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Andrews original salts

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 2 minutes read

Andrews original salts are a remedy that has been used for over a hundred years. It comes as an effervescent powder that aims to be a fast and effective relief for an upset stomach including symptoms of indigestion. The medicine contains magnesium sulfate, sodium bicarbonate and sodium saccharin. Together they aim to safely control the level and strength of stomach acid to help resolve an upset stomach. The powder dissolves quickly in water and is easy to take at home, work or on the go.

Doctor’s advice

Who is it for?

This is best described as treating the symptoms of over-indulgence. More specifically, Andrews is recommended as an antacid for the relief of indigestion. It is suitable for adults and children over the age of 12, making it an option for almost all ages.

How does it work?

Andrews salts contain three key ingredients: Sodium bicarbonate, sodium saccharin, and magnesium sulfate.

Sodium bicarbonate works as an antacid in the stomach by neutralizing acidity. Sodium saccharin and sodium bicarbonate in combination also relieve discomfort caused by acidity in the stomach. Magnesium sulfate works in the gut by triggering secretions that favor an accumulation of water and electrolytes in the gut, helping relieve constipation.

Should anyone avoid taking it?

Patients with intolerances or allergies to any of the ingredients should avoid taking Andrews salts. This includes people with high blood pressure and heart or kidney issues.

Because of the sugar content, diabetics should also use it with caution. If a laxative is required every day for any longer than 2 weeks, or if there is persistent abdominal pain, then you should consult your doctor for advice.

Are there any side-effects?

The main side effect of the medication is diarrhea, which may occur with extensive usage. Inappropriate frequent or prolonged use in people with severe kidney dysfunction may lead to high magnesium or calcium in the blood, which can also cause serious problems.

Occasionally, some people experience a severe allergic reaction to the medication. If you experience any mouth swelling, airway swelling, or shortness of breath, you should treat this as an emergency and dial 911 for emergency services.

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This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
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