Can you take Tums (calcium carbonate) while pregnant?
Tums (generic calcium carbonate), an over-the-counter chewable antacid, is usually considered safe in pregnancy to treat the symptoms of indigestion, acid reflux, gas, bloating, heartburn as well as an upset stomach resulting from them [1, 2].
Although it is recommended to avoid any medication during this period, and try to manage the symptoms of acid indigestion through lifestyle changes and safe alternative home remedies, taking Tums occasionally does not generally cause any harm to the baby . But, like all other drugs, it is recommended to consult your doctor before using oral calcium carbonate while pregnant.
Category C  – Despite being considered relatively safe for pregnant women, it is assigned in Category C as it crosses the placenta and there is a lack of adequate research on human pregnancy. Animal studies have shown no harmful effects on the fetus .
Is Tums safe during early pregnancy?
Calcium carbonate, the active ingredient in the antacid, is considered safe during the first trimester with little proven association with an increased risk of birth defects [6, 7]. However, extreme overdoses may be harmful.
What is the recommended dosage of Tums during pregnancy?
It is usually not recommended to take any more than seven regular strength tablets within 24 hours in pregnancy . However, the dosage may vary according to your doctor’s instructions .
Studies regarding the potential risks and benefits of taking Tums while pregnant
One 1960s study failed to find any association between the use of calcium carbonate by the mother and having increased chances of birth defects in the baby. However, the same study reported significantly higher risks of serious physical deformities with exposure to certain other antacids in the womb in late pregnancy.
Calcium based antacids (as well as the magnesium based ones) were recommended for pregnant women at a European consensus conference, where the medicines were found to offer the additional benefit of higher calcium supplementation, reducing the risks of high blood pressure and preeclampsia. The calcium content of Tums is also useful for proper fetal bone development, especially when taken in the third trimester .
Tums while breastfeeding
Tums is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers with the maximum daily dosage usually not recommended to exceed 1,200 mg . It does enter the breast milk, but there is no evidence of any harm to the nursing infant [4, 11]. Make sure to consult with your doctor before taking the calcium carbonate pills to understand its potential effects.
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