How Was "Alka-Seltzer" Named?
Alka-Seltzer is a brand name owned by the German Bayer Corporation for a line of medications sold over the counter and taken by means of rapidly dissolving tablets that form an effervescent solution in water.
The original Alka-Seltzer is a remedy for headache, indigestion and hangover. Made by the U.S.-based Miles Laboratories, Alka-Seltzer is a combination of aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid), baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and citric acid, designed to treat pain and simultaneously neutralize excess stomach acid (the "Alka" being derived from the word "alkali"). It is provided in the form of large effervescent tablets, about 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter, which are dissolved (two at a time for the usual adult dosage) in a glass of water. As the tablets dissolve, the acid and bicarbonate react vigorously producing carbon dioxide gas (hence the "Seltzer"), which also produces enough agitation to allow the active ingredients to dissolve readily. The resulting solution is then ingested by the patient.
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