It isn’t, and the FDA wants you to know that.
Although both are available over the counter, they are intended to treat different medical conditions. Maalox Total Relief contains bismuth subsalicylate, which is related to aspirin and can cause bleeding and other serious side effects.
Maalox Total Relief treats upset stomach and diarrhea, while liquid Maalox Maalox Advanced Regular Strength and Maalox Advanced Maximum Strength are antacids for conditions such as heartburn.
People with bleeding disorders or gastrointestinal ulcers should not use Maalox Total Relief, nor should patients taking certain medicines that interact with aspirin including oral antidiabetic drugs, blood thinning drugs (anticoagulants) such as warfarin (Coumadin) or clopidogrel (Plavix), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), and other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Maalox Total Relief shouldn’t be given to children or teens with fever, flu, or chicken pox since salicylates can sometimes cause Reyes Syndrome, a potentially fatal condition, in children and teens with viral infections.
The FDA tells consumers to:
- Check with their health care professional if they have any question about which Maalox product is right for them.
- Look carefully at the label to be sure that they are buying the right Maalox product.
- Read the active ingredients and any drug warnings in the “Drug Facts” box before purchasing any Maalox product.
- Report any serious side effects from using a Maalox product to the FDA Medwatch Program. FDA Medwatch can be reached at 1-800-332-1088.
Cancer patients should always discuss any medicine or dietary supplement with their doctor before taking it to be sure that it is safe and will not interfere with cancer treatment.