Compare Omeprazole vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

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.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 1167 reviewsforOmeprazole
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
Upsides
  • 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
  • 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.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Extended release
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
Price
No pricing information available
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Reviews
1167 reviews so far
80%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Prilosec (Omeprazole)?

Leave a review
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
Side effects
13possible side effects
  • Upper respiratory infection
    75%
  • Fever
    33%
  • Headache
    7%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Nausea
    4%
  • Diarrhea
    4%
  • Accidental injuries
    4%
  • Vomiting
    3%
  • Flatulence
    3%
  • Acid regurgitation
    2%
  • Constipation
    2%
  • Dizziness
    2%
  • Rash
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Hiding possible cancer
  • Severe stomach inflammation (atrophic gastritis)
    • Helicobacter pylori infection
    • Autoimmune disease
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Being hospitalized
    • Antibiotic use
  • Broken bones
    • Osteoporosis
    • Age 50 or older
    • Using high medication doses
    • Long-term therapy (1 year or more)
    • Smoking
    • Use of other medications that weaken bones
  • Low vitamin or mineral levels
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • 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