Alka Seltzer vs Tums

Alka Seltzer vs Tums – detailed comparison:

Alka Seltzer Original

It is a combination of aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate.

Citric acid and sodium bicarbonate (commonly known as baking soda) belong to a group of medications called antacids. They work by neutralizing acid found in the stomach.

Aspirin belongs to a group of medications called analgesics. Aspirin works by blocking the action of an enzyme in the body called cyclo-oxygenase.


This over-the-counter medication is typically used to relieve heartburn (a painful burning feeling in the chest or throat), acid indigestion, and pain.


The usual recommended dose is 2 tablets every 4 to 6 hours as needed.

Notes – do not take more than 8 tablets in 24 hours. Drinking as much water as possible whilst taking this drug will substantially reduce the chances of having headaches.

Teenagers and children who have or are convalescing from flu-like symptoms or chicken pox should never take this medication.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • mild stomach pain;
  • vomiting that looks like ground coffee;
  • increased thirst;
  • nausea.

Rare side effects may include:

  • weakness;
  • frequent urge to urinate;
  • mood or mental changes;
  • black, tarry stools;
  • muscle pain;
  • loss of appetite;
  • swelling of the face, ankles, fingers, feet, or lower legs;
  • increased blood pressure;
  • slow breathing;
  • buzzing in the ears;
  • weight gain;
  • skin rash;
  • unusual tiredness or weakness;
  • blood in your urine;
  • irritability.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • iloprost;
  • erlotinib (a drug used to treat non-small cell lung cancer and pancreatic cancer);
  • anti-blood-clotting medicines, like – dabigatran, warfarin, edoxaban, apixaban, rivaroxaban, heparin, and enoxaparin;
  • ginkgo biloba;
  • gamunex;
  • venlafaxine (an antidepressant of the selective serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor class);
  • SSRI antidepressants, such as – paroxetine, fluoxetine, citalopram;
  • antiplatelet medicines to reduce the risk of blood clots, such as – clopidogrel, dipyridamole, prasugrel, low-dose aspirin.

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

This medication should be avoided during pregnancy and breastfeeding. It is particularly important not to take this medication during the last 3 months of pregnancy, since it may cause serious problems in the fetus.

Also, it shouldn’t be taken by nursing mothers since the aspirin in this product may pass into breast milk and may negatively affect the breastfed baby.

READ MORE: Fiorinal vs Fioricet


It is the brand name of a drug called calcium carbonate. It belongs to a group of drugs called antacids, that work by neutralizing stomach acid in the body.


This over-the-counter medication is typically used to treat acid indigestion and heartburn in adults and children over 12 years of age.

This medication can also be taken to help increase calcium levels in women whose bones are beginning to soften but have not yet developed osteoporosis. However, calcium carbonate is not always easily absorbed by the body.

In addition, according to recent studies, calcium carbonate can be used as a tool to decrease colon cancer risk, blood pressure, and the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.

READ MORE: Ferrous Gluconate vs Ferrous Sulfate


The usual recommended dose is 2-4 tablets taken with a full glass of water. Do not take more than 15 tablets in a 24 hours period.

Side Effects and Precautions

Common side effects may include:

  • increased thirst;
  • dry mouth;
  • decreased appetite;
  • vomiting;
  • nausea;
  • urinating more than usual;
  • constipation.

Rare side effects may include:

  • stomach pain;
  • rapid weight gain;
  • feeling tired or restless;
  • confusion;
  • joint pain;
  • muscle pain or weakness.

Before taking this medication, notify your healthcare provider if you have the following conditions:

  • problems absorbing nutrients from food;
  • problems with low levels of stomach acid;
  • heart disease;
  • pancreas disease.


This product does not interact with alcohol.

Drug Interactions

It may negatively interact with other medications, especially:

  • Sprycel (dasatinib);
  • K-Phos (potassium acid phosphate);
  • antifungal medications, such as – Sporanox (itraconazole) or Nizoral (ketoconazole);
  • sodium acid phosphate;
  • antibiotics, such as – Arestin (minocycline), Declomycin (demeclocycline), or Terramycin (oxytetracycline);
  • sodium phosphate;
  • Nimotop (nimodipine);
  • medications for HIV/AIDS, like – Reyataz (atazanavir) or Rescriptor (delavirdine);
  • Aczone (dapsone);
  • Kayexalate (sodium polystyrene sulfonate).

Pregnancy & Breastfeeding

Although it is known to pass into breast milk, this medication is considered safe for breastfeeding mothers. However, you should tell your healthcare professional if you are breastfeeding a baby before taking this product.

There are no well-done studies to determine whether this medication could harm an unborn baby. Tell your healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan to fall pregnant before taking this product.

READ MORE: Prolia vs Fosamax

Bottom Line – Alka Seltzer vs Tums

Alka-Seltzer Original Tablets (active ingredients – aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate) is an antacid and pain relief medicine that is used to give fast and effective relief to headaches and upset stomachs.

Tums (active ingredient – calcium carbonate) is an effective, first-line medication for heartburn. Furthermore, it is inexpensive and readily available over-the-counter, plus, it starts working in seconds.

On June 6, 2016, the US FDA reiterated that over-the-counter antacid products containing aspirin (such as – Alka-Seltzer Original Tablets) carry a risk of serious bleeding. Therefore, Tums is an effective way to treat heartburn-related symptoms with substantially fewer side effects than Alka-Seltzer.

Tip – Natural Remedy for Heartburn

One particularly effective remedy alternative to taking antacids can be found in the aloe vera plant. To relieve symptoms fast, without the possibility of disagreeable side effects, you can use 2 ounces of aloe vera juice instead of an antacid.

READ THIS NEXT: Pepcid vs Zantac


Leave a Comment