Compare Zantac vs. Pepto-Bismol

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

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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
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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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
  • Oral solution
  • Oral syrup
  • Injection
  • Chewable tablet
  • Liquid
  • Pill
Price
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Reviews
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
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
The Zantac 75 (ranitidine) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
The Pepto-Bismol (bismuth subsalicylate) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • 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
  • 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