Alka Selzer for UTIs?

Fever, Sick, Cold, Flu, Thermometer
I just received one of those FW emails with a number of folk remedies that involve using various brand name over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics for eradicating everything from headaches to toenail fungus.   It stated:
Cure urinary tract infections with Alka-Seltzer. Just dissolve two tablets in a glass of water and drink it at the onset of the symptoms. Alka-Seltzer begins eliminating urinary tract infections almost instantly-even though the product was never advertised for this use.
So, of course I did my usual research.  And this is what I found:
1. There are plenty of "testimonials" out there about the efficacy of Alka-Seltzer for curing UTIs
2. Alka-Seltzer contains ASA (Aspirin) so will provide some pain relief (from the burning) and the sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) ingredient can help to alkalize the urine to further decrease the burning during urination.  But apart from alleviating the symptoms temporarily, it is not a cure, and furthermore, it can actually create the impression that the infection is diminished or gone, so that the person doing the Alka Seltzer treatment might believe there is no reason to consult their health care profressional.
3. The cheap cost and easy availability makes Alka-Seltzer something attractive to try, but there are potential unwanted side effects including stomach pain, vomiting, allergic skin reactions and diarrhea. The Aspirin in Alka-Seltzer can also cause gastrointestinal bleeding, Reye's syndrome and other dangerous conditions associated with NSAID medications.
I don't think you want to trade one set of discomforts for others, do you?  Better attend to your UTI in safer, more effective ways (lots of suggestions in this blog) and leave out the Alka Seltzer when you pass on that email too.

References in this blog are meant for information only and if you have a condition of concern, please consult with your trusted health care provider.


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Anonymous said...

I am a middle-aged female that experiences urinary tract infections once in a while. I would like to share the wisdom that has helped me. As soon as I have the symptoms I drink half a glass morning and evening of pure unsweetened cranberry juice followed by a glass of water. I do this for a day for two and am fine after that. I thank God my Father in Heaven for this remedy, It always works.

Cynthia Zirkwitz said...

Thanks for your comment... you can read more about cranberry juice at

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