Compare Alka-Seltzer vs. Pepcid

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

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

Pepcid
(Famotidine)

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. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.
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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 Pepcid (Famotidine)
75%
6% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
41%
11% vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
8%
Same vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
Side effects
Alka-SeltzerPepcid

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »

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

More about Pepcid side effects »
How it works
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
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.Pepcid (Famotidine) is a type of antacid called an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.
Type of medication
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
AntacidOver-the-counter
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
Available as
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
Risk factors for serious side effects
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
    • 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 »
        • Current kidney disease
          Detailed Pepcid (Famotidine) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy category
          Alka-SeltzerPepcid
          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
          BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          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).
          • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
          • Because Pepcid (Famotidine) is processed by the kidney it can cause some worrisome side effects for people with kidney problems. These include confusion, delirium, and a dangerous irregular heartbeat known as QT prolongation. If you have kidney problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects.
          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-SeltzerPepcid
          • 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 can take Famotidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
          • Famotidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and Tums, and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
          • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
          • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
          • Few drug interactions.
          Downsides and risks
          Alka-SeltzerPepcid
          • 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.
          • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Famotidine.
          • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Famotidine (H2 blockers).
          • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
          Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
          Alka-SeltzerPepcid
          • 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.
          • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
          Learn more
          More about Alka-SeltzerSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert