Facts & FAQs

Arming yourself with important and accurate information is the first key step in fighting
your tough cold, cough, flu, sinus and allergy symptoms with the right product.
Look below to find out all you need to know, and more.

Facts & FAQs

Arming yourself with important and accurate information is the first key step in fighting
your tough cold, cough, flu, sinus and allergy symptoms with the right product.
Look below to find out all you need to know, and more.

Preventative Tips

Preventative Tips

Why Alka-Seltzer Plus?
Why Alka-Seltzer Plus?

ALL FAQS
GENERAL
FORMULATION
DOSAGE & USAGE
COLD & FLU
MUCUS & COUGH
SINUS & ALLERGY
GENERAL

Q:

What's the difference between Alka-Seltzer Original® and Alka-Seltzer Plus®?

A:

Both products are focused on relief. Alka-Seltzer Original® (Plop, plop, fizz, fizz) provides fast relief for heartburn and acid indigestion (learn more here). Alka-Seltzer Plus® brings relief from your tough symptoms for cold & flu, mucus & cough, or sinus & allergy.

Q:

Where can I buy Alka-Seltzer Plus® Products?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® formulas are available in most drug stores, grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores and online. You can also use our store locator to find a convenient location nearby.

Q:

Why can't I find the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Allergy tablets or Night Severe Cold, Cough & Flu hot-drink mix?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® no longer offers these products. To find a comparable product, call
1-800-986-0369 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm EST to speak to a Consumer Relations Representative, or visit our product finder.

FORMULATION

Q:

Does Alka-Seltzer Plus® contain Phenylpropanolamine Bitartrate (PPA)?

A:

No. This ingredient was removed from Alka-Seltzer Plus® formulations in 2000.

Q:

Does Alka-Seltzer Plus® contain Pseudoephedrine (PSE)?

A:

Most of our products contain the nasal decongestant Phenylephrine Hydrochloride. Alka-Seltzer Plus-D® is our only product that contains pseudoephedrine and can be found behind the pharmacy counter.

Q:

Does Alka-Seltzer Plus® contain gluten?

A:

We don't add gluten to our products. However, we can't guarantee they are 100% gluten free since our products are produced in a facility that manufactures and packages items that may contain gluten.

Q:

What is the purpose of the different ingredients in Alka-Seltzer Plus®?

A:

This chart provides an easy reference to active ingredients in Alka-Seltzer Plus®.

DRUG PURPOSE
Acetaminophen Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer
Aspirin Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer
Chlorpheniramine Maleate Antihistamine
Doxylamine Succinate Antihistamine
Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Antihistamine/Cough Suppressant
Phenylephrine Bitartrate Nasal decongestant
Phenylephrine Hydrochloride Nasal decongestant
Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride Nasal decongestant
Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide Cough Suppressant
Guaifenesin Expectorant

Q:

Do the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Effervescent tablets and Liquid Gels contain the same ingredients?

A:

Not necessarily. Please be sure to read all labels carefully and follow directions as stated.

DOSAGE & USAGE

Q:

Can I use the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Night Cold Formula during the day?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® Night Cold is recommended for bedtime as it may cause marked drowsiness. If you’re home and able to rest, then it may be taken during the day.

Q:

How many days can I use Alka-Seltzer Plus®?

A:

Discontinue use and consult a physician if pain, cough, or nasal congestion gets worse or lasts longer than 7 days, or if fever gets worse or lasts longer than 3 days.

Q:

How much water should I use when taking the effervescent tablets?

A:

4 ounces.

Q:

Can I dissolve Alka-Seltzer Plus® Effervescent tablets in something other than water?

A:

It dissolves best in water. Other liquids may contain ingredients, which delay or affect dissolution. (For example, milk contains compounds such as protein and fat so it takes longer to dissolve the tablets.)

Q:

What temperature of water should I use to dissolve Alka-Seltzer Plus® Effervescent tablets?

A:

Room temperature works best, since cold water slows the dissolution and warm water can make the product foam excessively. The surface of the tablet needs to be submerged completely in water for rapid dissolution.

Q:

What should I do if the tablets don't fizz?

A:

The tablets may have started to break down. It's likely that the foil package has a slight imperfection or hole. This may cause the tablets to discolor and crumble. While there is no safety concern, be aware that the product won't be as effective.

Q:

Can I use the Alka-Seltzer Plus® formulas beyond the expiration date?

A:

We don't recommend using our products after they expire. It isn't harmful if ingested, but it may not be as effective in relieving your symptoms. We recommend you discard expired Alka-Seltzer Plus® products.

Q:

Can I use Alka-Seltzer Plus® products if I'm pregnant or nursing?

A:

If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, contact your physician before using this product.

Q:

Where can I find the dosage directions on the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Day & Night Formulas?

A:

Liquid Gels: On the lower edge of the back carton, there are two down arrows. The flap lifts up to provide the remaining information, including the dosage directions. The information with the orange background (on the left) pertains to our Day Cold Formula, while the information with the green background (on the right) pertains to the Night Cold Formula. You can also view the directions online by visiting our product page.

Effervescent Tablets: The label on the back of the carton peels back, indicated by a yellow tab in the lower right corner. Once lifted, the remaining information and dosage directions are visible. The information with the orange background (on the left) pertains to our Day Cold Formula, while the information with the green background (on the right) pertains to the Night Cold Formula. View the directions online by visiting our product page.

Q:

Can I use Alka-Seltzer Plus® with other medications?

A:

A physician or pharmacist should always be consulted before taking more than one medication, as interactions between drugs are always possible.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, we recommend Coricidin HBP for powerful cold relief.

COLD & FLU

Q:

Can’t I just take antibiotics for my cold?

A:

Antibiotics are ineffective against cold and flu viruses. There’s no cure for colds, but you can get relief from your symptoms with Alka-Seltzer Plus®.

Q:

How do you treat a cold?

A:

Rest and plenty of fluids will help you recover and let the virus run its course. Alka-Seltzer Plus® can relieve many of your worst symptoms, to help you power through your day.

If you have high blood pressure, we recommend Coricidin HBP for cold relief.

Q:

What causes the flu?

A:

The flu is spread by viruses, which mutate often. New strains of the flu virus circulate each year.

Q:

How does the flu spread?

A:

Viruses spread through the air by sneezing, coughing, and by contact with the eyes, hands and face. Flu viruses evolve year to year. Speak with your physician about a flu vaccination.

Q:

How do you treat the flu?

A:

Drink plenty of fluids. Stay in bed; rest is essential. Resume normal activities a few days after your recovery.

Q:

How long can the flu and its symptoms last?

A:

Flu symptoms are apparent and usually severe; especially fever. The first symptoms appear immediately and can subside within a few days.

Q:

What’s the difference between cold and flu?

A:

Cold and flu have similar symptoms, but may require different products for the best symptom fighting results. See our Cold & Flu page to identify which you have and the product you need.

Q:

How long does it take before a cold shows symptoms or becomes contagious?

A:

Cold symptoms usually begin 2-3 days after infection, and can last anywhere from 7-14 days. You’re most contagious from the second to fourth day of infection.

Q:

What can I do to reduce symptoms of the flu or cold?

A:

To help your body fight the common cold, rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can also rely on Alka-Seltzer Plus® cold and flu products for fast relief from your worst symptoms.

Q:

What can I take if nasal congestion is my only or primary symptom?

A:

Try our cousin product, Afrin® for nasal decongestion.

Q:

What should I take to fight my cold symptoms if I have high blood pressure?

A:

If you suffer from high blood pressure, Coricidin® HBP can be used for powerful cold relief.

MUCUS & COUGH

Q:

How do you treat excess mucus?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® products containing an expectorant help loosen mucus in your lungs, making coughs more productive at clearing airways.

Nasal decongestants, such as Afrin®, can also be used to manage your symptoms.

Q:

What can I do for cough relief?

A:

Many Alka-Seltzer Plus® products contain Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide, which temporarily relieves cough caused by minor throat and bronchial irritation. This symptom most commonly accompanies the flu and the common cold.

Q:

What’s the purpose of mucus, anyway?

A:

Mucus-producing tissue lines the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Mucus acts as a protective blanket over these surfaces, preventing the tissue underneath from drying out.

Q:

Why do we cough?

A:

Coughing is the body's way of removing foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages or of reacting to an irritated airway.

SINUS & ALLERGY

Q:

When exactly is "allergy season"?

A:

Any season can be allergy season, depending on the person. Most allergens enter our bodies through the nose and mouth. Examples of allergens include pollen, weeds, dust mites and pet dander.

Q:

How do I treat a sinus infection?

A:

Keep your nasal passages open by applying a warm washcloth to your face.

Nasal decongestants like Afrin®, pain relievers or antihistamine medicines can help relieve your sinus symptoms.

Q:

Is there a cure for allergies?

A:

While most allergies can’t be cured, Alka-Seltzer Plus allergy products can provide relief from your toughest symptoms.

For nasal congestion, you can also try our cousin product, Afrin®.

ALL FAQS
GENERAL
FORMULATION
DOSAGE & USAGE
COLD & FLU
MUCUS & COUGH
SINUS & ALLERGY
GENERAL

Q:

What's the difference between Alka-Seltzer Original® and Alka-Seltzer Plus®?

A:

Both products are focused on relief. Alka-Seltzer Original® (Plop, plop, fizz, fizz) provides fast relief for heartburn and acid indigestion (learn more here). Alka-Seltzer Plus® brings relief from your tough symptoms for cold & flu, mucus & cough, or sinus & allergy.

Q:

Where can I buy Alka-Seltzer Plus® Products?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® formulas are available in most drug stores, grocery stores, mass merchandisers, club stores and online. You can also use our store locator to find a convenient location nearby.

Q:

Why can't I find the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Allergy tablets or Night Severe Cold, Cough & Flu hot-drink mix?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® no longer offers these products. To find a comparable product, call
1-800-986-0369 Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm EST to speak to a Consumer Relations Representative, or visit our product finder.

FORMULATION

Q:

Does Alka-Seltzer Plus® contain Phenylpropanolamine Bitartrate (PPA)?

A:

No. This ingredient was removed from Alka-Seltzer Plus® formulations in 2000.

Q:

Does Alka-Seltzer Plus® contain Pseudoephedrine (PSE)?

A:

Most of our products contain the nasal decongestant Phenylephrine Hydrochloride. Alka-Seltzer Plus-D® is our only product that contains pseudoephedrine and can be found behind the pharmacy counter.

Q:

Does Alka-Seltzer Plus® contain gluten?

A:

We don't add gluten to our products. However, we can't guarantee they are 100% gluten free since our products are produced in a facility that manufactures and packages items that may contain gluten.

Q:

What is the purpose of the different ingredients in Alka-Seltzer Plus®?

A:

This chart provides an easy reference to active ingredients in Alka-Seltzer Plus®.

DRUG PURPOSE
Acetaminophen Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer
Aspirin Pain Reliever/Fever Reducer
Chlorpheniramine Maleate Antihistamine
Doxylamine Succinate Antihistamine
Diphenhydramine Hydrochloride Antihistamine/Cough Suppressant
Phenylephrine Bitartrate Nasal decongestant
Phenylephrine Hydrochloride Nasal decongestant
Pseudoephedrine Hydrochloride Nasal decongestant
Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide Cough Suppressant
Guaifenesin Expectorant

Q:

Do the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Effervescent tablets and Liquid Gels contain the same ingredients?

A:

Not necessarily. Please be sure to read all labels carefully and follow directions as stated.

DOSAGE & USAGE

Q:

Can I use the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Night Cold Formula during the day?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® Night Cold is recommended for bedtime as it may cause marked drowsiness. If you’re home and able to rest, then it may be taken during the day.

Q:

How many days can I use Alka-Seltzer Plus®?

A:

Discontinue use and consult a physician if pain, cough, or nasal congestion gets worse or lasts longer than 7 days, or if fever gets worse or lasts longer than 3 days.

Q:

How much water should I use when taking the effervescent tablets?

A:

4 ounces.

Q:

Can I dissolve Alka-Seltzer Plus® Effervescent tablets in something other than water?

A:

It dissolves best in water. Other liquids may contain ingredients, which delay or affect dissolution. (For example, milk contains compounds such as protein and fat so it takes longer to dissolve the tablets.)

Q:

What temperature of water should I use to dissolve Alka-Seltzer Plus® Effervescent tablets?

A:

Room temperature works best, since cold water slows the dissolution and warm water can make the product foam excessively. The surface of the tablet needs to be submerged completely in water for rapid dissolution.

Q:

What should I do if the tablets don't fizz?

A:

The tablets may have started to break down. It's likely that the foil package has a slight imperfection or hole. This may cause the tablets to discolor and crumble. While there is no safety concern, be aware that the product won't be as effective.

Q:

Can I use the Alka-Seltzer Plus® formulas beyond the expiration date?

A:

We don't recommend using our products after they expire. It isn't harmful if ingested, but it may not be as effective in relieving your symptoms. We recommend you discard expired Alka-Seltzer Plus® products.

Q:

Can I use Alka-Seltzer Plus® products if I'm pregnant or nursing?

A:

If you're pregnant or breast-feeding, contact your physician before using this product.

Q:

Where can I find the dosage directions on the Alka-Seltzer Plus® Day & Night Formulas?

A:

Liquid Gels: On the lower edge of the back carton, there are two down arrows. The flap lifts up to provide the remaining information, including the dosage directions. The information with the orange background (on the left) pertains to our Day Cold Formula, while the information with the green background (on the right) pertains to the Night Cold Formula. You can also view the directions online by visiting our product page.

Effervescent Tablets: The label on the back of the carton peels back, indicated by a yellow tab in the lower right corner. Once lifted, the remaining information and dosage directions are visible. The information with the orange background (on the left) pertains to our Day Cold Formula, while the information with the green background (on the right) pertains to the Night Cold Formula. View the directions online by visiting our product page.

Q:

Can I use Alka-Seltzer Plus® with other medications?

A:

A physician or pharmacist should always be consulted before taking more than one medication, as interactions between drugs are always possible.

If you suffer from high blood pressure, we recommend Coricidin HBP for powerful cold relief.

COLD & FLU

Q:

Can’t I just take antibiotics for my cold?

A:

Antibiotics are ineffective against cold and flu viruses. There’s no cure for colds, but you can get relief from your symptoms with Alka-Seltzer Plus®.

Q:

How do you treat a cold?

A:

Rest and plenty of fluids will help you recover and let the virus run its course. Alka-Seltzer Plus® can relieve many of your worst symptoms, to help you power through your day.

If you have high blood pressure, we recommend Coricidin HBP for cold relief.

Q:

What causes the flu?

A:

The flu is spread by viruses, which mutate often. New strains of the flu virus circulate each year.

Q:

How does the flu spread?

A:

Viruses spread through the air by sneezing, coughing, and by contact with the eyes, hands and face. Flu viruses evolve year to year. Speak with your physician about a flu vaccination.

Q:

How do you treat the flu?

A:

Drink plenty of fluids. Stay in bed; rest is essential. Resume normal activities a few days after your recovery.

Q:

How long can the flu and its symptoms last?

A:

Flu symptoms are apparent and usually severe; especially fever. The first symptoms appear immediately and can subside within a few days.

Q:

What’s the difference between cold and flu?

A:

Cold and flu have similar symptoms, but may require different products for the best symptom fighting results. See our Cold & Flu page to identify which you have and the product you need.

Q:

How long does it take before a cold shows symptoms or becomes contagious?

A:

Cold symptoms usually begin 2-3 days after infection, and can last anywhere from 7-14 days. You’re most contagious from the second to fourth day of infection.

Q:

What can I do to reduce symptoms of the flu or cold?

A:

To help your body fight the common cold, rest and drink plenty of fluids. You can also rely on Alka-Seltzer Plus® cold and flu products for fast relief from your worst symptoms.

Q:

What can I take if nasal congestion is my only or primary symptom?

A:

Try our cousin product, Afrin® for nasal decongestion.

Q:

What should I take to fight my cold symptoms if I have high blood pressure?

A:

If you suffer from high blood pressure, Coricidin® HBP can be used for powerful cold relief.

MUCUS & COUGH

Q:

How do you treat excess mucus?

A:

Alka-Seltzer Plus® products containing an expectorant help loosen mucus in your lungs, making coughs more productive at clearing airways.

Nasal decongestants, such as Afrin®, can also be used to manage your symptoms.

Q:

What can I do for cough relief?

A:

Many Alka-Seltzer Plus® products contain Dextromethorphan Hydrobromide, which temporarily relieves cough caused by minor throat and bronchial irritation. This symptom most commonly accompanies the flu and the common cold.

Q:

What’s the purpose of mucus, anyway?

A:

Mucus-producing tissue lines the mouth, nose, sinuses, throat, lungs, and gastrointestinal tract. Mucus acts as a protective blanket over these surfaces, preventing the tissue underneath from drying out.

Q:

Why do we cough?

A:

Coughing is the body's way of removing foreign material or mucus from the lungs and upper airway passages or of reacting to an irritated airway.

SINUS & ALLERGY

Q:

When exactly is “allergy season”?

A:

Any season can be allergy season, depending on the person. Most allergens enter our bodies through the nose and mouth. Examples of allergens include pollen, weeds, dust mites and pet dander.

Q:

How do I treat a sinus infection?

A:

Keep your nasal passages open by applying a warm washcloth to your face.

Nasal decongestants like Afrin®, pain relievers or antihistamine medicines can help relieve your sinus symptoms.

Q:

Is there a cure for allergies?

A:

While most allergies can’t be cured, Alka-Seltzer Plus allergy products can provide relief from your toughest symptoms.

For nasal congestion, you can also try our cousin product, Afrin®.