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Tagamet vs Prevacid

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Tagamet Information

Prevacid Information

Comparative Analysis

Tagamet Usage

Prevacid Usage

Tagamet Side Effects

Prevacid Side Effects

Safety Information

Cost Analysis

Market Analysis



For patients dealing with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, or other conditions that increase the stomach's acid production, certain drugs can help in managing symptoms and discomfort. Tagamet and Prevacid are two such medications prescribed for these conditions. They each impact different mechanisms in the body to decrease stomach acid but both effectively provide relief from heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach. Tagamet is a type of medication known as an H2-receptor antagonist which works by blocking histamine at the receptors of the stomach cells thereby reducing the production of acid. Prevacid, on the other hand, is classified as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It works by directly blocking the enzyme system responsible for secreting gastric acid into the stomach.

Tagamet vs Prevacid Side By Side

Brand NameTagametPrevacid
ContraindicationsShould not be taken with drugs that slow down the liver's ability to break down medications such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), or certain protease inhibitors used for HIV.Should not be taken with drugs that significantly slow down the liver's ability to break down these medications, similar to Tagamet.
CostFor brand name: around $220 for 60 tablets of 200 mg. Generic: $0.20 to $0.80 per day based on dosage.For brand name: around $240 for 30 capsules of 15 mg. Generic: starts at roughly $0.40 to about $.70 per day depending on dosage.
Generic NameCimetidineLansoprazole
Most Serious Side EffectDepression or mood changes, including thoughts of self-harm; signs of an allergic reaction; blurry vision or other visual disturbances; fast or irregular heartbeats; respiratory problems; symptoms related to low sodium levels.Severe skin reactions; severe stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting which could indicate pancreatitis; kidney issues characterized by changes in urination, blood in urine, swelling in feet/ankles.
Severe Drug InteractionsSignificant interactions with drugs that inhibit cytochrome P450 enzymes, leading to numerous drug interactions.Less potential for drug interactions compared to Tagamet, but still requires caution with certain medications.
Typical DoseOral dosages range from 200-800 mg/day, with 400 mg/day usually adequate for GERD and peptic ulcers. Maximum dosage should not exceed 2400 mg/day.Therapy typically begins at a dosage of 15–30 mg/day, taken once daily before breakfast. Dose may be increased to a maximum of 60 mg per day for severe conditions.

What is Tagamet?

Cimetidine (the generic name for Tagamet) was one of the first histamine H2-receptor antagonists developed, representing a significant advancement in treating gastric and duodenal ulcers. Cimetidine was first approved by the FDA in 1977. It works by reducing the production of stomach acid, making it highly effective at relieving heartburn symptoms associated with acid reflux disease. However, cimetidine has some influence on cytochrome P450 enzymes which can lead to numerous drug interactions.

In contrast, lansoprazole (known generically as Prevacid), is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). Approved later by the FDA in 1995, these drugs work on the final step of acid production and thus provide more complete suppression of stomach acid compared to H2 blockers like Tagamet. This makes Prevacid potentially more effective for healing esophageal damage caused by severe gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The selective action of Prevacid also results in fewer side effects and drug interactions compared to cimetidine.

What conditions is Tagamet approved to treat?

Tagamet is approved for the treatment of various gastrointestinal disorders, including:

  • Active duodenal ulcers
  • Benign gastric ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

Prevacid on the other hand is approved for:

  • Healing and relief of symptoms of active duodenal ulcer
  • Healing of erosive esophagitis and symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Maintenance of healing in patients with healed duodenal ulcers.

How does Tagamet help with these illnesses?

Tagamet aids in managing stomach and intestinal ulcers by lowering the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It does this by blocking histamine at the H2 receptors found on gastric parietal cells, inhibiting these cells from producing excessive amounts of gastric acid. Gastric acid plays a significant role in digestion, but an overproduction can lead to conditions like heartburn, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and ulcers. It is thought that individuals with such conditions have relatively higher levels of gastric acid production. Therefore, by reducing this production, Tagamet can limit the negative effects associated with excess stomach acidity and help patients manage their condition more comfortably.

Prevacid works similarly to Tagamet as it also reduces stomach acid production but through a different mechanism. Prevacid belongs to proton pump inhibitors class which blocks the enzyme in your stomach wall responsible for final step in making gastric acids thus effectively suppressing its secretion.

What is Prevacid?

Prevacid, also known as lansoprazole, is a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. This action helps to alleviate symptoms associated with conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and ulcers. Prevacid was first approved by the FDA in 1995. Unlike Tagamet, a histamine-2 blocker that inhibits production of stomach acid through blocking one kind of pathway for acid production, Prevacid blocks the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid directly. Because it's not an H2 antagonist like Tagamet, its method means it can more completely block stomach acid production; this makes it particularly useful for treating conditions where reduction of gastric acidity is essential. The side-effect profile is also different than that seen with H2 antagonists such as Tagamet– less common are headaches or diarrhea but possible are abdominal pain and nausea.

What conditions is Prevacid approved to treat?

Prevacid is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that is approved for the treatment of conditions related to excessive stomach acid. Some of these include:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Erosive esophagitis, which is inflammation and damage to the lining of your esophagus
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare condition where the stomach produces too much acid.

How does Prevacid help with these illnesses?

Prevacid, also known as lansoprazole, falls into the category of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). They work by reducing the amount of stomach acid made by glands in the lining of your stomach. Prevacid achieves this by disabling a specific enzyme on the surface of these glands, thus lowering acid production significantly more than H2 blockers like Tagamet (cimetidine) can achieve. This makes it particularly effective for treating conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach or duodenum, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Because Prevacid is so potent at reducing acid production, it is often given preference over H2 blockers when a patient does not respond well to them or has severe symptoms or complications from excess gastric acid.

How effective are both Tagamet and Prevacid?

Both cimetidine (Tagamet) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) have proven their effectiveness in treating gastrointestinal issues like peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gaining FDA approval in 1977 and 1995 respectively. They work differently, however, as Tagamet is an H2 blocker that reduces the production of stomach acid by blocking histamine receptors in the stomach lining, while Prevacid is a proton pump inhibitor which stops the action of the enzyme responsible for secreting gastric acid.

A double-blind clinical trial conducted in 1989 directly compared these two medications on duodenal ulcer healing rates; both showcased similar efficacy with over half patients showing complete healing after four weeks. A more recent study from 2013 noted that Prevacid may be preferred when considering adverse effects due to its lower potential for drug interactions compared to Tagamet.

Reviews of meta-analysis reports indicate that both drugs are effective at managing symptoms associated with excess stomach acid starting from early stages of treatment. Both show generally favorable safety profiles although each presents unique side effects: Tagamet can cause gynecomastia or impotence in men due to its antiandrogenic effect whereas Prevacid might increase risk of bone fractures if used long-term.

Despite being newer than Tagamet, Prevacid has quickly become one of the most commonly prescribed antacids globally due to its potency and prolonged duration of action. On another note, even though they are primarily known for their antacid properties, extended use also appears linked with reduced gastric cancer risk.

While evidence supports standalone usage for both drugs, it's worth noting additional treatments such as antibiotics are required when dealing with bacteria-induced ulcers like Helicobacter pylori. Nonetheless, based on unique pharmacokinetics - i.e., fewer drug-drug interactions - some individuals may find greater benefit using Prevacid especially those taking multiple medications simultaneously.

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At what dose is Tagamet typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Tagamet range from 200-800 mg/day, but studies have shown that 400 mg/day is usually adequate for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers. Children over the age of one may be started on a lower dose based on their weight. In either population, dosage can be increased after several weeks if there is no response or relief in symptoms. The maximum dosage that should not be exceeded in any case is 2400 mg/day.

Prevacid dosages typically start at 15–30 mg per day, taken orally before meals for better absorption and efficacy. Adolescents aged between 12 to 17 years old are often recommended a daily dose of 15mg while children under this age bracket should consult with a healthcare provider for specific dosing instructions. For adults dealing with gastric ulcer conditions, the standard dose tends to cap out at around 60 mg daily. It's crucial to remember that these doses can vary greatly depending upon the individual's medical history and the severity of their condition.

At what dose is Prevacid typically prescribed?

Prevacid therapy for the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or peptic ulcers typically begins at a dosage of 15–30 mg/day. The dose can be taken once daily, preferably in the morning before breakfast. If necessary, and under medical supervision, the dose may be increased to a maximum of 60 mg per day for severe conditions such as erosive esophagitis or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. For GERD sufferers who find no relief after a few weeks on 30 mg/day, their doctor may consider increasing their dosage or extending their treatment duration. As always with medications like Prevacid, it's crucial that users adhere strictly to physician advice and prescribed dosages.

What are the most common side effects for Tagamet?

Common side effects of Tagamet include:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness, drowsiness
  • Depression (unusual sadness or discouragement)
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle pain or cramps
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Skin rash, itching

In comparison, common side effects of Prevacid include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea -Dizziness, -Dry mouth. -Rash.

It's important to note that both drugs may also cause other side effects not listed here. Always consult your healthcare provider for guidance based on your health status and current medications.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Tagamet?

While Tagamet and Prevacid are both used to treat conditions related to stomach acid, they have different potential side effects. In rare cases, Tagamet can cause:

  • Depression or mood changes, including thoughts of self-harm
  • Signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue or throat
  • Blurry vision or other visual disturbances
  • Fast or irregular heartbeats
  • Respiratory problems such as shortness of breath
  • Symptoms related to low sodium levels in the body – headache, confusion, slurred speech, severe weakness and unsteadiness

On the other hand Prevacid can cause:

  • Severe skin reactions - red rash with blistering and peeling (Stevens-Johnson syndrome), especially when accompanied by fever and/or swollen glands. -Severe stomach pain that may spread to your back along with nausea and vomiting which could potentially be symptoms of pancreatitis) -Kidney issues characterized by urinating less than usual/ not at all , blood in urine , swelling in feet/ ankles etc.

If you experience any unusual symptoms while taking either medication it is important to seek medical advice immediately.

What are the most common side effects for Prevacid?

Prevacid, a drug used to treat and prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers, can have various side effects such as:

  • Nausea, stomach pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • A decrease in the absorption of certain vitamins leading to potential weight loss.

It's important to note that although not common, some people may also experience more serious side effects like kidney problems (such as an increase in urination), fast heartbeat, persistent muscle spasms and seizures. Always consult with your healthcare provider for any adverse symptoms you might experience while on Prevacid.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Prevacid?

Prevacid, while generally safe and effective in treating heartburn and other gastric issues, can cause side effects that are essential to be aware of. These include:

  • Allergic reactions such as hives, itching or skin rash.
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat.
  • Unusual fatigue, weakness or irregular heartbeat which could indicate low magnesium levels in your body.
  • Diarrhea that is watery or bloody – this might be a sign of a new infection.
  • Severe stomach pain, nausea and vomiting. This could suggest an inflamed stomach lining due to long term use of Prevacid.
  • Kidney problems - urination changes (less than usual), blood in urine, swollen ankles/feet/hands.

Consult your doctor immediately if you experience any of these symptoms while taking Prevacid.

Contraindications for Tagamet and Prevacid?

Both Tagamet and Prevacid, along with most other gastric acid reducers, may exacerbate symptoms of stomach discomfort in some individuals. If you notice your gastrointestinal symptoms worsening or an increase in abdominal pain, please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Tagamet nor Prevacid should be taken if you are taking, or have been taking drugs that significantly slow down the liver's ability to break down these medications such as ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), or certain protease inhibitors used for HIV. Always tell your physician which medications you are taking; these drugs will require a period of about 2 weeks to clear from the system to prevent dangerous interactions with Tagamet and Prevacid.

How much do Tagamet and Prevacid cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 60 tablets of Tagamet (200 mg) averages around $220, which works out to $3.66–7.33/day, depending on your dose.
  • The price of 30 capsules of Prevacid (15 mg) averages is about $240, working out to approximately $8/day.

Thus, if you are in the higher dosage range for Tagamet (i.e., 600 mg/day or higher), then brand-name Prevacid is less expensive on a per-day treatment basis. However, cost should not be a primary consideration in determining which one is right for you.

In terms of generic costs:

  • Cimetidine (generic form of Tagamet) comes available in packs ranging from 30 to 90 tablets with prices between $0.20 and $0.80 per day based on dosages from 200mg to as high as 800mg daily.

  • Lansoprazole (generic version of Prevacid), can come in packs ranging from 14 up to100 capsules with daily costs starting at roughly $0.40 if buying the largest pack upfront and could go up to about $.70 per day depending upon individual's dosage requirements.

Popularity of Tagamet and Prevacid

Cimetidine, also known by the brand name Tagamet, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 1.5 million people in the US in 2020. Cimetidine accounted for just over 8% of H2 blocker prescriptions in the US. Although it was once a leading medication for treating heartburn and ulcers, cimetidine has seen a decrease in prevalence since proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prevacid became widely available.

Lansoprazole, commercially known as Prevacid, was prescribed to approximately 15 million people in the USA in 2020. In the US, lansoprazole accounts for around 30% of PPI prescriptions and is one of the most commonly used medications for gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux and peptic ulcer disease. The prevalence of lansoprazole has remained steady over recent years due to its effectiveness and tolerability.


Both Tagamet (cimetidine) and Prevacid (lansoprazole) have been widely used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcers, and other conditions associated with excess stomach acid. They are backed up by numerous clinical studies indicating their effectiveness over placebo treatments. There may be instances where the medications could be combined, but this needs careful consideration by a physician as they can also counteract each other's effects.

Tagamet works primarily by blocking histamine receptors in the stomach lining which reduces the production of stomach acid, while Prevacid inhibits proton pumps directly responsible for acid secretion in the stomach wall.

Both drugs are available in generic forms offering significant cost savings especially for patients who must pay out of pocket. Both Tagamet and Prevacid might require an adjustment period during which full effects may not be immediately noticeable.

The side effect profile is somewhat similar between both drugs; however, Tagamet has been associated more frequently with central nervous system side effects such as confusion or hallucinations especially among elderly patients or those with kidney impairment compared to Prevacid. As always, close monitoring is necessary when starting treatment and immediate medical help should be sought if severe adverse reactions occur.