Compare pantoprazole vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

Protonix
(pantoprazole)

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

Treats heartburn and excess release of stomach acid. Protonix (pantoprazole) is usually only taken once a day for long-lasting heartburn relief, but it can increase your risk of bone fractures if you've used it for a long time.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.
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Reviews & ratings
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5.14pantoprazole
Reviews for Protonix (pantoprazole)
68%
of people (All ages) say Protonix (pantoprazole) is worth it
51%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
584 reviews
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
81%
+13% better vs. Protonix (pantoprazole)
52%
+1% better vs. Protonix (pantoprazole)
8%
+5% better vs. Protonix (pantoprazole)
1055 reviews
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Headache 3%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
More pantoprazole side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »
How it works
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
Protonix (pantoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor. It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach which treats heartburn.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
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
Prescription only
Over-the-counter
Available as
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Pill
  • Packet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
Used for
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
Risk factors for serious side effects
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Using multiple daily doses and/or for 1 year or longer
  • People age 65 or older
  • High risk of bone fractures
  • People who are being treated in the hospital
  • People with lupus
Detailed Protonix (pantoprazole) 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.

Food
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) can very rarely damage your kidneys. This can happen at any time. Talk to your doctor right away if you are urinating less or have blood in the urine.
  • 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.
Pain
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Talk to your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, fever, or stomach pain that don't go away after taking Protonix (pantoprazole), which can happen even 2 months after stopping the medicine.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Most people can take Protonix (pantoprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) 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 with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
  • Can be used in children age 5 or older.
  • 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
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Needs to be taken every single day for a certain period of time to be effective.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Only available as a prescription medicine, not over the counter.
  • Can lower the magnesium level in your body so you may need to take a supplement for it.
  • 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
pantoprazoleAlka-Seltzer
  • Take the tablet form of Protonix (pantoprazole) with or without food.
  • The medicine should be swallowed whole and not to to be chewed or crushed.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) takes some time to kick in, about 2.5 hours after taking it.
  • The oral suspension form needs to be prepared and then taken 30 minutes before a meal. The contents of the packet for the suspension shouldn't be crushed or chewed and be taken in apple juice or applesauce only as stated in the instructions.
  • Talk to your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, fever, or stomach pain that don't go away after taking Protonix (pantoprazole), which can happen even 2 months after stopping the medicine.
  • Using this medicine for a long period of time can increase your risk of getting weaker bones. Talk to your doctor if you are worried about this possible long-term side effect.
  • 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 pantoprazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
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