You can try the bicarb alone.... I have always used the AlkaSeltzer, it seems to give immediate relief of pain.
I think the product is just unique in that the effervescent
quality greatly enhances the action of the aspirin. We studied it in college, and I recall the aspirin gets into the blood as fast as an IV injection! The blast therefore would give higher blood levels for the same dose as a slow dissolve tablet.
I think the liquigels for Aleve, at only 200mg are faster and better than any tablet of naproxen. I've had 500mg RX naproxen
in the past for arthritis, and it is nothing compared to Aleve liquigels for me. One 200mg lasts me ALL day long in fact!
Solubility enhancing absorption like this is called "bioavailability" in the scientific areas of drug properties. It is now coming up more commonly in supplement areas, with the research on magnesium products(magnesium oxide has very poor bioavailability), and also the new liposomal products (liposomal Vit C claims) which claim to bypass metabolism in first pass thru the liver when absorbed by the GI tract. Just because something is in pill or capsule form does not mean it will get absorbed into the body properly or fast enough to be useful therapeutically.
There is a non aspirin version of AlkaSeltzer, called Alka Seltzer gold.
Some environmental doctors use it or TriSalts, for blocking histamine reactions.
Most of the time this product is suggested by doctors, so you will have to ask yours if it is okay to try.
AlkaSeltzer Gold, has citrates in it...
And so does original formula...so if you are indeed citrate
sensitive, you won't be able to use either.