Compare Zantac vs. Tagamet

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

Zantac 75
(Ranitidine)

Tagamet
(Cimetidine)

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. Tagamet (Cimetidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.
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Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
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5.08Zantac
Reviews for Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
72%
of people (All ages) say Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) 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 (Cimetidine)
63%
-9% worse vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
36%
-8% worse vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
12%
-5% worse vs. Zantac 75 (Ranitidine)
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 »
  • Abnormally large breasts in males 4%
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »
How it works
ZantacTagamet
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.Tagamet (Cimetidine) 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
ZantacTagamet
Prescription or OTC
Prescription or OTC
Available as
ZantacTagamet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Liquid
Used for
ZantacTagamet
Risk factors for serious side effects
ZantacTagamet
    • Current kidney problems
    • Current liver problems
    • Acute Porphyria
    • History of Phenylketonuria (PKU)
    Detailed Zantac 75 (Ranitidine) risks & warnings »
      • Current kidney disease
      • Current liver disease
      • Age 50 or older
      • Current severe illness
        • Autoimmune disease
        • HIV or AIDS
        • Organ transplant
        • People without a spleen
        Detailed Tagamet (Cimetidine) risks & warnings »
        Pregnancy

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

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

        Interactions
        ZantacTagamet
        • Few drug interactions.
        • Has more drug interactions than zantac and pepcid.
        Kidneys and liver
        ZantacTagamet
        • 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 take a lower dose.
        Upsides and benefits
        ZantacTagamet
        • 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 Cimetidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
        • Cimetidine 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.
        Downsides and risks
        ZantacTagamet
        • 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 Cimetidine.
        • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Cimetidine (H2 blockers).
        • Has more drug interactions than zantac and pepcid.
        • Although rare, Cimetidine can cause large breasts or impotence for men who need to use high doses for 6 months or more. It's reversible though and should go away when you stop or if you change medication.
        Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
        ZantacTagamet
        • 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.
        • 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.
        • Tell your doctor all of the medications that you use before taking Cimetidine to avoid drug interactions.
        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