Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal

Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Alternatives

(citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)

Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
Back to: Full Site Navigation

Compare Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) or used for similar purposes.

Alka-Seltzer Heartburn
(citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)

Tums
(calcium carbonate)

Pepcid
(famotidine)

Prevacid
(lansoprazole)

Protonix
(pantoprazole)

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

Relieves heartburn and indigestion. Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) works fast to help your stomach feel better, but it doesn’t work very long.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.Relieves heartburn. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Prevacid (lansoprazole) is an effective and inexpensive acid reducer commonly used to provide heartburn relief and help heal ulcers.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 and stomach ulcers. Zantac 75 (ranitidine) is an effective and inexpensive medicine for hearburn with few side effects, but may interfere with other drugs.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected

Not enough reviews for this treatment. Help someone out, leave a review!

Have you used Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tums
82%
-82% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
43%
-43% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
5%
+5% better vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
1373 reviews
Have you used Tums (calcium carbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Pepcid
75%
-75% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
41%
-41% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
8%
+8% better vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Prevacid
71%
-71% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
71%
-71% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
19%
+19% better vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
Have you used Prevacid (lansoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for pantoprazole
68%
-68% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
51%
-51% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
13%
+13% better vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
584 reviews
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zantac
72%
-72% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
44%
-44% worse vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
7%
+7% better vs. Sodium Bicarbonate
1062 reviews
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac

We haven’t found good data for Sodium Bicarbonate side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Sodium Bicarbonate »

We haven’t found good data for Tums side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Tums »
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More Pepcid side effects »
  • Diarrhea 2%
  • Abdominal pain 1%
More Prevacid side effects »
  • Headache 3%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
More pantoprazole side effects »

The Zantac FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Zantac side effects »
How it works
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) is an antacid. It stops stomach acid from causing heartburn and indigestion.Tums (Calcium carbonate) is an antacid. It relieves heartburn and indigestion by neutralizing stomach acid.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.Prevacid (lansoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach by blocking the final step of stomach acid production.Protonix (pantoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor. It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach which treats heartburn.Zantac 75 (ranitidine) reduces the production of acid by blocking a chemical from acting on the acid-producing cells in your stomach.
Type of medication
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
Over-the-counterOver-the-counterPrescription or OTCPrescription or OTCPrescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
  • Effervescent tablet
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
  • Dissolving tablet extended release
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
Used for
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
Risk factors for serious side effects
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
  • Kidney disease
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Ages 65 or older
  • Congestive heart failure
  • Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis)
Detailed Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) risks & warnings »
    Coming soon.
    • Current kidney disease
    Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
    • High dose Prevacid (lansoprazole)
    • Long-term treatment with Prevacid (lansoprazole)
    • Low bone mineral density
    • Older age
    Detailed Prevacid (lansoprazole) risks & warnings »
    • 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 »
    • Aged 60 years or older
    • Kidney conditions
    • Liver conditions
    • Acute Porphyria
    • Asthma
    Detailed Zantac 75 (ranitidine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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

    Price
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    • It doesn't cost as much as other drugs used to treat heartburn.
    No price related info.No price related info.
    • Prevacid (lansoprazole) is available over-the-counter and as inexpensive, generic options.
    No price related info.No price related info.
    Interactions
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    • Make sure the other medicines you’re taking don’t interact with Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate).
    No interactions related info.
    • Few drug interactions.
    • Some prescription drugs can interact with Prevacid (lansoprazole), so talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking.
    No interactions related info.
    • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) can interact with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about the medicines you are currently taking.
    Alcohol
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
    • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
    Food
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.
    • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
    No food related info.
    Kidneys and liver
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    • May increase calcium levels too much in people with kidney or thyroid conditions.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Prevacid (lansoprazole) can cause acute kidney damage that can occur at any time during treatment. Stop taking Prevacid (lansoprazole) and speak to your doctor immediately if you notice blood in the urine, changes in urine output, swelling of the body, weight gain, fever, or confusion.
    • 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.
    No kidneys and liver related info.
    Pain
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
    • 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
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    • Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) is effective at settling your stomach in just a few minutes.
    • Available over the counter without a prescription.
    • It doesn't cost as much as other drugs used to treat heartburn.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • Most people can take Prevacid (lansoprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
    • Comes in a dissolving tablet to be placed on the tongue if you cannot or do not like to swallow pills.
    • Prevacid (lansoprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once a day.
    • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
    • Prevacid (lansoprazole) is available over-the-counter and as inexpensive, generic options.
    • 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.
    • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) works well to relieve heartburn symtoms and is quite tolerable.
    • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
    • If you have trouble swallowing pills you may find the liquid product a good option.
    • Inexpensive with over-the-counter and generic options.
    • Coupons are available for the brand product - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
    Downsides and risks
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    • Only lasts about 10 minutes, so it's not the best option if you get heartburn or indigestion throughout the day.
    • Doesn’t prevent heartburn or indigestion.
    • Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) contains sodium, so it’s not the best choice if you have problems with too much fluid in your body or high blood pressure.
    • Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) makes your stomach less acidic, but some medicines need an acidic environment to work well. You may need to take this at different times of the day from your other medications.
    • 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.
    • 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 start working right away like some other acid reducers (Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox).
    • May not be the best choice for patients 65 years of age and older due to risk of bone fractures and C. diff infection (bacterial).
    • Is used if you have frequent heartburns that occur more than 2 days per week. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you only have occasional heartburn.
    • 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.
    • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) doesn't work as quickly as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need quicker relief.
    • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) does not last as long as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need longer relief.
    • May not be as effective in healing the esophagus when it is inflammed or torn, known as erosive esophagitis. Your doctor will assess which medication is best for you.
    • Can lower your vitamin B12 levels if you use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for a long time. Your doctor can order lab tests to monitor your vitamin B12 levels.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
    • Dissolve 2 tablets in 4 ounces of water. Drink when fully dissolved.
    • Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) contains sodium. If you're following a low-salt diet, a different medication would be better for you.
    • If you’re using Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate) a lot, talk to your doctor about other options for your heartburn and make sure nothing more serious is going on.
    • Try not to eat right before bedtime to help your heartburn.
    • Make sure the other medicines you’re taking don’t interact with Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (Citric Acid / Sodium Bicarbonate).
    • Take at the first sign of discomfort.
    • You may need to separate Tums (Calcium carbonate) from some medicines to avoid interactions. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about all the medicines you're taking, including prescription, supplements, and over the counter medicines.
    • Eating smaller, more frequent meals can help alleviate some symptoms of heartburn.
    • Certain spicy or fatty foods increase your risk of heartburn. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to find out which foods you should avoid.
    • Avoiding eating 3 hours before bedtime can also help prevent heartburn.
    • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
    • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
    • Take Prevacid (lansoprazole) with a full glass of water before eating.
    • Starts working in 1 to 3 hours. It can take 1 to 4 days to take full effect.
    • Some prescription drugs can interact with Prevacid (lansoprazole), so talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the medicines you are taking.
    • Do not take for more than 14 days, unless directed by your doctor. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms don't go away after 2 weeks.
    • Prevacid (lansoprazole) capsules can be opened and sprinkled on 1 tablespoon of applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Swallow immediately after. The dissolving tablets shouldn't be swallowed, broken, or chewed.
    • 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.
    • To prevent a heartburn attack, take Zantac 75 (ranitidine) 30 minutes before eating.
    • Works within 30 to 60 minutes. Relief lasts up to 12 hours.
    • Do not use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for more than 14 days. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of using the over-the-counter product, as this may indicate a more serious problem.
    • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
    • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle and dietary changes that can help prevent heartburn.
    Learn more
    More about Sodium BicarbonateSide effectsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Alka-Seltzer Heartburn (citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about TumsSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Tums (calcium carbonate)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about PrevacidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Prevacid (lansoprazole)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about pantoprazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
    Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it