Compare Tagamet vs. Tums

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

Tagamet
(cimetidine)

Tums
(calcium carbonate)

Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Tagamet (Cimetidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.Relieves heartburn. Tums (Calcium Carbonate) gives quick relief for heartburn, but don't expect it to last all day.
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Prices and coupon for 60 (400mg) tablets of cimetidine
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Prices and coupon for 60 (500mg) tablets of calcium carbonate
Reviews & ratings
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4.64Tagamet
Reviews for Tagamet (cimetidine)
63%
of people (All ages) say Tagamet (cimetidine) is worth it
36%
say it works well
12%
say it's a big hassle
632 reviews
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tums (calcium carbonate)
82%
+19% better vs. Tagamet (cimetidine)
43%
+7% better vs. Tagamet (cimetidine)
5%
+7% better vs. Tagamet (cimetidine)
1373 reviews
Have you used Tums (calcium carbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
TagametTums
  • Abnormally large breasts in males 4%
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Tums »
How it works
TagametTums
Tagamet (Cimetidine) 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.Tums (Calcium Carbonate) is an antacid. It counteracts the effects of stomach acid to relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion).
Type of medication
TagametTums
Prescription or OTC
Over-the-counter
Available as
TagametTums
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
TagametTums
Risk factors for serious side effects
TagametTums
    • Current kidney disease
    • Current liver disease
    • Age 50 or older
    • Current severe illness
      • Autoimmune disease
      • HIV or AIDS
      • Organ transplant
      • People without a spleen
      Detailed Tagamet (cimetidine) risks & warnings »
        • Current kidney disease
        • Kidney dialysis
        • Hyperparathyroid disease
        • Taking high doses of Vitamin D
        • Previous kidney stones
        Detailed Tums (calcium carbonate) 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
        TagametTums
        • Has more drug interactions than zantac and pepcid.
        • You need to separate Tums from some medications to avoid interactions.
        Kidneys and liver
        TagametTums
        • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
        • 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.
        • If you have kidney or hyperparathyroid disease Tums (Calcium Carbonate) 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 Tums (Calcium Carbonate); a different antacid would be better for you.
        • Tums (Calcium Carbonate) 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 Tums (Calcium Carbonate). Use the lowest dose for the shortest time possible or just play it safe and use a different antacid instead.
        Upsides and benefits
        TagametTums
        • Most people can take Cimetidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
        • Cimetidine 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.
        • Works really fast.
        • Available over the counter without a prescription.
        • Cheap.
        Downsides and risks
        TagametTums
        • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Cimetidine.
        • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Cimetidine (H2 blockers).
        • Has more drug interactions than zantac and pepcid.
        • Although rare, Cimetidine can cause large breasts or impotence for men who need to use high doses for 6 months or more. It's reversible though and should go away when you stop or if you change medication.
        • 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
        TagametTums
        • Works best if you take it with a full glass of water.
        • Starts working in one hour.
        • If heartburn doesn't improve or lasts more than 2 weeks, talk to your doctor.
        • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
        • Tell your doctor all of the medications that you use before taking Cimetidine to avoid drug interactions.
        • 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.
        • You need to separate Tums from some medications to avoid interactions.
        • 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 TagametSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it
        More about TumsSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        Have you used Tums (calcium carbonate)?
        Worth itNot sureNot worth it