Compare Nexium vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

Nexium
(esomeprazole)

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

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.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.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.45Nexium
Reviews for Nexium
75%
of people (All ages) say Nexium is worth it
59%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
1239 reviews
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer
81%
-6% worse vs. Nexium
52%
+7% better vs. Nexium
8%
-3% worse vs. Nexium
1055 reviews
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NexiumAlka-Seltzer

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

More about Nexium side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »
How it works
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It treats heartburn and heals ulcers by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach.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.
Type of medication
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
Over-the-counterOver-the-counter
Available as
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
Used for
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • GERD
  • H Pylori Bacterial Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Being treated at a hospital
  • High dose Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Long-term treatment with Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Low bone mineral density
  • Aged 65 years or older
Detailed Nexium (esomeprazole) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
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
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
No interactions related info.
Food
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
No food related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) can cause acute kidney damage that can occur at any time during treatment. If you notice blood in the urine, changes in urine output, swelling of the body, weight gain, fever, or confusion, stop taking Nexium (esomeprazole) and speak to your doctor immediately.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Most people can take Nexium (esomeprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need quicker relief.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) is inexpensive, with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand name - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • The packet form is a good option if you have trouble swallowing pills.They can be mixed with water for easier swallowing.
  • 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.
Downsides and risks
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Doesn't start working right away like antacids (Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox).
  • It can take several days or weeks to start feeling benefits.
  • May not be the best choice for patients 65 years of age and older due to risk of bone fractures and severe diarrhea.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NexiumAlka-Seltzer
  • Take Nexium (esomeprazole) with a full glass of water 1 hour before eating.
  • Starts working in as little as an hour.
  • It can take 1 to 4 days to take full effect.
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
  • Do not take Nexium (esomeprazole) for more than 14 days, unless directed by your doctor. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms don't go away after 2 weeks.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) capsules can be opened and sprinkled on 1 tablespoon of applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Swallow immediately after.
  • 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.
Learn more
More about NexiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about Alka-SeltzerSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it