Compare Nexium vs. Tagamet

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

Nexium
(esomeprazole)

Tagamet
(cimetidine)

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.Treats heartburn. Tagamet (cimetidine) works well for heartburn, but may have more side effects than other medicines like it.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.45Nexium
Reviews for Nexium
75%
of people (All ages) say Nexium is worth it
59%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
1239 reviews
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tagamet
63%
+12% better vs. Nexium
36%
+23% better vs. Nexium
12%
+1% better vs. Nexium
632 reviews
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NexiumTagamet

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

More about Nexium side effects »
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »
How it works
NexiumTagamet
Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It treats heartburn and heals ulcers by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach.Tagamet (cimetidine) reduces acid production in your stomach.
Type of medication
NexiumTagamet
Over-the-counterPrescription or OTC
Available as
NexiumTagamet
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
NexiumTagamet
  • GERD
  • H Pylori Bacterial Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
NexiumTagamet
  • Being treated at a hospital
  • High dose Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Long-term treatment with Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Low bone mineral density
  • Aged 65 years or older
Detailed Nexium (esomeprazole) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Dementia
  • Asthma
Detailed Tagamet (cimetidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Interactions
NexiumTagamet
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
NexiumTagamet
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) can cause acute kidney damage that can occur at any time during treatment. If you notice blood in the urine, changes in urine output, swelling of the body, weight gain, fever, or confusion, stop taking Nexium (esomeprazole) and speak to your doctor immediately.
  • Tagamet (cimetidine) can cause confusion if you have kidney or liver problems, dementia, or if you are over 60 years old. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about alternative medicines if you have any of these conditions.
  • May not be the best option if you are elderly or have kidney or liver problems.
Upsides and benefits
NexiumTagamet
  • 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.
  • Lasts longer than other medicines like it so you may not need to take it as frequently.
  • Affordable as an over-the-counter or generic medicine.
Downsides and risks
NexiumTagamet
  • 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.
  • Does not work as fast as antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids.
  • May not work as well if you have an inflammed esophagus. Your doctor will assess which medicine is best for you.
  • May not be the best option if you are elderly or have kidney or liver problems.
  • Can interfere with how other medicines work.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NexiumTagamet
  • Take Nexium (esomeprazole) with a full glass of water 1 hour before eating.
  • Starts working in as little as an hour.
  • It can take 1 to 4 days to take full effect.
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
  • Do not take Nexium (esomeprazole) for more than 14 days, unless directed by your doctor. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms don't go away after 2 weeks.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) capsules can be opened and sprinkled on 1 tablespoon of applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Swallow immediately after.
  • Take 30 minutes before eating for maximum heartburn relief.
  • Talk to your doctor if you don't see any improvement after 2 weeks.
  • Talk to your doctor if you end up using this medicine more than 2 times a week.
  • Let your doctor or pharmacist know about any other medicines or supplements that you are taking because Tagamet (cimetidine) can interfere with how a lot of other medicines work.
Learn more
More about NexiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TagametSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it