Compare Alka-Seltzer vs. Pepcid

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

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.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1055 reviewsforAlka-Seltzer
Relieves heartburn.

Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 853 reviewsforPepcid
Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
1055 reviews so far
81%
saidit'sworth it
52%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)?

Leave a review
853 reviews so far
75%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pepcid (Famotidine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
2possible side effects
  • Headache
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Taking the wrong medication
  • High blood sodium levels
    • Current kidney disease
    • Kidney dialysis
    • Age 65 or older
  • May worsen heart or kidney problems
    • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
    • High blood pressure
    • Current kidney disease
    • Kidney dialysis
  • Brain damage or death from Reye's Syndrome
    • Children 18 years or younger recovering from viral infections
  • Stomach Bleeding
    • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
    • Age 60 or older
    • Also taking other blood thinners
    • Drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day
  • Serious allergic reactions
    • Asthma
    • Rhinitis
    • Nasal Polyps
    • Aspirin Allergy
    • NSAID Allergy
  • Harm to unborn babies
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Hiding possible cancer
  • Increased side effects
    • Current kidney disease
  • Allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings