|Previous owners||Lewis-Howe Company|
Norcliff Thayer (Revlon)
Tums is an antacid made of sucrose (sugar) and calcium carbonate (CaCO3) manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline in St. Louis, Missouri, USA. They are also available in a sugar-free version. It is an over-the-counter drug, available at many retail stores, including drug stores, grocery stores and mass merchandisers. It provides relief from heartburn and indigestion ("sour stomach").
In 1928, James Harvey "Jim" Howe (born 1873 College Corner, OH & died 1960 Webster Groves, MO), pharmacist in St. Louis, Missouri, developed Tums in the basement of his home while treating his wife's indigestion. The remedy caught on, and commercial production began in 1930 by the Lewis-Howe Company, which took its name from Howe and his uncle, A. H. Lewis, who was a pharmacist in Bolivar, Missouri; Howe worked in his uncle's drugstore as a teenager.
In 1978 the company was purchased by Revlon of New York, making it no longer a St. Louis-based company. Revlon's Norcliff Thayer unit oversaw the Tums brand. Revlon spun Norcliff Thayer off to Beecham Group in 1986, and Beecham eventually became GlaxoSmithKline through a series of mergers.
Since 1930, a plant originally built by Lewis-Howe in downtown St. Louis has been making the antacid tablets. The factory complex remains the main manufacturing site for Tums, and GlaxoSmithKline recently completed millions of dollars' worth of renovations and modernizations.
More than 60 million Americans are believed to experience heartburn each month. Some studies estimate that over 15 million Americans have heartburn each day. The ailment tends to be more common among the elderly and pregnant women.
More than 5 million Canadians are believed to experience heartburn once a week.
Since TUMS is an over-the-counter drug, it is not considered a pharmaceutical-grade treatment (does not require a prescription). Prescription strength acid reflux medications often contain Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine2 receptor blocker (H2 blockers) / H2 antagonist.
Famous advertising campaigns for Tums have included "Tums for the Tummy" and, much later for television, "Mother Tums" ("There, there!") and by a barbershop jingle sung to the theme music used in all versions of the TV crime drama series Dragnet.
Tums comes in chewable tablets that are taken orally. It is also available in different flavors such as peppermint and fruit flavors such as berries, orange, and cherry.