Compare Zantac vs. Pepcid

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

Zantac 75
(Ranitidine)

Pepcid
(Famotidine)

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. Pepcid (Famotidine) 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
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 Pepcid (Famotidine)
75%
+3% vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
41%
2% vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
8%
1% vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
Side effects
ZantacPepcid

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

More about Zantac side effects »

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

More about Pepcid side effects »
How it works
ZantacPepcid
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.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.
Type of medication
ZantacPepcid
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
Acid reducer
Histamine blocker
Prescription or OTC
Available as
ZantacPepcid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for (click to learn more)
ZantacPepcid
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZantacPepcid
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
    • Acute Porphyria
    • History of Phenylketonuria (PKU)
    Detailed Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) risks & warnings »
      • Current kidney disease
        Detailed Pepcid (Famotidine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy category
        ZantacPepcid
        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.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        • 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.
        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
        ZantacPepcid
        • 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.
        • 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.
        Downsides and risks
        ZantacPepcid
        • 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).
        • 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.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ZantacPepcid
        • 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.
        • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
        Learn more
        More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
        More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert