Is FDgard A Substitute For Zantac?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses whether or not the supplement FDgard can be used as a substitute for Zantac.

Is FDgard A Substitute For Zantac?
Jul 06, 2020

Liz asked

My daughter is 11 years old. She vomits up any food she eats. The doctor prescribed Zantac but the store was out of it. I am wondering if FDgard a substitute for Zanac?

At a glance

  • Zantac is the brand name of a drug called ranitidine. Ranitidine has recently been recalled and withdrawn from the market in the United States.
  • FDgard is an over the counter supplement containing caraway oil and l-Menthol, which are not similar to ranitidine.
  • A more appropriate substitute would be famotidine, but speak with your daughter’s physician for a substitute.


Hi Liz and thanks for reaching out to us. I appreciate you double checking with us and not just guessing if two drugs that you’ve found over the counter are a good substitute for one another. 

Your daughter was prescribed Zantac, the brand name of a drug called ranitidine. Ranitidine is an H2-antagonist. What this means is that ranitidine works to decrease stomach acid by blocking H2 receptors in the stomach. Blocking these reduces acid production.

Very recently, ranitidine was voluntarily taken off of the market in the United States. It eventually degrades into a potentially harmful chemical called N-Nitrosodimethylamine or NDMA. Unless there is a drastic change, I wouldn’t expect to see ranitidine again at your local pharmacy.

FDgard is an over the counter supplement that contains a coated caraway oil and l-Menthol. The manufacturer mentions that l-Menthol is the primary ingredient in peppermint oil which has been historically used to treat a wide range of stomach issues. I was not able to find much information on this specific product though. The one study that I was able to find didn’t test with any children, so I would caution against giving this to your daughter without speaking with her physician first.

I think that the most appropriate substitute for ranitidine would be another drug in the same class, famotidine (or under the brand name, Pepcid). Most of my patients that were on ranitidine; both adults and children, have been switched to famotidine successfully. Like ranitidine, famotidine is an H2-antagonist. The dose isn’t the same, but it does work in the same way. For most folks, it’s the closest substitution. I would contact your daughter's physician, let him know that you probably won’t see ranitidine again, and see if famotidine is an appropriate substitution.

  • Ranitidine Prescribing Information,
  • FDA Requests Removal of All Ranitidine Products (Zantac) from the Market, FDA
  • Randomized Controlled Trial to Assess the Efficacy & Safety of Caraway Oil/L-Menthol Plus Usual Care Polypharmacy vs. Placebo Plus Usual Care Polypharmacy for Functional Dyspepsia , Gastroenterology
  • FDgard Product Information Page, FDgard

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