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. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.Relieves heartburn and acid tummy. Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) gives quick relief for heartburn, gas, and bloating. It may not be as effective or last as long as alternative antacids though.
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Reviews & ratings
Button Group. All currently active
Button Group. All currently active
5.068636796949476Zantac
Reviews for Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
72%
of people say Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) is worth it
43%
say it works well
7%
say it's a big hassle
Reviews for Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone)
68%
4% vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
30%
13% vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
9%
2% vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
Side effects
ZantacMaalox

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

More about Zantac side effects »

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

FDA side effect reports for Maalox »
How it works
ZantacMaalox
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.Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) is a combination medicine for stomach trouble. Aluminum and magnesium are antacids that relieve heartburn and acid tummy (indigestion). Simethicone relieves gas and bloating.
Type of medication
ZantacMaalox
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
AntacidOver-the-counter
Available as
ZantacMaalox
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Injection
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ZantacMaalox
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZantacMaalox
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
    • Acute Porphyria
    • History of Phenylketonuria (PKU)
    Detailed Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) risks & warnings »
    • Age 65 or older
      • Current kidney disease
        Detailed Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        ZantacMaalox
        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
        NFDA pregnancy category (Unknown)

        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.

        See the FDA package insert
        Alcohol
        No specific alcohol-related info.No specific alcohol-related info.
        Food
        No specific food-related info.
        • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
        Kidneys and liver
        • 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.
        • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
        • If you have kidney disease Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone) can build up in your blood. This may can cause toxic levels of aluminum or magnesium 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 Maalox (Aluminum / Magnesium / Simethicone); a different antacid would be better for you.
        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
        ZantacMaalox
        • 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.
        • 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
        ZantacMaalox
        • 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).
        • Doesn't last very long.
        • Other antacids like Zantac (H2 blockers) and omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) can work better and last longer.
        • Some people don't care for the taste.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ZantacMaalox
        • 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.
        • Take 1-3 hours after a meal.
        • Take 1-2 hours apart from other medication that you take by mouth.
        • Tell your doctor if you have severe diarrhea or constipation.
        • People with kidney disease may need to avoid Maalox. Ask your doctor.
        Learn more
        More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about MaaloxSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert