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 indigestion. Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating, but it may not be as effective or last as long as other antacids.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.4Alka-Seltzer
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer
81%
of people (All ages) say Alka-Seltzer is worth it
52%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
1055 reviews
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Maalox
69%
+12% better vs. Alka-Seltzer
30%
+22% better vs. Alka-Seltzer
9%
+1% better vs. Alka-Seltzer
213 reviews
Have you used Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Alka-SeltzerMaalox

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »

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

More about Maalox side effects »
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 heartburn and indigestion. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that treat heartburn and indigestion. Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.
Type of medication
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
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
Detailed Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney problems
  • Taking more than the recommended daily maximum
Detailed Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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.

Food
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about foods to avoid that can help prevent heartburn.
Kidneys and liver
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
  • 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.
  • Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) contains aluminum and magnesium that can build up in your kidneys if you have kidney problems which can be dangerous. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) to see if it is right for you. Don't take more than the maximum amount per day as shown on the label.
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 quickly.
  • Inexpensive and available over-the-counter.
  • Is one of the first choice medications for heartburn relief if you are pregnant.
Downsides and risks
Alka-SeltzerMaalox
  • 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.
  • Doesn't last very long. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you need longer lasting relief.
  • Is not a good option if you have frequent symptoms (more than 2 times a week). Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about stronger medications.
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.
  • Starts working within minutes, and lasts for 1-2 hours.
  • If you are using the liquid product, shake well before using.
  • Don't take more than the recommended amount per day on the package. If you need to take this for more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People on a magnesium-restricted diet may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about foods to avoid that can help prevent heartburn.
  • Eating smaller portion sizes and not eating 3 hours before bedtime can help prevent heartburn.
Learn more
More about Alka-SeltzerSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it