(HealthDay News) -- Antacids are medications that counteract acids in the stomach, to help ease heartburn discomfort.

Many of these drugs are sold over-the-counter. But not everyone should take antacids, despite their wide availability, the American Academy of Family Physicians says.

The academy mentions these people who shouldn't take antacids without first consulting a physician:

  • People who are passing bloody stools.
  • People who are vomiting blood.
  • People who have heartburn that doesn't get better after two weeks of treatment.
  • People who have painful or difficulty swallowing.
  • People who are losing weight for no apparent reason.