GERD Home > Cimetidine vs. Zantac
Cimetidine and Zantac are both H2 blockers; however, when it comes to cimetidine vs. Zantac, there are some differences between the two. For instance, Zantac is approved to help prevent gastric ulcers from returning, while cimetidine is not. Zantac is also approved for use in infants as young as one month old, and cimetidine is not. Finally, cimetidine is much more likely to cause drug interactions than any other H2 blocker, including Zantac.
Cimetidine (Tagamet®) is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. Zantac® (ranitidine hydrochloride) is also an H2 blocker. Although they are very similar medications, there are some important differences between the two.
Zantac and cimetidine are approved for nearly all of the same uses. They are both approved to treat the following conditions:
- Duodenal ulcers (ulcers in the very first part of the intestine after the stomach): Cimetidine and Zantac can be used to treat a duodenal ulcer and also to prevent ulcers from coming back.
- Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers): Cimetidine and Zantac are approved to treat benign (non-cancerous) gastric ulcers.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD): Cimetidine and Zantac help treat GERD, helping to relieve heartburn and heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) due to GERD.
- Pathological hypersecretory conditions: Cimetidine and Zantac help to treat these conditions (in which too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
While Zantac is approved to help prevent gastric ulcers from returning once they have healed (known as maintenance treatment), cimetidine is not. Also, prescription Zantac is approved for use in infants as young as one month old, while prescription cimetidine is not approved for children under the age of 16. Both over-the-counter Zantac and cimetidine are approved for children ages 12 and over.