Maalox During Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

by on May 2, 2012


Maalox is typically safe for pregnant women to take as it is not thought to contain harmful ingredients that can potentially harm women and their babies.  However, it is suggested that Maalox not be taken on an empty stomach, because this can cause the acidity to set in. Additionally, mothers should consult with their doctors about breastfeeding with Maalox.

Maalox is an antiacid that is mainly used for the treatment of heartburn and indigestion. These are complaints that are quite common in pregnant women.

Originally Maalox was developed as a mixture of aluminium and magnesium hydroxide. Nowadays, there are a variety of modifications of Maalox. Some of them contain calcium carbonate, others have simethicone so the pregnancy directions are different according to the active substances of the medicine.

Maalox During Pregnancy

Maalox has not been classified in any pregnancy category by The Food and Drug Administration (FDA). There are not enough well-controlled studies on the safety of these substances during pregnancy. However, there is also no data of any harmful effects on the fetus so Maalox is regarded relatively safe to use during pregnancy. There are no reported cases of birth defects or miscarriages when Maalox is used in the recommended way. A research on the occurrence of neural tube effects and lips malformations has shown no risk associated with the use of antiacids.

So the general precautions during pregnancy are applicable:

  • It is advisable to avoid the use of any medicines during the first trimester of pregnancy unless they have been prescribed to you by a doctor.
  • Maalox can be used during the second and the third trimester of pregnancy with caution in case benefits outweigh potential risks. Although Maalox is regarded safe to use during pregnancy, always consult your doctor before using Maalox as every case is different.

Besides, there are some conditions, such as kidney diseases in which Maalox should be avoided or administered very cautiously under medical supervision. Some doctors recommend the use of Maalox that contains calcium carbonate instead of aluminium and magnesium hydroxide Maalox. Occasional use of Maalox during pregnancy is not likely to cause any adverse effects.

In some Maalox formulations simethicone has been added. There are not enough studies and simethicone has not been assigned to a pregnancy category by FDA.  However, there is no data of pregnancy complications connected with the use of simethicone so it is regarded safe during pregnancy.

Maalox Total Relief or “All In One” Maalox (containing bismuth subsalicylate) should not be used by pregnant women.

Maalox and Breastfeeding

Maalox can be used during the breastfeeding only after a consultation with a physician.

Many of the substances of Maalox pass into breast milk. However, no adverse effects are expected if Maalox is used occasionally and in low doses. Maalox Total Relief (All in one Maalox) should not be used by breastfeeding mothers unless prescribed by a doctor.