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Name: TIM
Status:  other
Age:  30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2000-2001


Question:
I KNOW WE HAVE ACID IN OUR STOMACH'S SO WHEN WE TAKE A PILL LIKE PROZAC OR LUVOX THAT ARE MEANT TO GO TO THE BRAIN IS THE BRAIN AFFECTIVE BY THE ACID ? THANK YOU.


Replies:
The stomach is acidic. In particular HCl, with a pH between about 2-4. Depending upon its chemical composition, a particular medication may affect (or be affected by) the acidic environment of the stomach. Pharmaceutical manufacturers study this in the course of the development of the drug. One of the following outcomes is possible:

1. No effect. The drug can be taken without regard to the contents of the stomach

2. The drug is activated by stomach acid, so the label may advise taking the medication on an empty stomach, or advises against the use of antacids some number of before and after the drug is taken.

3. The drug is de-activated by stomach acid. In this case the label may instruction may advise taking with milk.

4. The medication may be enterically coated. That means that the drug is encased in a coating that will not dissolve at the low pH in the stomach, but does so in the small intestine, which is alkaline.

There are other possibilities, but I think you get the picture.

FYI: The acid is confined to the stomach unless one has what is called acid reflux in which the sphincter [muscle valve] between the stomach and the esophogus doesn't close properly. This is a fairly common condition and can be serious.

FYI: The acidic environment is necessary for proper digestion. In addition, the low pH kills many pathogens that are ingested, thus protecting the body from some potential disease conditions.

FYI: The lining of the stomach excretes several layers of mucous which protect the stomach lining from the acid, unless one develops a peptic ulcer which exposes to attack by the acid. The esophogus contains no such mucous excreting glands, and hence is subject attack if the person has acid reflux.

Vince Calder


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