Can you get sick from eating expired tums?

In this article, we will answer the question “Can you get sick from eating expired tums?”, how to store tums, how to dispose of expired medication, and are there any side effects of antacids.

Can you get sick from eating expired tums?

Although unlikely, expired tums can make you sick, especially if you have a sensitive stomach. The expiry date on medications mostly refers to the time after which the medication quickly loses its potency. Whereas, some medications do become toxic after they expire.

Tums are the antacids that are the most effective if consumed before their expiry date. Unlike food, tums do not necessarily go bad once expired but they won’t provide the intended health benefits or relief.

However, there is always a risk attached to eating an expired medicine and tums are no exception. The expiry date printed on the tums indicates that the manufacturer won’t be responsible for any harmful effects that the medication may induce if taken past the expiry.

Therefore, it is not recommended to ingest expired tums. Because it is better to be safe than sorry.

How to store tums?

The general rule of thumb is to keep any medication in a cool, dark, and dry place. Heat sources should not have access to your medication. Heat and moisture destroy the medicinal properties of tums and render them ineffective.

Suitable places to store tums include a dresser drawer, storage box, shelf, closet, or even a kitchen cabinet ensuring that it is nowhere close to the stovetop. 

How to dispose of expired medicine?

If it is a liquid medication, the go-to option for disposing of is to flush them down the sink or the drain. Better yet, you can throw the whole container in the trash. Make sure the container is tightly shut so that it does not spill.

If the expired medicine is in solid form, you can throw it in the trash or dump it in the litter box. If you opt for the latter disposal method, wet the medicine and seal it in the litter clay so that your pet does not dig it up. Keep the medication, solid or liquid, away from the reach of pets and children at all times.

What are antacids and what are they used for?

Antacids help balance the stomach ph and they are available over the counter (OTC). Unlike the H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which work by inhibiting or reducing the HCL production in the stomach, antacids work by neutralizing the acid. Antacids provide relief from acid reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. 

Antacids are available in three different forms including the liquid antacids, the chewable gummy, or tablet, and a tablet that needs to be dissolved in water to make a solution. Popular manufacturers of Antacids are Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums.

Are there any side effects of antacids?

Drug misuse 

The direction and dose of usage are printed on the medicine for a reason. They must be strictly adhered to or you are setting yourself up for side effects due to medicine abuse.

Since the Antacids contain calcium, overconsumption can lead to nausea, vomiting, and kidney stones. Moreover, it leaves you feeling generally uncomfortable and distraught.

Drug interactions 

Medicines need to get along or they induce harmful effects on your body. This applies despite the medicine being an over-the-counter drug. If you have a chronic illness and regularly take medication for it, consult your doctor before taking antacids.

Because antacids can wreak havoc after interacting with other medicines. If you are on an anticoagulant or antiplatelet drug, do not take antacids. Negligence can cost you your life.

Read the label to check if the antacids contain aspirin. This ingredient can be problematic for people suffering from stomach ulcers and bleeding disorders, and the elderly (more than 60 years old). Quit use if you are an alcoholic.

When to see a doctor 

If the antacids provide you no relief, get medical help. Note that antacids can only ease your pain and not cure the disease that causes it. 

Call 911 if you are experiencing the symptoms of a heart attack that may be accompanied by dizziness, shortness of breath, neck or back pain, vomiting, nausea, and pain in the arms, shoulders, and jaw.


In this article, we answered the question “Can you get sick from eating expired tums?”, how to store tums, how to dispose of expired medication, and are there any side effects of antacids.


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