Which Medicine Helps Gas Relief?

By Robynn Lowe
Medically reviewed checkmarkMedically reviewed
August 1, 2022

Gas, while it can cause discomfort or embarrassment, is a normal digestion function. 

Sometimes excessive gas gets trapped and causes abdominal cramping and distention. This is when you’ll want to reach for gas medication. But not all gas medicines are created the same. 

In this article, I’ll talk about which medications are available to treat gas and how they work. I’ll also discuss ingredients to check for, how to avoid getting gas, and when it’s time to seek medical attention. 

Gas X

Gas X is great for relieving gas symptoms. Infants, children, and adults can take Gas X as needed. 

The active ingredient, simethicone, is specially formulated to break up the bubbles in your digestive system. 

Gas X works quickly and comes in different forms, such as soft gels, chewable tablets, and liquid. 

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Beano

Beano is great for preventing gas caused by certain foods. Using a natural enzyme, Beano helps to break down complex carbohydrates found in legumes, beans, vegetables, and whole grains. 

If you know you get gas after eating these foods, take Beano right before or up to 30 minutes after your first bite. You should not have gas symptoms after that.

Beano comes in a chewable tablet and is gluten-free and vegetarian friendly. 

Lactase Enzyme Supplement

Lactose is a sugar found in milk and other dairy products. Your body needs the enzyme lactase to digest lactose. 

Some people don’t have lactase or make enough of it which is what the medical field calls being lactose intolerant.

If you know you get gas and an upset stomach after eating dairy, taking a lactase enzyme supplement could relieve your symptoms. 

Take the lactase enzyme with your first bite of dairy. Then, if you have another dairy snack 30-45 minutes later, take another dose. 

You can take lactase several times throughout the day when eating a meal or snack containing dairy. 

Imodium Multi-Symptom Anti-Diarrheal Caplets

Imodium multi-symptom anti-diarrheal caplets treat several digestive symptoms, including:

  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Cramps
  • Bloating
  • Pressure

Each caplet contains the active ingredients, loperamide and simethicone. Loperamide helps stop diarrhea, and simethicone relieves gas symptoms. 

Adults and children over 12 years of age can take Imodium multi-symptom anti-diarrheal caplets.

Imodium without the simethicone is also available as a soft gel, caplet, or liquid. 

Pepto Bismol

For a sour stomach, Pepto Bismol can be your best friend. The active ingredient, bismuth subsalicylate is formulated to bring relief for:

Pepto Bismol works by coating your stomach to help relieve symptoms. It comes in several forms, such as liquid, chewable tablets, and caplets. There is also a bubble gum-flavored kid’s chewable. 

Alka-Seltzer + Gas Relief

Alka-Seltzer + Gas Relief is fast heartburn and gas relief without the chalky taste. These tropical punch chewable gummies work quickly and are easy to travel with. 

The two active drugs, calcium carbonate and simethicone, work together to fight:

You can take Alka-Seltzer with or without food. It is suitable for adults and children over 12 years of age. 

Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal is a natural supplement made from processing common charcoal. It contains pores that take in chemicals and prevent their absorption into the body. 

When swallowed, activated charcoal treats certain types of chemical poisonings such as drug overdoses.  

Alternative medicine practitioners have also used activated charcoal to treat gas and indigestion. Although there is not much research on activated charcoal, it has been used for years, and many people love how it relieves their symptoms. 

Just remember, if you take it frequently, it can turn your stools a black color. 

Simethicone

Simethicone relieves gas symptoms by decreasing the number of foam bubbles in your gut.

It decreases the surface tension of the tiny bubbles causing them to form larger bubbles that can pass more easily through burps or gas. 

Simethicone is the main active ingredient in many gas-relieving medications. Following the age-appropriate dosing guide, infants, children, and adults can take simethicone. 

It comes in several forms such as, chewables, tablets, capsules, and liquid. 

Traditional Medicinals Organic Gas Relief Tea

If you want to avoid medications, drinking an herbal tea designed to reduce gas is a great relief option. 

Traditional Medicinals combines chamomile and peppermint, two herbs known to relieve symptoms of gas-related discomfort, in a delicious tea.

Other herbs in the tea include caraway fruit, coriander fruit, and lemon balm. These herbs also help soothe digestion discomfort. 

The tea is minty with hints of other spices. It is also aromatic, bringing calm to your senses.

You can drink this tea as often as you want, which also helps hydrate your body. 

Ingredients in Gas Medications

Several digestion issues cause gas to form in your gut, giving you that bloated feeling. 

Not all gas medications work in the same manner; choosing the one that treats your gas is key to getting relief.

Simethicone is the main ingredient in many gas relief medications.

Being an anti-foaming agent, it helps combine many tiny bubbles into larger bubbles that can pass more easily. This works for most gas-related problems. 

However, if you are lactose intolerant, gas from eating dairy products will not be relieved by taking simethicone.

Instead, you want to look for a medication that contains the digestive enzyme lactase. 

Lactase helps your body digest the sugar lactose found in dairy products, thus allowing your body not to get gassy. 

Prescription Medications for Gas 

Most gas medications are available over-the-counter (OTC), meaning that you don’t need a prescription to buy them.

If you feel you need something stronger for your gas, talk to your medical provider. You may be experiencing symptoms that are more than just gas related. 

Your medical provider can review your symptoms with you and help make a diagnosis. 

There are prescription medications designed to help relieve symptoms from other digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome. 

Tips for Avoiding Gas

Gas can enter your digestive system by swallowing air while you eat or drink. It can also form during the process of digestion.

Learning to swallow less air or changing your eating habits can help reduce your gas. 

Here are some tips for swallowing less air:

  • Avoid talking while drinking and eating
  • Avoid carbonated beverages
  • Avoid chewing gum
  • Eat or drink more slowly

If you get gas frequently, try taking note of what foods are causing your gas. Then, avoid eating those foods or take a gas medication when you eat. 

If you feel like you have trouble digesting dairy products, try taking lactate when you eat to help your body digest lactose better. 

What Causes Gas?

Gas entering your digestive tract while eating, drinking, and digesting is normal. 

However, some intolerances, foods, and medical conditions can trigger excessive gas formation. 

Gas causing foods

Some people have excessive gas after eating certain foods.

The following foods are more likely to cause gas when eaten:

  • Fruits and fruit juices such as apples, peaches, and pears
  • Vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, collard greens, and kale
  • Legumes including beans, peas, and lentils
  • Dairy products like milk, ice cream, and yogurt, especially if you have lactose intolerance
  • Whole wheat grains
  • Drinks that have high-fructose corn syrup (sports drinks, energy drinks, juices, soft drinks)
  • Sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, xylitol, erythritol, and maltitol
  • High-fat foods

Medical conditions

Some medical conditions cause your digestive tract to form more gas. 

These include:

  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Constipation
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Gluten intolerance or Celiac disease
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • SIBO
  • Delayed gastric emptying
  • Intestinal obstruction

Symptoms

After eating a meal, gas symptoms are normal and can include:

  • Burping
  • Bloating or distention (distention is larger than normal bloating)
  • Passing gas through flatulence or burping

Experiencing gas? Chat with a provider through K Health.

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When to See a Medical Provider

See your primary medical clinician if your gas is severe, persistent, or you are also experiencing:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which is the best medicine for gas?
Gas-X is a great overall gas medication. The main active ingredient, simethicone, is an anti-foaming agent causing all the little gas bubbles to gather into larger and easier to pass bubbles. But gas medications are designed for different purposes. If you feel your stomach has trouble digesting certain foods like veggies, legumes, or beans, Beano might be your best choice. Or if you get gassy every time you eat dairy, Lactate could really help you find relief.
How do you relieve gas quickly?
Simethicone, one of the main ingredients in most gas medications, works very quickly after taking it, bringing you fast relief.
Which tablet is used for gas?
There are several tablets used for gas. Some tablets, like pepto bismol and imodium, help with other symptoms as well like heartburn or diarrhea.
K Health articles are all written and reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, or PharmDs and are for informational purposes only. This information does not constitute and should not be relied on for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment.

Robynn Lowe

Robynn Lowe is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner with over 15 years in the medical field. Robynn received her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Florida Atlantic University and has been practicing in rural family medicine since. Robynn is married to her college sweetheart, Raymond and they have three awesome children. When Robynn isn't with patients you can find her shopping, coaching her kids sports teams, or spending time on the water.