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Medications and Drugs

Brand Names: Alternagel

Generic Name: aluminum hydroxide (Pronunciation: a LOO mi num hye DROX ide)

What is aluminum hydroxide (Alternagel)?

Aluminum is a naturally occurring mineral. Aluminum hydroxide is an antacid.

Aluminum hydroxide is used to treat symptoms of increased stomach acid, such as heartburn, upset stomach, sour stomach, or acid indigestion. Aluminum hydroxide is also used to reduce phosphate levels in people with certain kidney conditions.

Aluminum hydroxide may be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of aluminum hydroxide (Alternagel)?

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using the medication and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • severe stomach pain or constipation;
  • bloody, black, or tarry stools;
  • coughing up blood that looks like coffee grounds;
  • pain when you urinate;
  • extreme drowsiness; or
  • tired feeling, loss of appetite, and muscle weakness.

Less serious side effects are more likely, and you may have none at all.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about aluminum hydroxide (Alternagel)?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication if you have kidney disease, kidney stones, severe constipation, if you are dehydrated, or if you drink alcohol frequently.

Do not take aluminum hydroxide for longer than 2 weeks without your doctor's advice.

Avoid taking other medications at the same time you take aluminum hydroxide. Antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb certain other drugs.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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