Medical Editor: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP Last updated on RxList: 5/26/2022
Drug Description

What is Alka-Seltzer Original and how is it used?

Alka-Seltzer Original is an over-the-counter medicine used to treat the symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach with headache or body aches. Alka-Seltzer Original may be used alone or with other medications.

Alka-Seltzer Original belongs to a class of drugs called Antacids. 

It is not known if Alka-Seltzer Original is safe and effective in children younger than 12 years of age. 

What are the possible side effects of Alka-Seltzer Original?

Alka-Seltzer Original may cause serious side effects including:

  • hives, 
  • difficulty breathing, 
  • swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat, 
  • trouble swallowing or talking, 
  • unusual hoarseness
  • red, swollen, blistered or peeling skin with or without a fever, 
  • vomiting or coughing up blood
  • vomit that looks like coffee grounds, 
  • blood in your urine, 
  • black, red, or tarry stools, 
  • bleeding gums
  • abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • unusual bruising, 
  • bleeding that will not stop, 
  • little or no urine, 
  • change in the amount of urine, 
  • blood in your urine, 
  • weight gain
  • dark urine
  • tiredness, 
  • loss of appetite
  • indigestion, 
  • stomach pain, 
  • clay-colored stools, 
  • vomiting, 
  • yellow skin or eyes (jaundice), 
  • severe dizziness, 
  • feeling confusion
  • severe headache, 
  • ringing in your ears, 
  • hearing loss
  • severe abdominal pain, 
  • feeling agitated, and 
  • seizures

Get medical help right away, if you have any of the symptoms listed above.

The most common side effects of Alka-Seltzer Original include:

  • none 

Tell the doctor if you have any side effect that bothers you or that does not go away.

These are not all the possible side effects of Alka-Seltzer Original. For more information, ask your doctor or pharmacist.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Alka-Seltzer® Original


Active ingredients (in each tablet) Purpose
Anhydrous citric acid 1000 mg Antacid
Aspirin 325 mg (NSAID) Analgesic
Sodium bicarbonate (heat-treated) 1916 mg Antacid
* nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug

Indications & Dosage



  • for the temporary relief of:
  • heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach when accompanied with headache or body aches and pains
  • upset stomach with headache from overindulgence in food or drink
  • headache, body aches, and pain alone



  • fully dissolve 2 tablets in 4 ounces of water before taking

adults and children 12 years and over 2 tablets every 4 hours, or as directed by a doctor do not exceed 8 tablets in 24 hours
adults 60 years and over 2 tablets every 4 hours, or as directed by a doctor do not exceed 4 tablets in 24 hours
children under 12 years consult a doctor


Other information

  • each tablet contains: sodium 567 mg
  • store at room temperature. Avoid excessive heat.
  • Alka-Seltzer in water contains principally the antacid sodium citrate and the analgesic sodium acetylsalicylate

Inactive ingredients: none

Questions or comments? 1-800-986-0369 (Mon – Fri 9AM – 5PM EST)

Dist. by: Bayer HealthCare LLC, Whippany, NJ 07981. Revised: Aug 2018


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow
Side Effects & Drug Interactions


Allergy alert

Aspirin may cause a severe allergic reaction which may include:


No Information provided

Warnings & Precautions


Reye's Syndrome

Children and teenagers who have or are recovering from chicken pox or flu-like symptoms should not use this product. When using this product, if
changes in behavior with nausea and vomiting occur, consult a doctor because these symptoms could be an early sign of Reye's syndrome, a rare but
serious illness.

Allergy alert

Aspirin may cause a severe allergic reaction which may include:

  • hives
  • facial swelling
  • asthma (wheezing)
  • shock

Stomach Bleeding Waarning

This product contains an NSAID, which may cause severe stomach bleeding. The chance is higher if you

  • are age 60 or older
  • have had stomach ulcers or bleeding problems
  • take a blood thinning (anticoagulant) or steroid drug
  • take other drugs containing prescription or nonprescription NSAIDs (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, or others)
  • have 3 or more alcoholic drinks every day while using this product
  • take more or for a longer time than directed

Do Not Use

  • if you are allergic to aspirin or any other pain reliever/fever reducer
  • if you have ever had an allergic reaction to this product or any of its ingredients

Ask a Doctor Before Use if

  • stomach bleeding warning applies to you
  • you have a history of stomach problems, such as heartburn
  • you have high blood pressure, heart disease, liver cirrhosis, or kidney disease
  • you are taking a diuretic
  • you have asthma
  • you have a sodium-restricted diet

Ask a Doctor or Pharmacist Before use if you are

  • presently taking a prescription drug. Antacids may interact with certain prescription drugs.
  • taking a prescription drug for diabetes, gout, or arthritis

When using this product do not exceed recommended dosage

Stop Use and ask a Doctor if

  • an allergic reaction occurs. Seek medical help right away.
  • you experience any of the following signs of stomach bleeding
    • feel faint
    • vomit blood
    • have bloody or black stools
    • have stomach pain that does not get better
  • symptoms get worse or last more than 10 days
  • redness or swelling is present
  • ringing in the ears or a loss of hearing occurs
  • new symptoms occur

If pregnant or breast-feeding, ask a health professional before use. It is especially important not to use aspirin during the last 3 months of pregnancy unless definitely directed to do so by a doctor because it may cause problems in the unborn child or complications during delivery.

Keep out of reach of children. In case of overdose, get medical help or contact a Poison Control Center right away.


See section on WARNINGS

Overdosage & Contraindications


No Information provided


No Information provided

Clinical Pharmacology


No Information provided

Medication Guide


No information provided. Please refer to the WARNINGS AND PRECAUTIONS section.

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Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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