Compare Tagamet vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

Tagamet
(Cimetidine)

Alka-Seltzer Original
(Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)

Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Tagamet (Cimetidine) 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
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4.64Tagamet
Reviews for Tagamet (Cimetidine)
63%
of people (All ages) say Tagamet (Cimetidine) is worth it
36%
say it works well
12%
say it's a big hassle
632 reviews
Have you used Tagamet (Cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)
81%
+18% vs. Tagamet (Cimetidine)
52%
+16% vs. Tagamet (Cimetidine)
8%
+4% vs. Tagamet (Cimetidine)
1055 reviews
Have you used Alka-Seltzer Original (Aspirin / Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Alka-Seltzer »
How it works
TagametAlka-Seltzer
Tagamet (Cimetidine) 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
TagametAlka-Seltzer
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
AntacidOver-the-counter
Available as
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
Used for (click to learn more)
TagametAlka-Seltzer
Risk factors for serious side effects
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Current kidney disease
  • Current liver disease
  • Age 50 or older
  • Current severe illness
  • Autoimmune disease
Detailed risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Age 65 or older
  • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
  • High blood pressure
Detailed 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
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Has more drug interactions than zantac and pepcid.
No interactions related info.
Food
TagametAlka-Seltzer
No food related info.
  • Take it with food to lower the chance of an upset stomach.
Kidneys and liver
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
  • 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
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Most people can take Cimetidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Cimetidine 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.
  • 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
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Cimetidine.
  • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Cimetidine (H2 blockers).
  • Has more drug interactions than zantac and pepcid.
  • Although rare, Cimetidine can cause large breasts or impotence for men who need to use high doses for 6 months or more. It's reversible though and should go away when you stop or if you change medication.
  • 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
TagametAlka-Seltzer
  • Works best if you take it with a full glass of water.
  • Starts working in one hour.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
  • Tell your doctor all of the medications that you use before taking Cimetidine to avoid drug interactions.
  • 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 TagametSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tagamet (Cimetidine)?
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