Compare Pepcid vs. Maalox

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

Pepcid
(famotidine)

Maalox
(aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)

Relieves heartburn. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.Relieves heartburn and indigestion. Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating, but it may not be as effective or last as long as other antacids.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.09Pepcid
Reviews for Pepcid
75%
of people (All ages) say Pepcid is worth it
41%
say it works well
8%
say it's a big hassle
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Maalox
69%
+6% better vs. Pepcid
30%
+11% better vs. Pepcid
9%
+1% better vs. Pepcid
213 reviews
Have you used Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PepcidMaalox
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More Pepcid side effects »

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

More about Maalox side effects »
How it works
PepcidMaalox
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.Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) is a combination medicine for heartburn and indigestion. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that treat heartburn and indigestion. Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.
Type of medication
PepcidMaalox
Prescription or OTCOver-the-counter
Available as
PepcidMaalox
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
PepcidMaalox
Risk factors for serious side effects
PepcidMaalox
  • Current kidney disease
Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney problems
  • Taking more than the recommended daily maximum
Detailed Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) 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
PepcidMaalox
  • Few drug interactions.
No interactions related info.
Food
PepcidMaalox
No food related info.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about foods to avoid that can help prevent heartburn.
Kidneys and liver
PepcidMaalox
  • 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.
  • Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) contains aluminum and magnesium that can build up in your kidneys if you have kidney problems which can be dangerous. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) to see if it is right for you. Don't take more than the maximum amount per day as shown on the label.
Upsides and benefits
PepcidMaalox
  • 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.
  • Works quickly.
  • Inexpensive and available over-the-counter.
  • Is one of the first choice medications for heartburn relief if you are pregnant.
Downsides and risks
PepcidMaalox
  • 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.
  • Doesn't last very long. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist if you need longer lasting relief.
  • Is not a good option if you have frequent symptoms (more than 2 times a week). Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about stronger medications.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PepcidMaalox
  • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
  • Starts working within minutes, and lasts for 1-2 hours.
  • If you are using the liquid product, shake well before using.
  • Don't take more than the recommended amount per day on the package. If you need to take this for more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People on a magnesium-restricted diet may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about foods to avoid that can help prevent heartburn.
  • Eating smaller portion sizes and not eating 3 hours before bedtime can help prevent heartburn.
Learn more
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it