Hydrotalcite (Altacite - Roussel) is synthetic aluminium magnesium hydroxide carbonate hydrate which also occurs naturally as a crystalline mineral. It is promoted for the treatment of ‘acid-pepsin’ disease, that is peptic ulceration, gastritis, dyspepsia, hyperacidity and heartburn associated with reflux oesophagitis and hiatus hernia. It is claimed that hydrotalcite reduces pepsin activity by maintaining the pH of gastric contents at levels between 4 and 5 and by precipitating and adsorbing pepsin. In vitro it has a buffering effect between pH 3 and 5. Other aluminium-based antacids, e. g. aluminium hydroxide are also said to reduce pepsin activity, but whether hydrotalcite is more effective is not known.
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