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
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.4Alka-Seltzer
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
81%
of people (All ages) say Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) 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 (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)
69%
-12% worse vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
30%
-22% worse vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
9%
-1% worse vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
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 »

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
Over-the-counter
Over-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
    • 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

          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.

          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.
          • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
          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.
          • 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.
          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
          • 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.
          • 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.
          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
          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