Compare Alka-Seltzer vs. Maalox

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

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

Maalox
(Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)

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.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating. It may not be as effective or last as long as alternative antacids though.
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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 Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)
68%
13% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
30%
22% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
9%
1% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
Side effects
Alka-SeltzerMaalox

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »

We haven’t found good data for Maalox side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Maalox »
How it works
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
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.Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) is a combination medicine for stomach trouble. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.
Type of medication
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
AntacidOver-the-counter
AntacidOver-the-counter
Available as
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
Risk factors for serious side effects
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
    • 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 »
      • Age 65 or older
        • Current kidney disease
          Detailed Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          Alka-SeltzerMaalox
          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
          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
          Alcohol
          No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
          Food
          • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
          • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
          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).
          • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
          • If you have kidney disease Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of aluminum or magnesium 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 Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone); a different antacid would be better for you.
          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.No specific weight-related info.
          Upsides and benefits
          Alka-SeltzerMaalox
          • 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.
          • Works really fast.
          • Available over the counter without a prescription.
          • Cheap.
          Downsides and risks
          Alka-SeltzerMaalox
          • 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.
          • Doesn't last very long.
          • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
          • Some people don't care for the taste.
          • Doesn't last very long.
          • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          Alka-SeltzerMaalox
          • 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.
          • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
          • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
          • Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or constipation.
          • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
          Learn more
          More about Alka-SeltzerSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert