Zantec is basically over the counter wheras Prevacid is very expensive; lastly does one have to take it forever? I am 85 with Zanker's divertivulum.
Zantac is an H2 blocker. Prevacid is a Proton Pump Inhibitor. Prevacid is considered the stronger of the two medications. The long term issues with Zantac are with vitamin b12 absorption. PPI have more significant concerns regarding bone loss with prolonged use. There have been recent studies that have shown that after 5 years of taking PPIs the risk of hip fracture increases in the 50+ crowd. After 7 years the risk of multiple bone fractures increase.
So, there are a lot of issues to discuss with your doctor. Prilosec is a PPI that is available in the US over the counter and can be found as a generic (Omeprazole) but is still much more expensive than generic Zantac.
You should discuss these options iwith your doctor including the potential side effects. You could ask about taking higher dosages of Zantac than are recommended on the bottle (docs will sometimes go higher) or generics, etc.
For some people the meds are needed long term. For others the meds are needed short term. This would also factor in to what med is the best choice for you.
Good Luck - Stephanie
Thank you for the thoughtful & useful information. I will discuss this with my Dr.
Could you please explain the difference between H2 ( I thought is hydrogen) and a Proton ( which I thought is just the hydrogen nucleus or in water just the ion). And I a concerned re long term use.