Compare Omeprazole vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

Prilosec
(omeprazole)

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

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Prilosec (Omeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief. Choose the cheapest proton pump inhibitor because they all work equally well for heartburn.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
5.53Omeprazole
Reviews for Omeprazole
80%
of people (All ages) say Omeprazole is worth it
59%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
1167 reviews
Have you used Prilosec (omeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer
81%
-1% worse vs. Omeprazole
52%
+7% better vs. Omeprazole
8%
Same vs. Omeprazole
1055 reviews
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Upper respiratory infection 75%
  • Fever 33%
  • Headache 7%
  • Abdominal pain 5%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Accidental injuries 4%
  • Passing gas 3%
  • Vomiting 3%
More Omeprazole side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »
How it works
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
Prilosec (Omeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach, treats heartburn, and heals ulcers.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
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
Prescription or OTCOver-the-counter
Available as
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
Used for
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
Risk factors for serious side effects
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Being hospitalized
  • Antibiotic use
  • Osteoporosis
Detailed Prilosec (omeprazole) 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

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Omeprazole.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Omeprazole.
No interactions related info.
Food
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Most people can take Omeprazole without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Omeprazole lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or 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.
  • In studies it was better than a placebo (sugar pill) and as good as other proton pump inhibitors at treating heartburn.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • 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
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Can cause low levels of magnesium in the blood. You might need to take a magnesium supplement if you use Omeprazole long-term.
  • Although the generic is affordable, other medications might still be cheaper than Omeprazole.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Omeprazole.
  • 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
OmeprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • Don't chew or crush capsules; swallow them whole.
  • If you have trouble swallowing you can carefully open the capsules and sprinkle the inside pellets onto applesauce. Swallow the applesauce without chewing or crushing the pellets.
  • When using Omeprazole long-term, take a calcium citrate with vitamin D supplement daily to prevent bone loss. Be sure it's calcium citrate because it works the best when using a proton pump inhibitor.
  • Get a blood test for your magnesium level once a year; you may need a magnesium supplement while using Omeprazole.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Omeprazole.
  • 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 OmeprazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Prilosec (omeprazole)?
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