Compare Nexium vs. Pepcid

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

Nexium (esomeprazole)

Over-the-counter

Pepcid (Famotidine)

Prescription or OTC
Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers.

Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 1239 reviewsforNexium
Relieves heartburn.

Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 853 reviewsforPepcid
Upsides
  • Most people can take Nexium (esomeprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need quicker relief.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) is inexpensive, with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand name - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • The packet form is a good option if you have trouble swallowing pills.They can be mixed with water for easier swallowing.
  • Most people can take Famotidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Famotidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and Tums, and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • Few drug interactions.
Downsides
  • Doesn't start working right away like antacids (Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox).
  • It can take several days or weeks to start feeling benefits.
  • May not be the best choice for patients 65 years of age and older due to risk of bone fractures and severe diarrhea.
  • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Famotidine.
  • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Famotidine (H2 blockers).
  • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
Used for
  • GERD
  • H. Pylori bacterial infection
  • Prevention and treatment of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Price
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Reviews
1239 reviews so far
75%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?

Leave a review
853 reviews so far
75%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pepcid (Famotidine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Nexium (esomeprazole) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
2possible side effects
  • Headache
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Stomach cancer
  • Kidney injury
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Being treated at a hospital
  • Bone fractures
    • High dose Nexium (esomeprazole)
    • Long-term treatment with Nexium (esomeprazole)
    • Low bone mineral density
    • Aged 65 years or older
  • Lupus
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Hiding possible cancer
  • Increased side effects
    • Current kidney disease
  • Allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings