Compare Tagamet vs. Zantac

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

Tagamet
(Cimetidine)

Zantac 75
(Ranitidine)

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. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
4.63391442155309Tagamet
Reviews for Tagamet (Cimetidine)
63%
of people say Tagamet (Cimetidine) is worth it
36%
say it works well
12%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
72%
+9% vs. Tagamet (Cimetidine)
43%
+7% vs. Tagamet (Cimetidine)
7%
+5% vs. Tagamet (Cimetidine)
Side effects
TagametZantac
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »

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

More about Zantac side effects »
How it works
TagametZantac
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.Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) is 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
TagametZantac
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
Available as
TagametZantac
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Injection
Used for (click to learn more)
TagametZantac
Risk factors for serious side effects
TagametZantac
    • 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 problems
        • Current liver problems
        • Acute Porphyria
        • History of Phenylketonuria (PKU)
        Detailed Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        TagametZantac
        BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

        See the FDA package insert
        BFDA pregnancy category (Probably safe)

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

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.No specific food-related info.
        Kidneys and liver
        • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
        • Tagamet (Cimetidine) can cause states of intense confusion. This is usually reversible when you stop taking Tagamet (Cimetidine). If you have kidney problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects. However, stopping Tagamet (Cimetidine) completely may be necessary.
        • People with kidney disease may need to take a lower dose.
        • Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) is processed by the kidney and liver. If you have kidney or liver problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects.
        Sex
        No specific sex-related info.No specific sex-related info.
        Sleep
        No specific sleep-related info.No specific sleep-related info.
        Weight
        No specific weight-related info.No specific weight-related info.
        Upsides and benefits
        TagametZantac
        • 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.
        • Most people can take Ranitidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
        • Ranitidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and Tums, and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
        • Few drug interactions.
        • 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.
        Downsides and risks
        TagametZantac
        • 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.
        • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Ranitidine.
        • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Ranitidine (H2 blockers).
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        TagametZantac
        • Tell your doctor all of the medications that you use before taking Cimetidine to avoid drug interactions.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Learn more
        More about TagametSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert