Compare Tums vs. Alka-Seltzer

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

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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 symptoms of indigestion and pain

Alka-Seltzer (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) provides quick relief for heartburn, upset stomach, headaches, and general pain. However, you have to take it a few times a day to continue getting relief of your symptoms.

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.
  • Alka-Seltzer (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) is a great option if you have an upset stomach and a headache or body aches at the same time.
  • Alka-Seltzer (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) works quickly to relieve symptoms.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Also, available as generic and is fairly 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.
  • The effects of this medication don't last very long. Other medicines, like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors), work better and last longer.
  • Because this medicine contains aspirin, it raises the risk of bleeding, especially if you take any other blood thinning medicines.
  • People who are allergic to aspirin can't use this medication.
  • May not like the taste or fizz.
  • Kids or teenagers should not use Alka-Seltzer (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate) unless instructed by a doctor.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • 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 (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 (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
    • Not reading the drug label
  • Brain damage or death from Reye's Syndrome
    • Children 18 years or younger recovering from viral infections
  • High blood sodium levels
    • Current kidney disease
    • Dialysis
    • Age 65 or older
    • Hyperparathyroidism
    • Use of other medicines that can cause kidney damage
  • May worsen heart or kidney problems
    • Congestive heart failure (CHF)
    • High blood pressure
    • Current kidney disease
    • Kidney dialysis
  • 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
  • Harm to unborn babies
    • Pregnancy
See more detailed risks and warnings