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Alka-Seltzer

Generic Name: Aspirin, Citric Acid, and Sodium Bicarbonate (AS pir in SIT rik AS id & SOW dee um bye KAR bun ate)
Brand Name: Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength, Alka-Seltzer, Medi-Seltzer, Neutralin

Uses of Alka-Seltzer:

  • It is used to treat heartburn and upset stomach.
  • It is used to ease pain.
  • It is used to treat headaches.

What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take Alka-Seltzer?

For all patients taking Alka-Seltzer (aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate):

  • If you have an allergy to this medicine or any part of Alka-Seltzer.
  • If you are allergic to any drugs like this one, any other drugs, foods, or other substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had, like rash; hives; itching; shortness of breath; wheezing; cough; swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat; or any other signs.
  • If you have any of these health problems: Asthma, bleeding problems, nose polyps, or rhinitis.
  • If you are more than 24 weeks pregnant.
  • If you are taking another drug that has the same drug in it.
  • If you are taking any other NSAID.

Children:

  • If your child has or is getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections.

This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this medicine.

Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take Alka-Seltzer with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.

What are some things I need to know or do while I take Alka-Seltzer?

  • Tell all of your health care providers that you take this medicine. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists.
  • Do not give to children and teenagers who have or are getting better from flu signs, chickenpox, or other viral infections due to the chance of Reye's syndrome. Reye's syndrome causes very bad problems to the brain and liver.
  • Do not take more than what your doctor told you to take. Taking more than you are told may raise your chance of very bad side effects.
  • Do not take Alka-Seltzer for longer than you were told by your doctor.
  • You may bleed more easily. Be careful and avoid injury. Use a soft toothbrush and an electric razor.
  • Talk with your doctor before you drink alcohol.
  • If you smoke, talk with your doctor.
  • If you are on a low-sodium or sodium-free diet, talk with your doctor. Some of these products have sodium.
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU), talk with your doctor. Some products have phenylalanine.
  • This medicine may raise the chance of very bad and sometimes deadly stomach or bowel side effects like ulcers or bleeding. The risk is greater in older people. The risk is also greater in people who have had stomach or bowel ulcers or bleeding before. These problems may occur without warning signs. Talk with the doctor.
  • If you are over the age of 60, use this medicine with care. You could have more side effects.
  • This medicine may cause harm to the unborn baby if you take it while you are pregnant. If you are pregnant or you get pregnant while taking Alka-Seltzer, call your doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about any risks to your baby.

How is this medicine (Alka-Seltzer) best taken?

Use this medicine as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely.

  • Take with or without food. Take with food if it causes an upset stomach.
  • Melt in 1/2cup (4 ounces/120 mL) of water. Drink after the tablets have melted all the way.
  • Do not swallow it whole.
  • Rinse cup with more water and drink.

What do I do if I miss a dose?

  • If you take Alka-Seltzer on a regular basis, take a missed dose as soon as you think about it.
  • If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time.
  • Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
  • Many times this medicine is taken on an as needed basis. Do not take more often than told by the doctor.

What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?

WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Signs of bleeding like throwing up blood or throw up that looks like coffee grounds; coughing up blood; blood in the urine; black, red, or tarry stools; bleeding from the gums; vaginal bleeding that is not normal; bruises without a reason or that get bigger; or any bleeding that is very bad or that you cannot stop.
  • Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain.
  • Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes.
  • Very bad dizziness or passing out.
  • Feeling confused.
  • Very bad headache.
  • Ringing in ears.
  • Hearing loss.
  • Very bad belly pain.
  • Feeling agitated.
  • Seizures.

What are some other side effects of Alka-Seltzer?

All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if you have any side effects that bother you or do not go away.

These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.

You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088. You may also report side effects at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

Side Effects (complete list)

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

How do I store and/or throw out Alka-Seltzer?

  • Store at room temperature.
  • Protect from heat.
  • Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets.
  • Check with your pharmacist about how to throw out unused drugs.

Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer

  • If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor.
  • Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs.
  • Keep a list of all your drugs (prescription, natural products, vitamins, OTC) with you. Give this list to your doctor.
  • Talk with the doctor before starting any new drug, including prescription or OTC, natural products, or vitamins.
  • Some drugs may have another patient information leaflet. Check with your pharmacist. If you have any questions about Alka-Seltzer, please talk with your doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.

This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about Alka-Seltzer (aspirin, citric acid, and sodium bicarbonate). It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using Alka-Seltzer.

Review Date: December 6, 2017

More about Alka-Seltzer Original (aspirin / citric acid / sodium bicarbonate)

Consumer resources

Other brands: Alka-Seltzer Extra Strength

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