Alka-Seltzer is made up primarily of aspirin, sodium hydrogen carbonate and citric acid anhydrous. It contains several other ingredients for both medicinal and flavoring purposes.
Alka-Selzter also includes povidone, dimeticone, calcium silicate, docusate sodium, sodium benzoate and sodium saccharin. It also contains both natural and artificial lemon and lime flavors. These ingredients combined and dissolved in water become the key components of Alka-Seltzer. Beyond these ingredients, there are slight variances in other components and quantities, depending on the product and form factor. Alka-Seltzer comes in drinkable form as well as chewable tablets.
The aspirin within Alka-Seltzer, otherwise known as acetylsalicylic acid, is the primary ingredient and acts as a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that addresses pain from a variety of sources. These include migraines, tension and sinus headaches, rheumatic and muscular pain, menstrual pain, general aches and symptoms related to the common cold or flu. Alka-Seltzer also helps with fever, chills and shivering. It also contains an analgesic to relieve pain accompanied by heartburn and acid indigestion.
Given the ingredients within Alka-Seltzer, it is highly recommended to refrain from drinking alcohol at the same time or taking other medication. In addition, anyone allergic to aspirin or suffering from gastrointestinal disease should refrain from consuming the medicine.