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
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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 Pepcid (famotidine)
75%
-6% worse vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
41%
-11% worse vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
8%
Same vs. Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Alka-SeltzerPepcid

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More 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
Over-the-counter
Prescription or OTC
Available as
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
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
Detailed Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) 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.

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

Interactions
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
No interactions related info.
  • Few drug interactions.
Food
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
Alka-SeltzerPepcid
  • 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.
  • 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.
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
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it