Compare Zantac vs. Pepcid

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

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

Pepcid
(famotidine)

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. Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly 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 Pepcid
75%
-3% worse vs. Zantac
41%
+3% better vs. Zantac
8%
+1% better vs. Zantac
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZantacPepcid

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

More about Zantac side effects »
  • Headache 5%
  • Diarrhea 2%
More Pepcid side effects »
How it works
ZantacPepcid
Zantac 75 (ranitidine) reduces the production of acid by blocking a chemical from acting on the acid-producing cells in your stomach.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
Prescription or OTCPrescription or OTC
Available as
ZantacPepcid
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
Used for
ZantacPepcid
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZantacPepcid
  • Aged 60 years or older
  • Kidney conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Acute Porphyria
  • Asthma
Detailed Zantac 75 (ranitidine) risks & warnings »
  • Current kidney disease
Detailed Pepcid (famotidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

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

Interactions
ZantacPepcid
  • 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.
  • Few drug interactions.
Alcohol
ZantacPepcid
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
ZantacPepcid
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • 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.
  • 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.
Upsides and benefits
ZantacPepcid
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • Short-term treatment of ulcers and acid reflux.
Learn more
More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it