Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal

Nexium Alternatives

(esomeprazole)

Over-the-counterLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
Back to: Full Site Navigation

Compare Nexium (esomeprazole) to alternatives

These medications are comparable to Nexium (esomeprazole) or used for similar purposes.

Nexium
(esomeprazole)

Zegerid
(omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)

Protonix
(pantoprazole)

Zantac 75
(ranitidine)

Pepcid
(famotidine)

Tagamet
(cimetidine)

Prilosec
(omeprazole)

Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.Relieves heartburn, ulcers, and acid tummy. Zegerid (Omeprazole / Sodium Bicarbonate) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief. Choose the cheapest proton pump inhibitor because they all work equally well for heartburn.Treats heartburn and excess release of stomach acid. Protonix (pantoprazole) is usually only taken once a day for long-lasting heartburn relief, but it can increase your risk of bone fractures if you've used it for a long time.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.Treats heartburn. Tagamet (cimetidine) works well for heartburn, but may have more side effects than other medicines like it.Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers. Prilosec (Omeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief. Choose the cheapest proton pump inhibitor because they all work equally well for heartburn.
Reviews & ratings
Filter group. All currently selected
Filter group. All currently selected
5.45Nexium
Reviews for Nexium
75%
of people (All ages) say Nexium is worth it
59%
say it works well
11%
say it's a big hassle
1239 reviews
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zegerid
72%
+3% better vs. Nexium
55%
+4% better vs. Nexium
12%
+1% better vs. Nexium
Have you used Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for pantoprazole
68%
+7% better vs. Nexium
51%
+8% better vs. Nexium
13%
+2% better vs. Nexium
584 reviews
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Zantac
72%
+3% better vs. Nexium
44%
+15% better vs. Nexium
7%
-4% worse vs. Nexium
1062 reviews
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Pepcid
75%
Same vs. Nexium
41%
+18% better vs. Nexium
8%
-3% worse vs. Nexium
853 reviews
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Tagamet
63%
+12% better vs. Nexium
36%
+23% better vs. Nexium
12%
+1% better vs. Nexium
632 reviews
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Reviews for Omeprazole
80%
-5% worse vs. Nexium
59%
Same vs. Nexium
8%
-3% worse vs. Nexium
1167 reviews
Have you used Prilosec (omeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole

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

More about Nexium side effects »

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

More about Zegerid side effects »
  • Headache 3%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Vomiting 2%
  • Dizziness 2%
  • Joint pain 2%
More pantoprazole side effects »

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 »
  • Headache 2%
More Tagamet side effects »
  • Upper respiratory infection 75%
  • Fever 33%
  • Headache 7%
  • Abdominal pain 5%
  • Nausea 4%
  • Diarrhea 4%
  • Accidental injuries 4%
  • Flatulence 3%
  • Vomiting 3%
More Omeprazole side effects »
How it works
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It treats heartburn and heals ulcers by lowering the amount of acid in your stomach.Zegerid (Omeprazole / Sodium Bicarbonate) is a type of antacid called a proton pump inhibitor. It blocks the release of acid in your stomach, which treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.Protonix (pantoprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor. It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach which treats heartburn.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.Tagamet (cimetidine) reduces acid production in your stomach.Prilosec (Omeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It lowers the amount of acid in your stomach, treats heartburn, and heals ulcers.
Type of medication
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
Over-the-counterPrescription or OTCPrescription onlyPrescription or OTCPrescription or OTCPrescription or OTCPrescription or OTC
Available as
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
  • Liquid
  • Extended release
Used for
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • GERD
  • H Pylori Bacterial Infection
Risk factors for serious side effects
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Being treated at a hospital
  • High dose Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Long-term treatment with Nexium (esomeprazole)
  • Low bone mineral density
  • Aged 65 years or older
Detailed Nexium (esomeprazole) risks & warnings »
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Being hospitalized
  • Antibiotic use
  • Osteoporosis
Detailed Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate) risks & warnings »
  • Using multiple daily doses and/or for 1 year or longer
  • People age 65 or older
  • High risk of bone fractures
  • People who are being treated in the hospital
  • People with lupus
Detailed Protonix (pantoprazole) risks & warnings »
  • 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 »
  • Elderly
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Dementia
  • Asthma
Detailed Tagamet (cimetidine) risks & warnings »
  • Helicobacter pylori infection
  • Autoimmune disease
  • Being hospitalized
  • Antibiotic use
  • Osteoporosis
Detailed Prilosec (omeprazole) risks & warnings »
Pregnancy

Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

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 found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

Interactions
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Zegerid.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Zegerid.
No interactions related info.
  • 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.
No interactions related info.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Omeprazole.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Omeprazole.
Alcohol
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
  • The syrup product may contain up to 7.5% of alcohol.
No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.No alcohol related info.
Food
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
No food related info.
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
No food related info.No food related info.No food related info.
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
Kidneys and liver
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) can cause acute kidney damage that can occur at any time during treatment. If you notice blood in the urine, changes in urine output, swelling of the body, weight gain, fever, or confusion, stop taking Nexium (esomeprazole) and speak to your doctor immediately.
No kidneys and liver related info.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) can very rarely damage your kidneys. This can happen at any time. Talk to your doctor right away if you are urinating less or have blood in the urine.
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.
  • 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.
No kidneys and liver related info.
Pain
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
No pain related info.No pain related info.
  • Talk to your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, fever, or stomach pain that don't go away after taking Protonix (pantoprazole), which can happen even 2 months after stopping the medicine.
No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.No pain related info.
Upsides and benefits
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Most people can take Nexium (esomeprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need quicker relief.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) is inexpensive, with over-the-counter and generic options.
  • Coupons are available for the brand name - speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
  • The packet form is a good option if you have trouble swallowing pills.They can be mixed with water for easier swallowing.
  • Most people can take Zegerid without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Zegerid lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or 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.
  • In studies it was better than a placebo (sugar pill) and as good as other proton pump inhibitors at treating heartburn.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • Most people can take Protonix (pantoprazole) without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Unlike other proton pump inhibitors, it can be taken with or without food and have the same effectiveness.
  • Can be used in children age 5 or older.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Most people can take Omeprazole without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Omeprazole lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or 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.
  • In studies it was better than a placebo (sugar pill) and as good as other proton pump inhibitors at treating heartburn.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
Downsides and risks
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Doesn't start working right away like antacids (Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox).
  • It can take several days or weeks to start feeling benefits.
  • May not be the best choice for patients 65 years of age and older due to risk of bone fractures and severe diarrhea.
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Can cause low levels of magnesium in the blood. You might need to take a magnesium supplement if you use Zegerid long-term.
  • Although the generic is affordable, other medications might still be cheaper than Zegerid.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Zegerid.
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Needs to be taken every single day for a certain period of time to be effective.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Only available as a prescription medicine, not over the counter.
  • Can lower the magnesium level in your body so you may need to take a supplement for it.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Can cause low levels of magnesium in the blood. You might need to take a magnesium supplement if you use Omeprazole long-term.
  • Although the generic is affordable, other medications might still be cheaper than Omeprazole.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Omeprazole.
Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
NexiumZegeridpantoprazoleZantacPepcidTagametOmeprazole
  • Take Nexium (esomeprazole) with a full glass of water 1 hour before eating.
  • Starts working in as little as an hour.
  • It can take 1 to 4 days to take full effect.
  • Since some prescription drugs can interact with Nexium (esomeprazole), talk to your doctor about all the medicines that you're taking.
  • Do not take Nexium (esomeprazole) for more than 14 days, unless directed by your doctor. Speak to your doctor if your symptoms don't go away after 2 weeks.
  • Nexium (esomeprazole) capsules can be opened and sprinkled on 1 tablespoon of applesauce, cottage cheese, or yogurt. Swallow immediately after.
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • Don't chew or crush capsules; swallow them whole.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Zegerid.
  • If you've been having heartburn for 3 months or more, talk to your doctor before taking Zegerid. Get a check-up to make sure you aren't having a more serious stomach problem.
  • Talk to your doctor if you're still having heartburn after two weeks of use. Don't keep taking Zegerid; get checked-out first.
  • Take the tablet form of Protonix (pantoprazole) with or without food.
  • The medicine should be swallowed whole and not to to be chewed or crushed.
  • Protonix (pantoprazole) takes some time to kick in, about 2.5 hours after taking it.
  • The oral suspension form needs to be prepared and then taken 30 minutes before a meal. The contents of the packet for the suspension shouldn't be crushed or chewed and be taken in apple juice or applesauce only as stated in the instructions.
  • Talk to your doctor if you get watery diarrhea, fever, or stomach pain that don't go away after taking Protonix (pantoprazole), which can happen even 2 months after stopping the medicine.
  • Using this medicine for a long period of time can increase your risk of getting weaker bones. Talk to your doctor if you are worried about this possible long-term side effect.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • Don't chew or crush capsules; swallow them whole.
  • If you have trouble swallowing you can carefully open the capsules and sprinkle the inside pellets onto applesauce. Swallow the applesauce without chewing or crushing the pellets.
  • When using Omeprazole long-term, take a calcium citrate with vitamin D supplement daily to prevent bone loss. Be sure it's calcium citrate because it works the best when using a proton pump inhibitor.
  • Get a blood test for your magnesium level once a year; you may need a magnesium supplement while using Omeprazole.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Omeprazole.
Learn more
More about NexiumSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZegeridSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Zegerid (omeprazole / sodium bicarbonate)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about pantoprazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Protonix (pantoprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about ZantacSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about PepcidSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Pepcid (famotidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about TagametSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Tagamet (cimetidine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
More about OmeprazoleSide effectsReviews & ratingsFDA package insert
Have you used Prilosec (omeprazole)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it