Ranitidine belongs to a group of medicines called histamine-2 blockers. It works by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces. Ranitidine is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It also treats conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Ranitidine also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus , causing heartburn.
Ranitidine is usually known under the trade name of Antak, produced by the laboratory Glaxosmithkline Brasil, but it can also be purchased in conventional pharmacies with other names such as Label, Ranitil, Ulcerocin or Neosac, in the form of tablets or syrup.
What ranitidine is used for:
The use of ranitidine may increase the risk of developing pneumonia . Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain , fever , shortness of breath, and coughing up green or yellow mucus. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk of developing pneumonia . Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ranitidine. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to take this medication if you have kidney, liver or porphyria disease.
Ranitidine granules and effervescent tablets must be dissolved in water before taking them. Your doctor may recommend an antacid to help relieve pain . Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions on what type of antacid to use and when to use it.
While taking ranitidine , avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach . It may take up to 8 weeks of using this medication before your ulcer heals . For best results, continue to use medication as directed. Talk to your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.
How to drink?
Take ranitidine exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Your doctor may recommend an antacid to help relieve pain . Carefully follow your doctor’s instructions on what type of antacid to use and when to use it.
Do not crush, chew ranitidine or break an effervescent tablet and do not allow it to dissolve on your tongue. The 25 milligram effervescent tablet must be dissolved in at least 1 teaspoon of water before swallowing. The 150 milligram ranitidine effervescent tablet should be dissolved in 6 to 8 ounces of water.
Let the effervescent tablet completely dissolve in the water and then drink the entire mixture. If you are giving this medicine to a child, you can put the liquid mixture in a dropper and empty the dropper into the child’s mouth. Ranitidine granules should be mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of water before drinking. Measure the liquid remedy with a special measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose measuring device, ask your pharmacist.
It may take up to 8 weeks before your ulcer heals . Continue using ranitidine as directed and tell your doctor if symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment. This medication may cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor treating you that you are using ranitidine. Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat and light.
Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or a feeling of heaviness, pain spreading to your arm or shoulder, nausea , sweating, and a general feeling of being unwell. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to take this medicine if you have:
- Kidney disease;
- Liver disease;
- Porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms that affect the skin or nervous system).
Ranitidine is not expected to be harmful to the fetus. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Ranitidine passes into breast milk. Do not take this medicine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
What happens if I miss a dose of ranitidine?
Take the missed dose of ranitidine as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.
What to avoid taking ranitidine?
While taking ranitidine , avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach .
Ranitidine side effects:
Stop using ranitidine and seek emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to ranitidine: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat . Stop taking ranitidine and call your doctor right away if you have a serious side effect such as:
- Stomach pain , loss of appetite;
- Dark urine, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes);
- Fever , chills, coughing up mucus, chest pain , shortness of breath ;
- Fast or slow heart rate;
- Easy bruising or bleeding ; or
- Problems with your skin or hair .
Common ranitidine side effects can include:
- Headache (can be severe)
- Drowsiness, dizziness;
- Sleep problems ( insomnia );
- Decreased sex drive, impotence or difficulty having an orgasm;
- Swollen or tender breasts (in men)
- Nausea , vomiting , stomach pain ;
- Diarrhea , constipation .
Medications that affect ranitidine:
Before taking ranitidine , tell your doctor if you are taking triazolam (Halcion). You may not be able to use this medicine, or you may need dose adjustments or special tests during treatment.
There may be other drugs that can interact with ranitidine. Tell your doctor about all the medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter products, vitamins and herbs. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medicine only for the indication prescribed. Always consult your physician to ensure that the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.