Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal

Alka-Seltzer Heartburn Alternatives

(citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)

Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
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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 don't expect it to last all day.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) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief and helps 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. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.
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Reviews & ratings
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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 counteracts the effects of stomach acid to relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion).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, treats heartburn, and heals ulcers.Protonix (pantoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor. It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach which treats heartburn.Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) is an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.
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
  • Pill
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • 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 »
  • Current kidney disease
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Hyperparathyroid disease
  • Taking high doses of Vitamin D
  • Previous kidney stones
Detailed Tums (calcium carbonate) risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Being hospitalized
  • Antibiotic use
  • Osteoporosis
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 »
  • Current kidney problems
  • Current liver problems
  • Acute Porphyria
  • History of Phenylketonuria (PKU)
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.

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.

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

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

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.No price related info.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).
  • You need to separate Tums from some medications to avoid interactions.
  • Few drug interactions.
  • Can interact with other drugs, so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Prevacid (Lansoprazole).
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Prevacid (Lansoprazole).
No interactions related info.
  • Few drug interactions.
Food
Sodium BicarbonateTumsPepcidPrevacidpantoprazoleZantac
No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.
  • Take Prevacid (Lansoprazole) about 1 hour before a meal.
  • 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.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • If you have kidney or hyperparathyroid disease Tums (Calcium Carbonate) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of calcium 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 Tums (Calcium Carbonate); a different antacid would be better for you.
  • Tums (Calcium Carbonate) contains calcium. Calcium can be an ingredient in some kidney stones. If you have had kidney stones in the past (especially the calcium-containing kind) be careful using Tums (Calcium Carbonate). Use the lowest dose for the shortest time possible or just play it safe and use a different antacid instead.
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
  • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
  • Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects.
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.
  • Works really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
  • 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.
  • Prevacid (Lansoprazole) 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 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.
  • Sometimes if one PPI doesn't work, another medication in the same class will work for you.
  • 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.
  • Most people can take Ranitidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Ranitidine 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.
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.
  • Doesn't last very long.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Some chalky aftertaste.
  • 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 as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Depending on the condition you are treating, it can take one to two weeks to get the full effect.
  • If you are taking Prevacid (Lansoprazole) for a long time you should take a calcium supplement to prevent fragile bones.
  • Can interact with other drugs, so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Prevacid (Lansoprazole).
  • 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.
  • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Ranitidine.
  • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Ranitidine (H2 blockers).
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 might need to take more than once a day but pay attention to the instructions on your bottle to avoid overdosing.
  • You need to separate Tums from some medications to avoid interactions.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • Don't take if you have high blood calcium levels.
  • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
  • Take Prevacid (Lansoprazole) about 1 hour before a meal.
  • Don't chew or crush capsules, but swallow them whole.
  • If you have trouble swallowing, there's a tablet available that dissolves in your mouth.
  • Give Prevacid (Lansoprazole) a chance to work. You'll see some benefits right away, but the full effects can take a week or so to kick in.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Prevacid (Lansoprazole).
  • 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.
  • 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.
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