GERD: Zantac or Prilosec for acid reflux relief?

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Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), June 2000

Dr. Lee:
A viewer wants to know whether ranitidine (Zantac) can be more effective than Prilosec in controlling acid reflux in some patients?

Dr. Marks:
Prilosec Prevacid, Aciphex are proton pump inhibitors (PPI), drugs that are very effective in shutting down acid production by the stomach. Prilosec and other PPI drugs are most effective during the day, especially after meals. That is why they are taken just prior to meals. However, PPIs don't work as well at night.

Ranitidine (Zantac) is a H2-receptor-blocker. Generally H2-receptor-blockers are not as effective as the PPI drugs in suppressing stomach acid production. However, Zantac and other H2-receptor blockers work particularly well at night. Therefore maximal round the clock acid suppression is achieved by using a PPI such as Prilosec two or three times a day before meals and a H2-receptor-blocker such as Zantac at bedtime.

Dr. Lee:
Ranitidine (Zantac) is a H2 receptor blocker related to Tagamet, Pepcid and Axid, whereas Prilosec is a proton pump inhibitor (or PPI) related to Prevacid, Aciphex and Protonix.

Dr. Marks:
That's correct.

Dr. Lee:
So these are the two classes of drugs, H2 receptor blockers, Zantac is one of them, and proton pump inhibitors, Prilosec is one of them.

The published answers represent the opinions and perspectives of the doctors and pharmacists of and are for educational purposes only. They should not be used to replace or substitute for timely consultation with your doctor. Accuracy of information cannot be guaranteed.

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Reviewed on 6/29/2000 3:16:00 PM

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