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Sat Feb 25, 2012, 02:41 PM

Can Too Much Alka Seltzer Be Bad?

My Mom has had some minor stomach problems for a while now. She use to take a couple Alka seltzers before bed when she had trouble and it worked just fine. Well, her Doctor a couple months ago gave her some samples of Nexium and they have so far worked very well. She called her insurance to see if Nexium is covered and they aid as of now,no. However, her insurance will cover it very soon and to check back. So, until then her Doctor has given her samples. Mom can eat foods she couldn't before taking Nexium so she really does rely on these samples. She ran out last week and called her Doctor and he said they won't be getting any samples until this Wednesday. So, Mom has been taking Alka Seltzer since last week. Problem is, she has been taking them before every meal and then again at bedtime. SO far she has not suffered any side effects but I am curious, can too much Alka Seltzer be a bad thing? Only ingredient I recognize is aspirin. She is going to keep this up until Wednesday and I want to make sure it is not doing any damage. I was going to call the Pharmacist but thought I'd ask here first.

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Reply Can Too Much Alka Seltzer Be Bad? (Original post)
romantico Feb 2012 OP
CC Feb 2012 #1
liberal N proud Feb 2012 #2
romantico Feb 2012 #3
Duer 157099 Feb 2012 #4
tanyev Feb 2012 #5
Neoma Feb 2012 #6
Kali Feb 2012 #7
grasswire Feb 2012 #8

Response to romantico (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 03:10 PM

1. Has her doctor tried her on any

of the other acid reflux drugs? Like Prilosec, Pepcid, Zantac etc? I would ask the doctor about those before using Alka Seltzer. She (maybe with you along) needs to ask him for one covered by insurance now and keep track of how well it works. If it doesn't work for her as well as the Nexium then go back to samples with a back up plan. I know Nexium works for my mother when the others did not work at all or as well but her doctor advised her to not let herself run out of it. It really would be a good idea for someone to go with her and take a note book with questions you and she have and write down the answers. No matter how good the memory people always forget once they are there and talking. Good luck.



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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 03:10 PM

2. Nexium is a miracle drug IMO

I have suffered off and on with stomach ulcers for nearly 30 years. When Nexium came along, it was like magic, problems solved, ulcers healed.

When I get a flare-up I go to the doctor and he set me up with Nexium.

Then, then the insurance companies gatekeeper, Express Scripts denies the prescription every time. Eventually the doctor convinces them to give it to me.

Last round I received a letter from an Express Scripts bean counter telling me that I needed to use over the counter drugs such as prylosec.

Beancounters know better than the doctor?

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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 03:50 PM

3. Her

Her Doctor is aware of her taking it and it does not see a problem. My only concern is how much she is taking. The box says use as often as needed. She reads that as take it 4 or 5 times a day if you want. I see it as take it 1-2 times a day for a few days.I forgot what the exact problem with her stomach is but I don;t think it is that serious. She gets gas and tends to go on belching binges but it depends what she eats. Mom is 71 and has type 2 diabetes. She really does a good job of eating fruits and vegetables and drinks plenty of water but sometimes eats things that her stomach does not agree with. In the winter she loves her grilled cheese sandwiches and before she started taking Nexium she would suffer for it.

By the way, Nexium will be covered on most insurance plans but it is considered still new and they have to wait a period of time before it is covered. My Mom called right at the first of the year and they told her it would be very soon when they would cover it. If anyone wants to try it,call your Doctor. My Mom's Doctor gets boxes of samples and has given my Mom plenty to last a month or more and he says he has no problem doing so until her insurance will cover it.

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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 05:15 PM

4. I would think the aspirin wouldn't be great for the stomach

Since there are only 3 ingredients (I think) which are: aspirin, citric acid and sodium bicarbonate/baking soda, I'd wonder if she'd get the same relief from just the baking soda? The downside of that is the sodium.

Ask her doctor what he thinks of her frequent use of it.

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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 11:10 PM

5. I took it every day for several years with no problem.

I finally discovered digestive enzymes, though, and no longer need it.

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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sat Feb 25, 2012, 11:28 PM

6. Call a pharmacist.

They're there for that sort of thing.

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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 12:36 AM

7. tums (or store brand) would probably be better as an antacid

plus it has calcium

the aspirin can cause some people more upset but if it doesn't bother her it is fine and it does have soduim as well if hypertension is an issue

too much alkaseltzer- as in probably more than a normal person could ingest might affect internal pH, but I really doubt a few doses a day for a week or so would cause any harm

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Response to romantico (Original post)

Sun Feb 26, 2012, 02:16 AM

8. pepcid (famotidine) is on the $4 generic drug discount at most pharmacies

30 day supply for $4, with a prescription. That's less than the OTC price which is about $8 for generic.

I'm sure that your mum's doctor is on top of this, but you might want to ask him to refer your mum to a dietitian or diabetes educator to help her figure out what is causing all the gas and dyspepsia. Grilled cheese shouldn't cause gas, I don't think.

Because of all the sodium in alka-seltzer, perhaps pepcid would be better.

Best to ask the pharmacist, as you plan to do!

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