Compare Pepcid vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

Pepcid
(famotidine)

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

Relieves heartburn. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.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
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.09Pepcid
Reviews for Pepcid (famotidine)
75%
of people (All ages) say Pepcid (famotidine) is worth it
41%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)
81%
+6% better vs. Pepcid (famotidine)
52%
+11% better vs. Pepcid (famotidine)
8%
Same vs. Pepcid (famotidine)
1055 reviews
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PepcidAlka-Seltzer
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More Pepcid side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »
How it works
PepcidAlka-Seltzer
Pepcid (Famotidine) is a type of antacid called an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.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
PepcidAlka-Seltzer
Prescription or OTC
Over-the-counter
Available as
PepcidAlka-Seltzer
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
Used for
PepcidAlka-Seltzer
Risk factors for serious side effects
PepcidAlka-Seltzer
    • Current kidney disease
      Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
        • Current kidney disease
        • Kidney dialysis
        • Age 65 or older
        • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
        • High blood pressure
        • Current kidney disease
        • Kidney dialysis
        • Children 18 years or younger recovering from viral infections
        • History of stomach bleeding or ulcers
        • Age 60 or older
        • Also taking other blood thinners
        • Drinking 3 or more alcoholic drinks a day
        • Asthma
        • Rhinitis
        • Nasal Polyps
        • Aspirin Allergy
        • NSAID Allergy
          Detailed Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) risks & warnings »
          Pregnancy

          Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

          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
          PepcidAlka-Seltzer
          • Few drug interactions.
          No interactions related info.
          Food
          PepcidAlka-Seltzer
          No food related info.
          • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
          Kidneys and liver
          PepcidAlka-Seltzer
          • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
          • Because Pepcid (Famotidine) is processed by the kidney it can cause some worrisome side effects for people with kidney problems. These include confusion, delirium, and a dangerous irregular heartbeat known as QT prolongation. If you have kidney problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects.
          • 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
          PepcidAlka-Seltzer
          • Most people can take Famotidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
          • Famotidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and 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.
          • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
          • Few drug interactions.
          • 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
          PepcidAlka-Seltzer
          • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Famotidine.
          • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Famotidine (H2 blockers).
          • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
          • 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
          PepcidAlka-Seltzer
          • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
          • 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 PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
          Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
          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