Are famotidine and ranitidine the same

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Discover the key differences between famotidine and ranitidine to make informed decisions about your healthcare.

While both famotidine and ranitidine are commonly used to treat heartburn and acid reflux, they belong to different classes of medications and have distinct mechanisms of action.

Learn more about how famotidine and ranitidine can impact your health and find out which one may be the right choice for you.

About Famotidine and Ranitidine

Both Famotidine and Ranitidine are H2 receptor antagonists used to reduce the production of stomach acid. They are commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of conditions such as peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and gastritis. Although they belong to the same class of drugs, there are differences in their composition and how they work.

Famotidine Ranitidine
Famotidine is a histamine H2-receptor antagonist that works by inhibiting the action of histamine, a natural substance that stimulates stomach acid production. Ranitidine, on the other hand, also works by blocking the action of histamine on stomach cells, thereby reducing acid production.
Famotidine is available in different forms such as tablets, oral suspension, and injection. Ranitidine is available in tablet, effervescent tablet, and injectable forms.
Famotidine has a longer duration of action compared to ranitidine, which means it stays in the body for a longer period of time. Ranitidine has a shorter duration of action and may need to be taken more frequently throughout the day.
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Overall, both Famotidine and Ranitidine are effective in reducing stomach acid production and treating related conditions, but their specific differences in composition and action may make one more suitable than the other depending on individual needs and preferences.

Differences in Composition

When comparing famotidine and ranitidine, it is essential to understand that they belong to different classes of drugs. Famotidine is a histamine-2 (H2) receptor antagonist, while ranitidine is also an H2 receptor antagonist.


  • Chemical Name: Famotidine
  • Chemical Formula: C8H15N7O2S3
  • Molecular Weight: 337.43 g/mol


  • Chemical Name: Ranitidine
  • Chemical Formula: C13H22N4O3S
  • Molecular Weight: 314.405 g/mol

These differences in composition can lead to variations in their pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics, affecting their efficacy and side effect profiles.

Effects on Gastric Acid

Both famotidine and ranitidine are commonly used to reduce the production of gastric acid in the stomach. They work by blocking the action of histamine, a chemical that stimulates the production of acid by the stomach.


Famotidine is known as an H2 receptor antagonist. It works by specifically blocking H2 receptors on the stomach cells, which reduces the production of acid. By decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach, famotidine can help relieve symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, and other conditions related to excessive stomach acid.


Like famotidine, ranitidine is also an H2 receptor antagonist that works to decrease the production of gastric acid. By blocking the H2 receptors, ranitidine can reduce the amount of acid in the stomach and provide relief from symptoms of acid-related conditions.

Parameter Famotidine Ranitidine
Mechanism of Action Blocks H2 receptors Blocks H2 receptors
Effect on Gastric Acid Reduces production Reduces production
Use in Medicine Treats acid reflux, heartburn, ulcers Treats acid reflux, heartburn, ulcers
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Usage in Medicine

Famotidine is commonly used to treat conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), peptic ulcers, and heartburn. It works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach, which can help alleviate symptoms and promote healing of the esophagus and stomach lining.

Ranitidine, on the other hand, is also used to treat similar conditions like acid reflux and ulcers. It works by blocking histamine receptors in the stomach, which reduces the production of acid and helps to relieve symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion.

Potential Benefits

Both famotidine and ranitidine can provide relief from symptoms associated with excess stomach acid, such as heartburn and indigestion. They are often recommended by healthcare professionals to help manage these conditions and promote healing of the digestive tract.

Possible Side Effects

Possible Side Effects

When taking famotidine or ranitidine, some individuals may experience certain side effects. It is important to be aware of these potential adverse reactions:


  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea


  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue

It is important to consult your healthcare provider if you experience any of these side effects while taking famotidine or ranitidine.

Comparison of Prices

Comparison of Prices

When comparing the prices of Famotidine and Ranitidine, it is essential to consider various factors such as brand, dosage, and the form in which the medication is available. Generally, Famotidine tends to be slightly more expensive than Ranitidine due to its patented formula and marketing.

On average, a 30-day supply of Famotidine can cost between $10 to $30, depending on the brand and dosage strength. In comparison, a 30-day supply of Ranitidine typically ranges from $5 to $20.

  • Famotidine:
    • Generic brands may be more affordable than name-brand versions.
    • Dosage strengths can affect the price, with higher dosages costing more.
  • Ranitidine:
    • Generic versions are generally cheaper than brand-name options.
    • Over-the-counter (OTC) forms may be less expensive than prescription versions.
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Before making a decision based solely on price, it is crucial to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most suitable medication for your condition. Additionally, consider factors such as insurance coverage and any potential discounts or coupons that may be available for these medications.