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Zantac vs. Prilosec

Are Zantac and Prilosec the Same Thing?

Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride) and Prilosec (omeprazole) are used for the treatment of conditions such as heartburn, ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which are all caused by stomach acid.

The drugs are in different drug classes. Zantac is a H2 (histamine-2) and Prilosec (omeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).

Both Zantac and Prilosec are available over-the-counter (OTC) and in generic form.

What Are Possible Side Effects of Zantac?

Common side effects of Zantac include:

What Are Possible Side Effects of Prilosec?

Common side effects of Prilosec include:

  • headache,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • stomach pain,
  • gas,
  • constipation,
  • fever, or
  • cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat).

What is Zantac?

What is Zantac?

Zantac (ranitidine hydrochloride) is a H2 (histamine-2) receptor blocker used for treating and preventing ulcers in the duodenum and stomach. Zantac is also used for treating:

  • heartburn,
  • erosive esophagitis,
  • and Zollinger Ellison syndrome.

What is Prilosec?

What is Prilosec?

Prilosec (omeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used for the treatment of conditions such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which are all caused by stomach acid. Prilosec is available in generic form.


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What Drugs Interact With Zantac?

Zantac may interact with antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole, and HIV or AIDS medications such as atazanavir.

Zantac may also interact with triazolam, procainamide, warfarin, riazolam, midazolam, glipizide, delavirdine, and gefitinib.

What Drugs Interact With Prilosec?

Prilosec may interact with antifungal medicines such as ketoconazole, and HIV or AIDS medications such as atazanavir.

Prilosec may also interact with bosentan, cilostazol, clopidogrel, cyclosporine, diazepam, digoxin, disulfiram, iron (ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate), methotrexate, St. John's wort, tacrolimus, antibiotics, blood thinners, diuretics (water pills), and seizure medications.

How Should Zantac Be Taken?


  • adults and children 12 years and over:
    • to relieve symptoms, swallow 1 tablet with a glass of water
    • to prevent symptoms, swallow 1 tablet with a glass of water 30 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause heartburn
    • can be used up to twice daily (do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours)
    • children under 12 years: ask a doctor

Other Information

  • do not use if printed foil under bottle cap is open or torn (bottles)
  • do not use if individual blister unit is open or torn (blisters)
  • do not use if individual foil packet is open or torn (pouch)
  • store at 20°-25°C (68°-77°F)
  • avoid excessive heat or humidity
  • this product is sodium and sugar free

How Should Prilosec Be Taken?

  • Take Prilosec exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • Do not change your dose or stop Prilosec without talking to your doctor.
  • Take Prilosec at least 1 hour before a meal.
  • Swallow Prilosec capsules whole. Do not chew or crush Prilosec Capsules.
  • If you have trouble swallowing Prilosec Capsules, you may take as follows:
    • Place 1 tablespoon of applesauce into a clean bowl.
    • Carefully open the capsule and empty the contents (pellets) onto the applesauce. Mix the pellets with the applesauce.
    • Swallow the applesauce and pellet mixture right away with a glass of cool water. Do not chew or crush the pellets. Do not store the applesauce and pellet mixture for later use.
    • If you forget to take a dose of Prilosec, take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose on time. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed dose.
    • If you take too much Prilosec, tell your doctor right away.

All drug information provided on is sourced directly from drug monographs published by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Any drug information published on regarding general drug information, drug side effects, drug usage, dosage, and more are sourced from the original drug documentation found in its FDA drug monograph.

Drug information found in the drug comparisons published on is primarily sourced from the FDA drug information. The drug comparison information found in this article does not contain any data from clinical trials with human participants or animals performed by any of the drug manufacturers comparing the drugs.

The drug comparisons information provided does not cover every potential use, warning, drug interaction, side effect, or adverse or allergic reaction. assumes no responsibility for any healthcare administered to a person based on the information found on this site.

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If you have specific questions regarding a drug’s safety, side effects, usage, warnings, etc., you should contact your doctor or pharmacist, or refer to the individual drug monograph details found on the or websites for more information.

You may also report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA by visiting the FDA MedWatch website or calling 1-800-FDA-1088.


RxList. Zantac Prescribing Information.
RxList. Prilosec Prescribing Information.

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