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Aluminum Hydroxide (Al(OH)3, antacid)

Written by Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD · Pharmacology

Updated Jul 28, 2021

Aluminum hydroxide is an ingredient used in many preparations, including antacids. As an antacid, it works by neutralizing the hydrochloride in stomach acid. It also has protective properties when applied to the skin.


What is aluminum hydroxide used for?

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Peptic ulcer disease
  • GERD
  • Minor burns and wounds
  • Skin irritation
  • Chaffing
  • How should I take aluminum hydroxide?

    Read the directions on the packaging for complete information. Check the label and expiration date.

    For oral tablets, chew the tablet completely, swallow, and then drink a glass of water. It is best taken after meals and at bedtime. Do not swallow the tablet whole or dissolve it in liquid.

    For the oral liquid, carefully tear the sachet and drink the contents. Take it after meals and at bedtime.

    For topical preparations, apply a thin layer to the affected areas. Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the product. Avoid contact with your eyes, nostrils, and mouth.

    How do I store aluminum hydroxide?

    Store this product at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store it in the bathroom or the freezer. 

    There may be different brands of this drug that may have different storage needs. So, it is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

    You should not flush this product down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Additionally, it is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

    Precautions & Warnings

    What should I know before using aluminum hydroxide?

    Before using this drug, tell your doctor if you are/have:

    • Pregnant or breastfeeding.
    • Taking any other medicines. This includes any prescription, OTC, and herbal remedies.
    • An allergy to any of the ingredients of this product.
    • Any other illnesses, disorders, or medical conditions.

    Is it safe during pregnancy or breastfeeding?

    Unfortunately, there isn’t enough information about the safety of using this drug during pregnancy and breastfeeding. However, it is likely safe to take. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking any medication.

    Side Effects

    What side effects can occur from aluminum hydroxide?

    Like all drugs, this product may have side effects. If they occur, side effects are generally mild and resolve once treatment is finished or the dose is lowered. Some reported side effects include:

    • Decreased phosphate levels in the blood (with long-term use)
    • Increased magnesium levels in the blood (with long-term use)
    • Diarrhea, constipation
    • Abdominal pain

    However, not everyone experiences these side effects. In addition, some people may experience other side effects. So, if you have any concerns about a side effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.


    What drugs may interact with aluminum hydroxide?

    This medication may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. 

    To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. 

    Drugs with known interactions:

    • Iron-containing supplements
    • Bisphosphonates (e.g. alendronate)
    • Tetracycline antibiotics
    • Quinolone antibiotics
    • Thyroid drugs (e.g. levothyroxine)
    • Calcium channel blockers (e.g. diltiazem, verapamil)
    • Quinidine
    • Raltegravir
    • Atazanavir
    • Dasatinib
    • Delavirdine
    • Azole antifungals
    • H2 blockers (e.g. cimetidine)

    If you experience an adverse drug interaction, inform your doctor immediately to reevaluate your treatment plan. Approaches include dose adjustment, drug substitution, or ending therapy.

    Does food or alcohol interact with aluminum hydroxide?

    This drug may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

    What health conditions may interact with aluminum hydroxide?

    This drug may interact with underlying conditions. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. Therefore, it is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have.


    The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. Therefore, you should always consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using any medication.

    What is the dose for an adult?

    Take capsules and tablets 4 times a day and at bedtime.

    As a suspension, take it 5 to 6 times per day and at bedtime.

    What is the dose for a child?

    There is no established pediatric dose. It may be unsafe for your child. It is always important to fully understand the safety of the drug before using. Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

    How is aluminum hydroxide available?

    Aluminum hydroxide is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

    • Capsule 475 mg
    • Tablet 300 mg, 600 mg
    • Topical ointment 113 g
    • Oral suspension 200 mg/5 mL, 320 mg/5 mL

    What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

    In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to the nearest emergency room.

    What should I do if I miss a dose?

    If you miss a dose, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Written by

    Stephanie Nera, RPh, PharmD


    Updated Jul 28, 2021

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