Can I take famotidine [Pepcid] and ranitidine [Zantac] together? Are they considered antacids?
Famotidine (and the brand name Pepcid) is what is known as Histamine H2 Antagonist. You may hear them referred to as H2 blockers. They reduce the production of stomach acid. Famotidine is typically well tolerated by most people with side effects including headache, dizziness, diarrhea and constipation.
Ranitidine (and the brand name Zantac) is also an H2 blocker. It also reduces the production of stomach acid and can help heal and prevent ulcers and reduce the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease[GERD]. Ranitidine is typically well tolerated with potential side effects including headache, diarrhea, dry mouth and nausea. Long term use could result in a B12 deficiency.
Famotidine and ranitidine are typically not used together. They both have the same action in the body. There is no drug interaction if they are taken together, it could just increase the potential for side effects. If someone wanted to use both, taking one in the morning and the other at night could reduce the chance of side effects.
Pepcid and Zantac are not technically antacids. They are acid reducers. Antacids are typically the fast acting treatments like Tums and Mylanta. The antacid products immediately neutralize the acid in the stomach. Famotidine and ranitidine work in the body to reduce the amount of acid produced.
If you have frequent issues with stomach acid be sure to follow up with your healthcare provider, as it could be symptoms of a more serious condition.