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What is acid reflux?

You might not know the term acid reflux, but you’ve probably heard of heartburn. It’s much the same thing.1 It can also be called gastric reflux.1

It’s caused when some of the acidic contents of your stomach flow back up into your oesophagus (the tube that carries food down from your mouth – you might know this better as your foodpipe).1,2 This creates a burning pain in the lower chest area, often after you’ve just eaten.1,2


What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

Think you might have acid reflux? What should you look out for?

The two most common symptoms are:

  • Burning sensation in the chest or throat –Intense pain or discomfort in the centre of your chest at the lowest part of your breastbone.1,2 You might find this pain rises up as far as your throat.1  This pain is due to the stomach acids irritating the lining of your foodpipe and you might know it better as heartburn2
  • Sour taste – Unpleasant acidic taste in your mouth where your stomach contents ‘repeat’ on 1,2

You might find that your symptoms are worse at night or when you lie down.1 How long they last can vary but, in a survey, people said it lasted an average of two and half hours, although around 10% suffered for between 4-8 hours.*

Other reflux symptoms include:1,2,4

  • Feeling sick
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Persistent cough
  • Choking sensation
  • Throat pain or hoarseness
  • Tooth erosion.

Some more unusual symptoms that have been associated with regular acid reflux include:4

  • Sinusitis
  • Asthma
  • Regular ear infections.

How can I treat acid reflux?

Looking for an effective medicine to ease your discomfort?

Gaviscon provides soothing relief from acid reflux.5 Gaviscon products:

  • Provide long-lasting relief5– and are available in liquid form or chewable tablets
  • Contain an alginate- This works with the body by forming a protective barrier on top of the stomach contents.5 This physical barrier helps prevent stomach acids rising into your oesophagus.5 What this means is that Gaviscon products don’t need to be absorbed into your bloodstream5 to help provide the relief you want.

Gaviscon Advance has been specially formulated to ensure it doesn’t get into the bloodstream, making it suitable for pregnant and breastfeeding women.6,7 It’s designed for long-lasting relief6,7 and has the lowest sodium content of any product in the Gaviscon range, making it our recommended solution for pregnant and breast-feeding mothers.  However, always talk to your doctor, pharmacist or midwife first before taking any medicines when pregnant or breastfeeding.


All information presented is not meant to diagnose or prescribe. If symptoms are severe or prolonged you should consult a doctor or pharmacist.


*Based on survey of 13,831 heartburn and indigestion sufferers from 5 countries3

Gaviscon Liquid Peppermint Flavour, Gaviscon Liquid Aniseed Flavour, Gaviscon Peppermint Chewable Tablets, Gaviscon Extra Oral Suspension, Gaviscon Extra Chewable Tablets, Gaviscon Extra Liquid Sachets contain sodium alginate, sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate for heartburn and indigestion. Always read the label.

Gaviscon Advance Oral Suspension 300ml & 600ml contain sodium alginate and potassium hydrogen carbonate for heartburn and indigestion. Always read the label.


  1. Guts UK. Heartburn and acid reflux. Accessed December 2020.
  2. Health Service Executive. Acid reflux. Accessed December 2020.
  3. RB GI segmentation research. September 2010.
  4. Basu KK. The Prescriber, 2012; August; 19-26..
  5. Gaviscon Liquid Peppermint Flavour. Summary of Product Characteristics. Accessed June 2021
  6. Gaviscon Advance Oral Suspension Summary of Product Characteristics. Accessed June 2021

Article published 1 January 2021