Compare Imodium vs. Zantac

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Imodium
(loperamide)

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

Treats diarrhea. One day is too many days to have diarrhea. Having Imodium (Loperamide) on hand to relieve your symptoms can be a life-saver.Relieves heartburn and stomach ulcers. Zantac 75 (ranitidine) is an effective and inexpensive medicine for hearburn with few side effects, but may interfere with other drugs.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.75Imodium
Reviews for Imodium
89%
of people (All ages) say Imodium is worth it
65%
say it works well
6%
say it's a big hassle
285 reviews
Have you used Imodium (loperamide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zantac
72%
+17% better vs. Imodium
44%
+21% better vs. Imodium
7%
+1% better vs. Imodium
1062 reviews
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ImodiumZantac
  • Constipation 3%
  • Nausea 3%
  • Abdominal cramp 3%
More Imodium side effects »

The Zantac FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.

More about Zantac side effects »
How it works
ImodiumZantac
Imodium (Loperamide) is an antidiarrheal medicine. It's actually an opioid related to morphine, though it doesn't affect the brain like opioid pain medicines do. Instead, it works directly on muscles in your large intestine to stop contractions and increase the time it takes for stool to move through. The result is less diarrhea and more formed stool.Zantac 75 (ranitidine) reduces the production of acid by blocking a chemical from acting on the acid-producing cells in your stomach.
Type of medication
ImodiumZantac
Over-the-counterPrescription or OTC
Available as
ImodiumZantac
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
Used for
ImodiumZantac
Risk factors for serious side effects
ImodiumZantac
  • Allergy to loperamide
  • Taking with alcohol
  • Taking other medicines that make you less alert
  • Current liver problems
  • Taking HIV medicines
Detailed Imodium (loperamide) risks & warnings »
  • Aged 60 years or older
  • Kidney conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Acute Porphyria
  • Asthma
Detailed Zantac 75 (ranitidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
ImodiumZantac
No interactions related info.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) can interact with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about the medicines you are currently taking.
Alcohol
ImodiumZantac
No alcohol related info.
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
Kidneys and liver
ImodiumZantac
  • Ask your doctor before taking Imodium if you have a fever, liver problems, mucus in your stool or are taking antibiotics.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
ImodiumZantac
  • Do not use if you have diarrhea with a high fever, blood in your stool, pain, swelling or bulging in your belly. People taking HIV medicine together with Imodium (Loperamide) can have a serious intestinal problem called toxic megacolon. Call your doctor or get medical care right away if you develop these symptoms or your diarrhea gets worse after 2 days.
No pain related info.
Weight
ImodiumZantac
  • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
No weight related info.
Upsides and benefits
ImodiumZantac
  • Most people who take Imodium feel there's no hassle and it's definitely worth it!
  • Non-habit forming and available over-the-counter.
  • It comes in caplets, liquid, and chewable tablets so you can use it anywhere you need it.
  • Imodium is used for short-term, chronic and traveler's diarrhea. It's also used for people who have diarrhea caused by cancer or certain medicines that treat cancer.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) works well to relieve heartburn symtoms and is quite tolerable.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • If you have trouble swallowing pills you may find the liquid product a good option.
  • Inexpensive with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand product - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Downsides and risks
ImodiumZantac
  • Imodium only treats your diarrhea symptoms. Diarrhea may be caused by a number of conditions and will need specific treatment that deals with the underlying issue.
  • Studies in people taking Imodium for chronic diarrhea showed if the maximum number of doses didn't relieve symptoms in 10 days, then it probably won't work for that condition. You can talk to your doctor about other treatment options.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) doesn't work as quickly as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need quicker relief.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) does not last as long as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need longer relief.
  • May not be as effective in healing the esophagus when it is inflammed or torn, known as erosive esophagitis. Your doctor will assess which medication is best for you.
  • Can lower your vitamin B12 levels if you use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for a long time. Your doctor can order lab tests to monitor your vitamin B12 levels.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ImodiumZantac
  • Try to drink plenty of clear liquids. Having diarrhea can make you dehydrated.
  • The correct dose of Imodium may be different depending on age. Use the dosing chart to find the right amount of medicine based on age and weight.
  • Shake Imodium liquid well before using. Use dosing cup that comes with bottle to get the best dose.
  • Imodium lowers your ability to focus, think, and react. Avoid activities that require you to be alert, such as driving a car or operating machinery, until you know how this medication affects you.
  • Check with your baby doctor before using if you're breastfeeding.
  • Ask your doctor before taking Imodium if you have a fever, liver problems, mucus in your stool or are taking antibiotics.
  • Don't use if you have blood in your stool or it's dark or black in color.
  • Stop using Imodium and call your doctor if you have pain, swelling or bulging in your belly or your symptoms get worse after 2 days. This could be serious.
  • To prevent a heartburn attack, take Zantac 75 (ranitidine) 30 minutes before eating.
  • Works within 30 to 60 minutes. Relief lasts up to 12 hours.
  • Do not use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for more than 14 days. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of using the over-the-counter product, as this may indicate a more serious problem.
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle and dietary changes that can help prevent heartburn.
Learn more
More about ImodiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Imodium (loperamide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it