Compare Pepcid vs. Rolaids

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

Pepcid
(famotidine)

Rolaids
(calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide)

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 acid tummy. Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) gives quick relief for heartburn, but don't expect it to last all day.
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 Rolaids
75%
Same vs. Pepcid
37%
+4% better vs. Pepcid
7%
-1% worse vs. Pepcid
1089 reviews
Have you used Rolaids (calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
PepcidRolaids
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More Pepcid side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Rolaids side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Rolaids »
How it works
PepcidRolaids
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.Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) is an antacid. It counteracts the effects of stomach acid to relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion).
Type of medication
PepcidRolaids
Prescription or OTCOver-the-counter
Available as
PepcidRolaids
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
PepcidRolaids
Risk factors for serious side effects
PepcidRolaids
  • Current kidney disease
Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
  • Kidney dialysis
  • Hyperparathyroid disease
  • Taking high doses of Vitamin D
  • Previous kidney stones
Detailed Rolaids (calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

The FDA hasn’t classified this medicine’s effects on unborn babies. Talk with your doctor about this medicine if you’re pregnant or planning on it.

Interactions
PepcidRolaids
  • Few drug interactions.
No interactions related info.
Kidneys and liver
PepcidRolaids
  • 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.
  • If you have kidney or hyperparathyroid disease Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of calcium in your body. This is more likely if you have severe kidney disease (defined as a kidney function blood test called GFR of less than 30ml/min). If you have severe kidney disease or are on kidney dialysis don't use Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide); a different antacid would be better for you.
  • Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide) contains calcium. Calcium can be an ingredient in some kidney stones. If you have had kidney stones in the past (especially the calcium-containing kind) be careful using Rolaids (Calcium Carbonate / Magnesium Hydroxide). Use the lowest dose for the shortest time possible or just play it safe and use a different antacid instead.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
Upsides and benefits
PepcidRolaids
  • 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 really fast.
  • Available over the counter without a prescription.
  • Cheap.
Downsides and risks
PepcidRolaids
  • 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.
  • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
  • Some chalky aftertaste.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
PepcidRolaids
  • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
  • Take at the first sign of discomfort.
  • You might need to take more than once a day but pay attention to the instructions on your bottle to avoid overdosing.
  • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
  • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
  • People with kidney disease on dialysis may need to take a lower dose or avoid use. Your doctor can do blood tests to see if it's safe to use.
  • Don't take if you have high blood calcium levels.
Learn more
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about RolaidsSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Rolaids (calcium carbonate / magnesium hydroxide)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it