcium?

    I thought eating Romaine lettuce was so good for me! This is definitely a scary thought. I wouldn't want kidney stones pregnant or not either!!

  7. #7
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    Jun 2005
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    I believe it is more of a risk when you have very high levels of calcium.

    And as Sal said - the drinking alot of water is really important too - I should have been drinking alot more during the 4 months of breastfeeding.

    I would ask your doc if you can switch to the Zantac - my doc said it is perfectly fine to take it every day for the entire pregnancy...if you are worried that is. I had no history of kidney stones either...
    Married 2002
    Mommy 1.15.04
    Mommy x2 9.19.06

  8. #8
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    Jun 2005
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    Great...I have acid reflux every day, and it keep me up most of the night. I have been taking tums to try to control it, and I have to guess that I take 10 or more a day.

    I stopped taking prenatals, though, and now take just a regular multi, folic acid, fish oil, and vitamin c (the prenatal was constipating me badly).

    I had already decided that I need to talk to my OB about giving me something for the acid reflux bc I don't think I can handle it anymore. It doesn't matter what I eat, it is just constant. I can't lay down and night, and on Friday (this is TMI) I fell asleep on the couch only to wake myself up vomitting! My guess is that this is bc of the acid reflux, which I never had before getting pg.
    J&K 9.22.01* C 10.30.06

  9. #9
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    Sep 2005
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    Acid reflux can be pure hell. From constant heartburn to the constant gagging feeling of having a lump in your throat to the acid backing up into your mouth.... it's pretty nasty. I always just thought I had heartburn. I can't even stress enough how Pepcid AC helped me. My doctor and I are even in agreement that I might have gotten pregnant sooner had I started the Pepcid sooner... I had lost so much weight and she told me not to expect to get PG until I was back to my pre-reflux weight. That was exactly what happened.

    What really pushed me over the edge to go to my dr. about the heartburn in the first place was when I started feeling the lump in my throat. It was like my esophagus was just so swollen and it gagged me constantly.

    I found this article from the FDA. It is on stomach problems in general, but has a great chart of different heartburn meds and their possile effects:

    http://www.fda.gov/fdac/reprints/tummy.html

    This is what it lists for Rolaids/Tums type of antacids:

    with extended heavy use: kidney stones, reduced kidney function
    I am guessing that someone with bad heartburn during pregnancy would use these products heavily for an extended period of time.

    I also researched Pepcid AC's active ingredient, famotidine and found that it is considered a Class B drug by the FDA. Zantac is also Class B.

    http://www.gynob.com/fda.htm

    BUT, researching other drug classes it looks like calcium carbonate (Tums, Rolaids) are considered Class C. Which makes them "more dangerous." So why are doctors mostly recommending the calcium carbonate stuff for heartburn than the stuff with the lighter drug classification?

    Hopefully everyone finds something that works for them to alleviate heartburn/reflux. I guess the best route is to go with what your doctor says, but I guess it is best to be educated on the issues yourself so you can bring them up during the discussion.

  10. #10
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    I had a kidney stone in my early twenties and, yup, it was pure hell. Nothing I would ever want to repeat. However, when I was pregnant last year, I had RAGING heartburn for three months and kept bottles of Tums in the car, all over the house, in my desk at work, etc. The last month I was taking at least 10 Tums a day but I didn't get another kidney stone. I think what really helped me is that my favorite drink is water and I drink alot of it everyday, sometimes mixed with a splash of cranberry juice. I think that as long as you keep up your fluid intake during and after your pregnancy, you should be okay. Please note that I am answering from experience NOT as a doctor.

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