Compare Zantac vs. Maalox

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

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

Maalox
(aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)

Relieves heartburn and stomach ulcers. Zantac 75 (ranitidine) is an effective and inexpensive medicine for hearburn with few side effects, but may interfere with other drugs.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
5.08Zantac
Reviews for Zantac
72%
of people (All ages) say Zantac is worth it
44%
say it works well
7%
say it's a big hassle
1062 reviews
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Maalox
69%
+3% better vs. Zantac
30%
+14% better vs. Zantac
9%
+2% better vs. Zantac
213 reviews
Have you used Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZantacMaalox

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

More about Zantac 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
ZantacMaalox
Zantac 75 (ranitidine) reduces the production of acid by blocking a chemical from acting on the acid-producing cells in your stomach.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
ZantacMaalox
Prescription or OTCOver-the-counter
Available as
ZantacMaalox
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ZantacMaalox
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZantacMaalox
  • Aged 60 years or older
  • Kidney conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Acute Porphyria
  • Asthma
Detailed Zantac 75 (ranitidine) risks & warnings »
  • Kidney problems
  • Taking more than the recommended daily maximum
Detailed Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Interactions
ZantacMaalox
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) can interact with certain prescription and over-the-counter medications. Let your doctor or pharmacist know about the medicines you are currently taking.
No interactions related info.
Alcohol
ZantacMaalox
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Food
ZantacMaalox
No food related info.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about foods to avoid that can help prevent heartburn.
Kidneys and liver
ZantacMaalox
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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
ZantacMaalox
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) works well to relieve heartburn symtoms and is quite tolerable.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • If you have trouble swallowing pills you may find the liquid product a good option.
  • Inexpensive with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand product - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • 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
ZantacMaalox
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) doesn't work as quickly as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need quicker relief.
  • Zantac 75 (ranitidine) does not last as long as some other acid reducers. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you need longer relief.
  • May not be as effective in healing the esophagus when it is inflammed or torn, known as erosive esophagitis. Your doctor will assess which medication is best for you.
  • Can lower your vitamin B12 levels if you use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for a long time. Your doctor can order lab tests to monitor your vitamin B12 levels.
  • 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
ZantacMaalox
  • To prevent a heartburn attack, take Zantac 75 (ranitidine) 30 minutes before eating.
  • Works within 30 to 60 minutes. Relief lasts up to 12 hours.
  • Do not use Zantac 75 (ranitidine) for more than 14 days. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 2 weeks of using the over-the-counter product, as this may indicate a more serious problem.
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
  • Speak to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle and dietary changes that can help prevent heartburn.
  • 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 ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Maalox (aluminum / magnesium / simethicone)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it