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ANTACID

INTRODUCTION
Warner-Lambert Pharmaceutical Company, producer of Rolaids, says that stomach acid is approximately 0.1 M
hydrochloric acid. Excess stomach acid is a term used to describe the situation where the pH of the stomach contents
falls below 3.0 and the symptoms which are commonly called heartburn and indigestion occur. Consumes, says
Warner-Lambert, means that in a test tube a Rolaids tablet maintains the pH above 3.0 as acid is added. Test have
been
made with both human gastric juice and 0.1 M hydrochloric acid where acid is added to a crushed Rolaids tablet at
constant temperature with controlled agitation until the pH is reduced to 3.0.
Antacids are compounds that act as bases to neutralize stomach acid, hydrochloric acid
(~0.02M). Most antacids such as calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide are water
insoluble and thus difficult to analyze by direct titration.
DISCUSSION:
Produced by the gastric parietal cells in the lining of the stomach, hydrochloric acid
(HCl) suppresses the growth of bacteria and aids the digestion of certain starches.
Gastric hyperacidity, also known as indigestion, is caused by an excess production of
this acid. Many consumers use antacids for mild, infrequent cases of indigestion; but
they must be taken in limited doses because the amount of acid needs to be lessened
but not eliminated.
There are several different antacid tablets on the market. The antacid tablets contain
various kinds and amounts of active antacid ingredients as well as inactive binders,
flavors and other commercial goodies. The active ingredients neutralize acid through a
variety of reactions while the inactive ingredients provide bulk and flavor.
The number of moles of acid that can be neutralized by a single tablet of a commercial antacid will be determined by
back titration. To do the experiment, an antacid tablet will be dissolved in a known excess amount of acid. The
resulting solution will be acidic because the tablet did not provide enough moles of base to completely neutralize the
acid. The solution will be titrated with base of known concentration to determine the amount of acid not neutralized by
the tablet. To find the number of moles of acid neutralized by the tablet, the number of moles of acid neutralized in
the titration is subtracted from the moles of acid in the initial solution.
Chemical Name Chemical Formula Chemical Reaction
Magnesium Hydroxide Mg(OH)
2
Mg(OH)
2
+ 2H
+
--> Mg
2+
+ 2H
2
O
Calcium Carbonate CaCO
3
CaCO
3
+ 2H
+
--> Ca
2+
+ H
2
O + CO
2
(g)
Sodium Bicarbonate NaHCO
3
NaHCO
3
+ H
+
--> Na
+
+ H
2
O + CO
2
(g)
Aluminum Hydroxide Al(OH)
3
Al(OH)
3
+ 3H
+
--> Al
3+
+ 3H
2
O
Dihydroxyaluminum
Sodium Carbonate
NaAl(OH)
2
CO
3
NaAl(OH)
2
CO
3
+ 4H
+
--> Na
+
+ Al
3+
+ 3H
2
O + CO
2
(g)

The tablets will be dissolved in an excess of 0.10 M HCl (which will simulate stomach acid), and
then the remaining acid (i.e., the portion of the acid that did not react with the antacid) will be
titrated
with standard sodium hydroxide (NaOH) solution. It is not possible to titrate antacid tablets
directly for
several reasons. First, commercial antacid tablets frequently contain binders, filler, flavorings,
and
coloring agents which may interfere with the titration. Second, the bases found in most antacids
are
weak bases and become buffered as they are titrated, often leading to an indistinct indicator
endpoint.
A back-titration is performed by adding a measured excess of acid to a ground
weighed and dissolved sample of an antacid tablet; some of the acid will be
neutralized by the tablet and some will remain in the solution. The remaining
amount of acid is then titrated with a standardized base to determine the
amount of acid remaining in the solution. Then by subtracting this amount
from the total initial acid added at the start, the amount of acid neutralized by
the antacid can be calculated.




REFERENCES
James M. Miller and Don V. Zahniser, Antacid Analysis, Chemistry, 44, (no. 7) July-August 1971, page 28.