The Food and Drug Administration says a common misconception has led to an excessive consumption of antacids in Taiwan last year.

According to FDA officials, the common misconception that medications can upset the stomach caused patients to consume 1.7 billion antacid tablets last year, and show an over-reliance on the pills.

A telephone-based survey conducted by the ministry in August showed that over 26 percent of respondents asked their doctors to prescribe antacids in case other medications caused stomach discomfort.

Moreover, 70 percent of the respondents were not aware of the long-term health risks posed by antacids.

The director-general of the Taiwan Society of Health System Pharmacists says many effervescent antacids contain sodium bicarbonate, which can affect people’s blood pressure.

The director-general says most medications do not irritate the stomach, and such discomfort generally goes away on its own, without the assistance of antacids.


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