Compare Tums vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

Relieves heartburn.

Tums (Calcium carbonate) gives quick relief for heartburn, but does not last all day. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about other medicines if you need additional relief.

3.8/ 5 average rating with 1373 reviewsforTums
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
  • Tums (Calcium carbonate) is an effective, first-line medication for hearburn.
  • Tums (Calcium carbonate) starts working in seconds.
  • Has minimal side effects.
  • Available in chewable form.
  • Is inexpensive and readily available over-the-counter.
  • Coupons are available – speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • 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
  • Because Tums (Calcium carbonate) only lasts for 1 to 2 hours, you may need additional doses.
  • May increase calcium levels too much in people with kidney or thyroid conditions.
  • May have a chalky taste.
  • 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
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Effervescent tablet
No pricing information available
No pricing information available
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Reviews
1373 reviews so far
82%
saidit'sworth it
43%
saiditworked well
5%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Tums (Calcium carbonate)?

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
The Tums (Calcium carbonate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
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
No information currently available
  • 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