Compare Pepcid vs. Pepto-Bismol

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

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Relieves heartburn.

Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.

3.7/ 5 average rating with 853 reviewsforPepcid
Relieves heartburn, upset stomach, and diarrhea.

Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) can help for many stomach and intestinal problems, but may take longer to work compared to some other anti-diarrheal medicines.

3.9/ 5 average rating with 1376 reviewsforPepto-Bismol
Upsides
  • 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.
  • Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) works well to alleviate stomach and intestinal problems and doesn't have many side effects.
  • Comes in easy to take chewable pills or liquid, if you do not like swallowing pills.
  • Is inexpensive and available over the counter.
  • Coupons are available. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist.
Downsides
  • 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.
  • May not be as strong as other anti-diarrheal or antacid medications.
  • Should not be used for more than 2 days if your diarrhea does not go away or if you have a fever.
  • For symptoms other than diarrhea, should not be used for more than 7 days without your doctor's approval. Speak to your doctor if symptoms persist.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
853 reviews so far
75%
saidit'sworth it
41%
saiditworked well
8%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pepcid (Famotidine)?

Leave a review
1376 reviews so far
84%
saidit'sworth it
48%
saiditworked well
6%
saidit'sa big hassle

Have you used Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate)?

Leave a review
Side effects
2possible side effects
  • Headache
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Hiding possible cancer
  • Increased side effects
    • Current kidney disease
  • Allergic reaction
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Reye's syndrome
    • Children or teenagers that have or are recovering from flu/flu-like symptoms or chickenpox
  • Allergy to salicylates
    • Aspirin allergy
    • NSAID allergy
  • Hearing problems
    • Age 60 or older
  • Drug Interactions
    • Anticoagulants
    • Aspirin-containing medications
See more detailed risks and warnings