What is ranitidine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

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.

What brand names are available for ranitidine?

Zantac, Zantac 75, Zantac 150 Maximum Strength, Deprizine FusePaq

Is ranitidine available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: yes

Do I need a prescription for ranitidine?

yes; OTC (Zantac 75 and 150 mg)

What are the uses for ranitidine?

Ranitidine is used for the treatment and prevention of stomach and duodenum ulcers, and the treatment of heartburn, inflammation of the esophagus, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

What are the side effects of ranitidine?

Minor side effects occur and these are:

Other important, but rare, side effects include:

SLIDESHOW

Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What is the dosage for ranitidine?

Ranitidine may be taken with or without food.

  • Usual oral doses for treating ulcers and GERD are 150 mg twice daily or 300 mg at bedtime. The maintenance dose is 150 mg daily.
  • Erosive esophagitis is treated with 150 mg 4 times daily.
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome may be treated with as much as 6 g daily.
  • Heartburn is treated with 75 mg or 150 mg once or twice daily 30-60 minutes before consuming meals or beverages that cause heartburn.

Self-medication should not last longer than 2 weeks unless advised by a physician.

Which drugs or supplements interact with ranitidine?

Ranitidine, like other drugs that reduce stomach acid, may interfere with the absorption of drugs that require acid for adequate absorption. Examples include iron salts (for example iron sulphate), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric).

Is ranitidine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

There are no adequate studies of ranitidine in pregnant women. Available evidence suggests that there is little risk when used during pregnancy.

Ranitidine is secreted into human breast milk and may pose a potential risk to the infant.

What else should I know about ranitidine?

What preparations of ranitidine are available?

Tablets or Capsules: 25, 75, 150 and 300 mg; Syrup: 15 mg/ml; Injection: 1 mg/ml or 25 mg/ml.

How should I keep ranitidine stored?

Tablets should be stored at room temperature between 15 C – 30 C (59 F - 86 F) in a tightly closed container. Syrup and injection should be stored between 4 C and 25 C (39 F and 77 F).

QUESTION

GERD is the back up of stomach acid into the esophagus. See Answer

Summary

Ranitidine (Zantac) is a drug used for the treatment and prevention of stomach and duodenum ulcers. It is also used to treat heartburn, inflammation of the esophagus, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Review side effects, drug interactions, dosage, and pregnancy safety information prior to taking any medication.

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See more info: ranitidine on RxList
Medically Reviewed on 10/1/2019
References
Medically reviewed by John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP; Board Certified Emergency Medicine

REFERENCE:

FDA Prescribing Information
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