Compare Nexium vs. Zantac

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

ADVERTISEMENT

Nexium (esomeprazole)

Over-the-counter

Zantac 75 (ranitidine)

Prescription or OTC
Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers.

Nexium (esomeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief but has some risks if used long term.

4.0/ 5 average rating with 1239 reviewsforNexium
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.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 1062 reviewsforZantac
Upsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • 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.
ADVERTISEMENT
Used for
  • GERD
  • H. Pylori bacterial infection
  • Prevention and treatment of NSAID-induced gastric ulcers
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Injection
  • Packet
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
Price
Want to save even more money?
Sign up now for a 30-day trial and save up to 95% at CVS, Kroger, Albertsons, and other pharmacies.
Learn more
Reviews
1239 reviews so far
75%
saidit'sworth it
59%
saiditworked well
11%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Nexium (esomeprazole)?

Leave a review
1062 reviews so far
72%
saidit'sworth it
44%
saiditworked well
7%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Zantac 75 (ranitidine)?

Leave a review
Side effects
The Nexium (esomeprazole) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Zantac 75 (ranitidine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Stomach cancer
  • Kidney injury
  • Severe diarrhea
    • Being treated at a hospital
  • Bone fractures
    • High dose Nexium (esomeprazole)
    • Long-term treatment with Nexium (esomeprazole)
    • Low bone mineral density
    • Aged 65 years or older
  • Lupus
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Confusion
    • Aged 60 years or older
    • Kidney conditions
    • Liver conditions
  • Drug interactions
  • Acute porphyria
    • Acute Porphyria
  • Chronic lung problems
    • Asthma
    • COPD
    • Lung problems
See more detailed risks and warnings