Ranitidine Vs Omeprazole: Who’s more Effective.

August 10, 2021
5 min read

Ranitidine and Omeprazole are two drugs used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other indigestion. They belong to different classes of drugs used to treat heartburn and indigestion. Ranitidine acts as a histamine blocker, while Omeprazole acts as a proton pump inhibitor.

Omeprazole acts on the proton pump responsible for the final step of gastric acid production, while Ranitidine stops one of the acid production pathways by acting on the H 2 receptor. Several studies and clinical trials have confirmed that PPIs such as Omeprazole effectively reduce acid production as H2 blockers such as Ranitidine. Overall, Omeprazole is more effective than Ranitidine in controlling gastric acid production and treating GORD symptoms.

What is Ranitidine and Omeprazole?

Ranitidine is the generic name for Zantac. It is a histamine H2 antagonist that is indicated to cure duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and hypersecretory situations such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Omeprazole is the generic name for Prilosec. It is classified as a proton pump inhibitor that blocks acid pumps in the abdomen to lessen acid secretion. Like Ranitidine, it is indicated to cure duodenal ulcers, hypersecretory conditions, gastric ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD. Also, the medicine can cure H. pylori infection and Barrett’s esophagus.

What are the main differences between Ranitidine and Omeprazole?

The difference in Mechanism of Action: Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that prevents the generation of acid by the abdomen. Whereas, Ranitidine works differently. It is an H2 blocker that hinders the action of histamine on the cells, thus lowering the generation of acid by the stomach. Though both the drugs are used to cure the conditions such as ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease induced by stomach acid, they still have various ways to reduce the stomach acid.

Ranitidine forms and dosages: Ranitidine comes in a strength of 75 mg, 150 mg, or 300 mg oral tablets and 150 mg or 300 mg oral capsules. It is also convenient as a 15 mg/1 mL oral solution and syrup and an injectable 25 mg/1 mL solution. The dosage form of Ranitidine is an Oral tablet, Oral capsule, Oral powder for suspension, oral solution, Oral syrup, and Injection solution. Ranitidine is normally dosed once or twice daily, although dosing can be four times per day.

Omeprazole forms and dosages: Omeprazole comes in 20 mg delayed-release oral tablet and a 10 mg, 20 mg, or 40 mg delayed-release oral capsule. A 2 mg/1 mL oral powder for suspension is also available. The dosage forms of omeprazole are less than Ranitidine. It comes in the forms of Oral tablet, delayed-release, Oral capsule, delayed-release, and Oral powder for suspension. Omeprazole can be dosed once or twice daily from 2 to 8 weeks or even longer, depending on the patient’s condition.

During Pregnancy: Ranitidine is in Pregnancy Category B. Omeprazole is in Pregnancy Category C. consult your doctor before taking any medications for pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Ranitidine vs Omeprazole: Common and Severe Side Effects

  • Side effects for Omeprazole– diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, Nervousness, unusual heartbeat, etc. 
  • Minor Side effects for Ranitidine– constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, sleeplessness, muscle pain, etc. 
  • Important but rare side effects are– agitation, anemia, Nervousness, grief, easy bruising or bleeding, hallucinations, hair loss, unusual heartbeat, etc. 

Which drugs interact with Ranitidine and Omeprazole?

Ranitidine: – 

  • Total drugs interaction- 134
  • Major- 11
  • Moderate- 62 
  • Minor- 61

Some drugs are- 

  • Atazanavir
  • Dasatinib
  • Delavirdine
  • Erlotinib
  • Itraconazole

Omeprazole: – 

  • Total drug interaction- 199
  • Major- 18
  • Moderate- 135
  • Minor- 46

Some of the drugs are-

  • Cilostazol
  • Clopidogrel
  • Methotrexate (especially high-dose treatment)
  • Rifampin

Are Ranitidine and Omeprazole safe to use while pregnant or breastfeeding?

Ranitidine is in Pregnancy Category B. There are no sufficient investigations of the medication in pregnant women. Available proof suggests that there is short uncertainty when used during pregnancy.  The drug is secreted in breast milk and may cause a potential risk. 

Omeprazole is classified as Pregnancy Category C, meaning that it has not been thoroughly studied in pregnant women. Omeprazole should only be taken during pregnancy if the benefits outweigh the risks.  Omeprazole is excreted in breast milk and possibly could cause unfavorable consequences in the newborn. 


Based on the pharmacology of each drug, Omeprazole is better than Ranitidine. Ranitidine 150 mg, Omeprazole 80 mg and Lansoprazole 30 mg cost $223, $1,140 and $330, respectively.

According to studies, the proportion of patients with heartburn or mild heartburn with Omeprazole in week 4 was higher than with Ranitidine in week 8 (70% vs. 49%) than with Ranitidine. In one study, 21% and 59% of patients treated with Omeprazole and 26% of patients treated with Ranitidine were heartburn-free at the fourth week, and in these patients’ symptom relief onset was faster. In more than half of patients with GERD who had standard therapy with Ranitidine, Omeprazole was more effective in solving heartburn than continuing therapy with Ranitidine.


There is no crucial variance between the doses of Omeprazole. Maintenance cure with Omeprazole (20 or 10 mg once daily) is higher as compare to Ranitidine (150 mg twice daily). 

Yes, according to some studies, Omeprazole is safer than Zantac. 

In patients with determined GERD symptoms after Ranitidine, omeprazole 20 mg daily for up to 8 wk renders faster and added comprehensive resolution of general GERD signs than continued Ranitidine (300 mg every day) only or in combination with metoclopramide (40 mg daily). 

Some people do not need to take the drug regularly and intake only when they have symptoms. Consuming it every day cannot be suitable for everybody. Consult your doctor about what is best suitable for you. 

The good substiture are- 

  • Prilosec 
  • Nexium 
  • Prevacid 
  • Pepcid 
  • Tagamet 


Hallerbäck B, Unge P, Carling L, Edwin B, Glise H, Havu N, Lyrenäs E, Lundberg K. Omeprazole or ranitidine in long-term treatment of reflux esophagitis. The Scandinavian Clinics for United Research Group. Gastroenterology. 1994 Nov;107(5):1305-11. doi: 10.1016/0016-5085(94)90531-2. PMID: 7926494. Accessed on 02/08/2021
N Engl J Med 1998; 338:719-726 DOI: 10.1056/NEJM199803123381104 Accessed on 02/08/2021

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