GENERIC NAME: ranitidine
BRAND NAME: Zantac, Zantac 75, Zantac 150 Maximum Strength, Deprizine FusePaq
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Ranitidine is an oral drug that blocks the production of acid by acid-producing cells in the stomach. It belongs to a class of drugs called H2 (histamine-2) blockers that also includes cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid). Histamine is a naturally-occurring chemical that stimulates cells in the stomach (parietal cells) to produce acid. H2-blockers inhibit the action of histamine on the cells, thus reducing the production of acid by the stomach. Since excessive stomach acid can damage the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum and lead to inflammation and ulceration, reducing stomach acid prevents and heals acid-induced inflammation and ulcers. The FDA approved ranitidine in October 1984.
SIDE EFFECTS: Minor side effects occur and these are:
Other important, but rare, side effects include:
- easy bruising or bleeding,
- hair loss,
- irregular heartbeat,
- visual changes,
- and yellowing of the skin or eyes.
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