Compare pantoprazole vs. Pepcid

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

Protonix
(pantoprazole)

Pepcid
(famotidine)

Treats heartburn and excess release of stomach acid. Protonix (pantoprazole) is usually only taken once a day for long-lasting heartburn relief, but it can increase your risk of bone fractures if you've used it for a long time.Relieves heartburn. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.
Reviews & ratings
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Filter group. All currently selected
5.14pantoprazole
Reviews for pantoprazole
68%
of people (All ages) say pantoprazole is worth it
51%
say it works well
13%
say it's a big hassle
584 reviews
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Pepcid
75%
-7% worse vs. pantoprazole
41%
+10% better vs. pantoprazole
8%
-5% worse vs. pantoprazole
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Headache 3%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
More pantoprazole side effects »
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More Pepcid side effects »
How it works
pantoprazolePepcid
Protonix (pantoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor. It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach which treats heartburn.Pepcid (Famotidine) is a type of antacid called an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.
Type of medication
pantoprazolePepcid
Prescription onlyPrescription or OTC
Available as
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Pill
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
pantoprazolePepcid
Risk factors for serious side effects
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Using multiple daily doses and/or for 1 year or longer
  • People age 65 or older
  • High risk of bone fractures
  • People who are being treated in the hospital
  • People with lupus
Detailed Protonix (pantoprazole) risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals haven’t found a risk to unborn babies, but it hasn’t been properly studied in humans.

Interactions
pantoprazolePepcid
No interactions related info.
  • Few drug interactions.
Food
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
No food related info.
Kidneys and liver
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) can very rarely damage your kidneys. This can happen at any time. Talk to your doctor right away if you are urinating less or have blood in the urine.
  • Because Pepcid (Famotidine) is processed by the kidney it can cause some worrisome side effects for people with kidney problems. These include confusion, delirium, and a dangerous irregular heartbeat known as QT prolongation. If you have kidney problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects.
  • 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.
Pain
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Talk to your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, fever, or stomach pain that don't go away after taking Protonix (pantoprazole), which can happen even 2 months after stopping the medicine.
No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Most people can take Protonix (pantoprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
  • Can be used in children age 5 or older.
  • 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 and risks
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Needs to be taken every single day for a certain period of time to be effective.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Only available as a prescription medicine, not over the counter.
  • Can lower the magnesium level in your body so you may need to take a supplement for it.
  • 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.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
pantoprazolePepcid
  • Take the tablet form of Protonix (pantoprazole) with or without food.
  • The medicine should be swallowed whole and not to to be chewed or crushed.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) takes some time to kick in, about 2.5 hours after taking it.
  • The oral suspension form needs to be prepared and then taken 30 minutes before a meal. The contents of the packet for the suspension shouldn't be crushed or chewed and be taken in apple juice or applesauce only as stated in the instructions.
  • Talk to your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, fever, or stomach pain that don't go away after taking Protonix (pantoprazole), which can happen even 2 months after stopping the medicine.
  • Using this medicine for a long period of time can increase your risk of getting weaker bones. Talk to your doctor if you are worried about this possible long-term side effect.
  • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
Learn more
More about pantoprazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it