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Can I let Tums dissolve in mouth or must they be chewed??

Medically reviewed by Carmen Pope, BPharm. Last updated on Sep 7, 2023.

Official answer


Chewable Tums are designed to be chewed which allows the calcium carbonate and other active ingredients contained in them to work quickly and directly in the stomach, rather than being absorbed into the bloodstream.

If you suck the tablets in your mouth, it may take a while for them to dissolve properly, because they have been designed to break up into smaller pieces when they are chewed. Sucking them will reduce their effect, and they may take longer to start working. Also, some of the active ingredients may be absorbed directly into your bloodstream through your mouth, rather than having a direct effect on your stomach.

Swallowing chewable tablets whole prevents them from working quickly and from having a direct effect on the stomach. Because Tums contains calcium, swallowing them whole is like taking a calcium supplement, and calcium supplements have been linked to a higher risk of heart attack, especially in people with heart disease. You should not swallow Tums whole.

If you do not like chewing Tums, try a liquid antacid preparation instead or ask your pharmacist or doctor for an indigestion remedy that can be swallowed whole.

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