Compare Alka-Seltzer vs. Imodium

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Alka-Seltzer Original
(Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)

Imodium
(Loperamide)

Relieves heartburn, headache, and body pains. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) gives quick relief for headache, body pains, and upset tummies, but might be hard to swallow if you don't like the taste or fizz.Treats diarrhea. One day is too many days to have diarrhea. Having Imodium (Loperamide) on hand to relieve your symptoms can be a life-saver.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.394112060778728Alka-Seltzer
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
81%
of people say Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) is worth it
52%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Imodium (Loperamide)
89%
+8% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
64%
+12% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
6%
+2% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
Side effects
Alka-SeltzerImodium

We haven’t found good data for Alka-Seltzer side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »

The Imodium FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Imodium side effects »
How it works
Alka-SeltzerImodium
Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) is a combination medicine. Sodium bicarbonate is an antacid that relieves heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Aspirin is a pain reliever that treats headache and body pains.Imodium (Loperamide) is an antidiarrheal medicine. It's actually an opioid related to morphine, though it doesn't affect the brain like opioid pain medicines do. Instead, it works directly on muscles in your large intestine to stop contractions and increase the time it takes for stool to move through. The result is less diarrhea and more formed stool.
Type of medication
Alka-SeltzerImodium
AntacidOver-the-counter
Antidiarrheal
Antimotility
Over-the-counter
Available as
Alka-SeltzerImodium
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Alka-SeltzerImodium
Risk factors for serious side effects
Alka-SeltzerImodium
    • Current kidney disease
    • Kidney dialysis
    • Age 65 or older
    • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
    • High blood pressure
    • Current kidney disease
    • Kidney dialysis
    • Children 18 years or younger recovering from viral infections
    • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
    • Age 60 or older
    • Also taking other blood thinners
    • Drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal Polyps
    • Aspirin Allergy
    • NSAID Allergy
      Detailed Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) risks & warnings »
      • Allergy to loperamide
      • Taking with alcohol
      • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
      • Current liver problems
      • Taking HIV medicines
      • Active infectious colitis
      • Women of childbearing age
      Detailed Imodium (Loperamide) risks & warnings »
      Pregnancy category
      Alka-SeltzerImodium
      NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

      The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

      See the FDA package insert
      CFDA pregnancy category (Weigh risks vs. benefits)

      Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

      See the FDA package insert
      Alcohol
      No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
      Food
      • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
      No specific food-related info.
      Kidneys and liver
      • If you have kidney or hyperparathyroid disease Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of sodium in your body. This is more likely if you have severe kidney disease (defined as a kidney function blood test called GFR of less than 30ml/min). If you have severe kidney disease or are on kidney dialysis don't use Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate); a different antacid would be better for you.
      • Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) contains sodium. Sodium can raise blood pressure and cause your body to hold on to water. If you have high blood pressure, heart failure, or kidney disease you should not take Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate).
      No specific kidneys and liver-related info.
      Sex
      No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
      Sleep
      No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
      Weight
      No specific weight-related info.
      • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
      Upsides and benefits
      Alka-SeltzerImodium
      • Works great if you have an upset stomach and a headache or body pain at the same time.
      • Works really fast.
      • Available over the counter without a prescription.
      • Cheap.
      • Most people who take Imodium feel there's no hassle and it's definitely worth it!
      • Non-habit forming and available over-the-counter.
      • It comes in caplets, liquid, and chewable tablets so you can use it anywhere you need it.
      • Imodium is used for short-term, chronic and traveler's diarrhea. It's also used for people who have diarrhea caused by cancer or certain medicines that treat cancer.
      Downsides and risks
      Alka-SeltzerImodium
      • Doesn't last very long.
      • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
      • Because it has aspirin in it, it increases the risk of bleeding, especially if you take any other blood thinning medicine.
      • Can't be used by people with allergy to aspirin.
      • You may not like the taste or fizz.
      • Imodium only treats your diarrhea symptoms. Diarrhea may be caused by a number of conditions and will need specific treatment that deals with the underlying issue.
      • Studies in people taking Imodium for chronic diarrhea showed if the maximum number of doses didn't relieve symptoms in 10 days, then it probably won't work for that condition. You can talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
      Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
      Alka-SeltzerImodium
      • Don't take Alka-Seltzer if you're allergic to aspirin.
      • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
      • This medicine isn't recommended for kids 12 and younger because it has aspirin in it.
      • Stop taking this right away and talk to your doctor if you have ringing in your ears, rash, trouble breathing, unusual bleeding, or nausea or vomiting that doesn't go away.
      • Having a dental or medical procedure? You may need to stop taking this before the big day. Ask your dentist or doctor.
      • Alka-Seltzer contains sodium. If you need to follow a low sodium diet a different medication would be better for you.
      • Not a good choice if you have stomach bleeding, bleeding problems, diabetes, or gout, or if you're taking medicines to thin your blood.
      • Try to drink plenty of clear liquids. Having diarrhea can make you dehydrated.
      • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
      • Shake Imodium liquid well before using. Use dosing cup that comes with bottle to get the best dose.
      • Imodium lowers your ability to focus, think, and react. Avoid activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a car or operating machinery, until you know how this medication affects you.
      • Check with your baby doctor before using if you're breastfeeding.
      • Ask your doctor before taking Imodium if you have a fever, liver problems, mucus in your stool or are taking antibiotics.
      • Don't use if you have blood in your stool or it's dark or black in color.
      • Stop using Imodium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly or your symptoms get worse after 2 days. This could be serious.
      Learn more
      More about Alka-SeltzerSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
      More about ImodiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert