Does drinking Alka-Seltzer really cure bladder infections?

11 answers | Last updated: Oct 07, 2016
America asked...

Does drinking Alka-Seltzer really cure bladder infections?


Expert Answers

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

When I read your letter, I must admit I have never heard of this "home remedy". From my experience, alka-seltzer would not cure bladder/urinary tract infections. The only cure I know of for a urinary tract infection (UTI) is antibiotic therapy.

Alka seltzer is mainly made up of aspirin and citric acid, both of which are not a treatment for UTI. Since it is a pain reliever, this may take the burning on urination pain away, making someone think that their infection is gone. I would caution you that just because you don't have burning doesn't mean you are "cured". The only safe way to know if you don't have a UTI is to get your urine tested and have it come back clean.

A word about citric acid: we know that urinary tract bacteria do not like acidic urine. This is why cranberry juice and vitamin C can be helpful for preventing UTI's in some people. But again, these are not cures!


Community Answers

A fellow caregiver answered...

If you take the regular Alka-seltzer when you first notice that your pee smells different, it will help it go away. And it isnt because of the aspirin, its the baking soda ingredient, sodium benzon- a something. And Ms. Nurse practitioner, maybe next time you have one you should try it. But if you wait until it starts hurting before you drink it, it's too late. It has to be at the VERY beginning, before the pain starts. I have used this a few times since I heard about it, and I have a long history of bladder infections, so I know what they smell like when they start. This last time I had one, I also took 2 tablets of AZO cranberry 3 times in one day (2 with each meal) just for more help. And it does work.


Liammom answered...

Heard about this for the first time yesterday. I also have a long history of UTI's and the pain had started an hour or so prior. I was at work and figured it couldn't hurt to help me get through until lunch when I could get to Dr. Within an hour I felt like I do after 2 days of antibiotics. Felt fine today so I am holding off going to doc. Fingers crossed- I have had a rough time with antibiotics.


A fellow caregiver answered...

Unless it is an advanced stage UTI, antibiotics should be an absolute last resort. Antibiotics kill healthy and NECESSARY bacteria and creates a serious imbalance in your digestive system. If this healthy bacteria is not properly and adequately replaced via a GOOD probiotic (not all probiotics are created equally), then it can wreak all kinds of havoc on the body.

I have had a few UTIs and have gone the antibiotic route. Now, whenever I feel a UTI coming on (discomfort in the lower abdomen, weaker urine stream/frequent need to urinate), I start drinking good quality cranberry juice immediately. By the next day or even later that same day, it is completely gone. The trick with that is that you have to catch it early. If you are experiencing excruciating pain, burning and see blood when you wipe, then it is probably too advanced for the cranberry juice alone to cure it.


Sapphireb1 answered...

I personally don't care what anyone says about it not working. ..it DOES work. .first sign of infection I start drinking the alka seltzer and by the time I pee next time..most of the infection is gone!!! No more pain and burning when I go...by the second or third dose..it is over with. .LOT cheaper than going to a doctor! !! If the infection is very bad..it will take a little longer to kill it..but it will kill ithe in less than a week. .!!!!


A fellow caregiver answered...

It worked for me in just hours. i Can't believe. It ...... Never. Would of guess. ..One happy lady


Minasmama answered...

Skeptical, I was in need of pain relief and thought it was worth a try. For someone like myself that has had UTI's since childhood and the only relief ever came from a doctor's prescription, this was the best thing I've ever done. It does not actually "treat" the infection like antibiotics would but the pain was gone almost instantly and has subsided since I drank it at the first sign of a infection. I will always keep a pack on me for the future and I well tell anyone with similar issues to stop the pain asap with Alka Seltzer (Original)


A fellow caregiver answered...

It has also helped me with urge incontinence; I can go through the night without getting up. Before I was up 4 times a night and had to wear incontinent underwear and pads. During the day I had to get to the bathroom within 15 minutes of slightest urge. I still do put the urges come about ever 5 hours instead of every 2.


Miriamel answered...

I tried using cranberry juice once instead of antibiotics. I drank a lot of cranberry juice, and gave it two whole days, and all I did was suffer needlessly and risk kidney infection for those two days. I ended up going for the antibiotics, which took care of the infection almost immediately. I don't mess around with cranberry juice any more, except as a preventative measure.


A fellow caregiver answered...

We have utilized alka-seltzer in the manner described by so many above and experienced great results. On another note we also found we needed to move our diet over to more alkaline diet. We didn't have to change much and of course some of the heavy hitters have to be removed such as all tobacco, processed sugar and other really known bad foods. We make smart choices, we don't have the budget to go all organic so we purchase right from the grocery store shelves like anyone else. You can use you favorite search engine for alkaline diet. This has helped many in our family to all kinds of issues not just bladder and UTI infections. Our overall health has vastly improved. Best wishes to you in your journey!


Bladder pain answered...

I had a swollen feeling so that I could barely stand up straight and spasms in my bladder area; along with actual bladder pain when I voided. I asked my female friends about it and they said it seemed like it might be an infection. I did research on the internet for a medication alternative. I found a site that mentioned the Alka Selzer Gold. I went right out and bought it. Oh my goodness....did it work!! One or two doses and I felt back to normal. That was several years back. Unfortunately, I need to go to the drugstore this week for a new box. Mine expired. I need its magical relief once again.