Compare Alka-Seltzer vs. Zantac

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 and stomach ulcers.

Zantac 75 (ranitidine) is an effective and inexpensive medicine for hearburn with few side effects, but may interfere with other drugs.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 1062 reviewsforZantac
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.
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
No pricing information available
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
1062 reviews so far
72%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
7%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?

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.
The Zantac 75 (ranitidine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
  • Confusion
    • Aged 60 years or older
    • Kidney conditions
    • Liver conditions
  • Drug interactions
  • Acute porphyria
    • Acute Porphyria
  • Chronic lung problems
    • Asthma
    • COPD
    • Lung problems
See more detailed risks and warnings