Compare Alka-Seltzer vs. Zantac

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

Alka-Seltzer Original
(aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

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 stomach ulcers. Zantac 75 (ranitidine) is an effective and inexpensive medicine for hearburn with few side effects, but may interfere with other drugs.
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 Zantac
72%
+9% better vs. Alka-Seltzer
44%
+8% better vs. Alka-Seltzer
7%
-1% worse vs. Alka-Seltzer
1062 reviews
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Alka-SeltzerZantac

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »

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

More about Zantac side effects »
How it works
Alka-SeltzerZantac
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.Zantac 75 (ranitidine) reduces the production of acid by blocking a chemical from acting on the acid-producing cells in your stomach.
Type of medication
Alka-SeltzerZantac
Over-the-counterPrescription or OTC
Available as
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
Used for
Alka-SeltzerZantac
Risk factors for serious side effects
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • 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 »
  • Aged 60 years or older
  • Kidney conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Acute Porphyria
  • Asthma
Detailed Zantac 75 (ranitidine) 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.

Interactions
Alka-SeltzerZantac
No interactions related info.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) can interact with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about the medicines you are currently taking.
Alcohol
Alka-SeltzerZantac
No alcohol related info.
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
Food
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Upsides and benefits
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • 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.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) works well to relieve heartburn symtoms and is quite tolerable.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • If you have trouble swallowing pills you may find the liquid product a good option.
  • Inexpensive with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand product - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Downsides and risks
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • 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.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) doesn't work as quickly as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need quicker relief.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) does not last as long as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need longer relief.
  • May not be as effective in healing the esophagus when it is inflammed or torn, known as erosive esophagitis. Your doctor will assess which medication is best for you.
  • Can lower your vitamin B12 levels if you use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for a long time. Your doctor can order lab tests to monitor your vitamin B12 levels.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
Alka-SeltzerZantac
  • 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.
  • To prevent a heartburn attack, take Zantac 75 (ranitidine) 30 minutes before eating.
  • Works within 30 to 60 minutes. Relief lasts up to 12 hours.
  • Do not use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for more than 14 days. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of using the over-the-counter product, as this may indicate a more serious problem.
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle and dietary changes that 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 ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it