Compare Zantac vs. Tagamet

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

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

Tagamet
(cimetidine)

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.Treats heartburn. Tagamet (cimetidine) works well for heartburn, but may have more side effects than other medicines like it.
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 Tagamet
63%
+9% better vs. Zantac
36%
+8% better vs. Zantac
12%
+5% better vs. Zantac
632 reviews
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
ZantacTagamet

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

More about Zantac side effects »
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »
How it works
ZantacTagamet
Zantac 75 (ranitidine) reduces the production of acid by blocking a chemical from acting on the acid-producing cells in your stomach.Tagamet (cimetidine) reduces acid production in your stomach.
Type of medication
ZantacTagamet
Prescription or OTCPrescription or OTC
Available as
ZantacTagamet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
ZantacTagamet
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZantacTagamet
  • Aged 60 years or older
  • Kidney conditions
  • Liver conditions
  • Acute Porphyria
  • Asthma
Detailed Zantac 75 (ranitidine) risks & warnings »
  • Elderly
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Dementia
  • Asthma
Detailed Tagamet (cimetidine) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy
Interactions
ZantacTagamet
  • 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
ZantacTagamet
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
No alcohol related info.
Kidneys and liver
ZantacTagamet
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Tagamet (cimetidine) can cause confusion if you have kidney or liver problems, dementia, or if you are over 60 years old. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about alternative medicines if you have any of these conditions.
  • May not be the best option if you are elderly or have kidney or liver problems.
Upsides and benefits
ZantacTagamet
  • 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.
  • Lasts longer than other medicines like it so you may not need to take it as frequently.
  • Affordable as an over-the-counter or generic medicine.
Downsides and risks
ZantacTagamet
  • 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.
  • Does not work as fast as antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids.
  • May not work as well if you have an inflammed esophagus. Your doctor will assess which medicine is best for you.
  • May not be the best option if you are elderly or have kidney or liver problems.
  • Can interfere with how other medicines work.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
ZantacTagamet
  • 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.
  • Take 30 minutes before eating for maximum heartburn relief.
  • Talk to your doctor if you don't see any improvement after 2 weeks.
  • Talk to your doctor if you end up using this medicine more than 2 times a week.
  • Let your doctor or pharmacist know about any other medicines or supplements that you are taking because Tagamet (cimetidine) can interfere with how a lot of other medicines work.
Learn more
More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TagametSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it