- What is ranitidine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for ranitidine?
- Is ranitidine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for ranitidine?
- What are the side effects of ranitidine?
- What is the dosage for ranitidine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with ranitidine?
- Is ranitidine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about ranitidine?
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
What are the side effects of ranitidine?
Minor side effects occur and these are:
Other important, but rare, side effects include:
Quick GuideHeartburn: Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, Treatments
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).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
Ranitidine (Zantac) is a drug prescribed for promoting the healing, and prevention recurrence of ulcers of the stomach and duodenum. It is also used to treat occasional heartburn, and in healing ulcers and inflammation of the esophagitis; and Zollinger Ellison syndrome. Side effects, drug interactions, dosing, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
GERD Quiz: Test Your Digestive Diseases IQ
Who is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about...
Picture of Peptic Ulcer
A hole in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. See a picture of Peptic Ulcer and learn more about the health topic....
Picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
The stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by...
Picture of Esophagus
The esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. See a picture of the Esophagus and learn more...
Related Disease Conditions
Hives (Urticaria & Angioedema)
Hives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be...
Peptic Ulcer (Stomach Ulcer)
Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related...
Heartburn (Acid Reflux)
Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include chest pain, burning in...
Hiatal Hernia (Symptoms, Diet, Surgery, Treatment)
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a thin membrane of tissue connects the esophagus with the diaphragm becomes week, and a...
19 Tips on How to Stop a Cough
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe...
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the...
Esophagitis is caused by an infection or irritation of the esophagus. Infections that cause esophagitis include candida yeast...
Scleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in...
Cough (Chronic Cough)
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such...
Barrett's esophagus occurs as a complication of chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), primarily in white males. GERD...
Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome (CVS)
Cyclic vomiting syndrome is a condition in which affected individuals have severe nausea and vomiting that come in cycles....
Acid backing up into the larynx (voice box) causes reflux laryngitis. Irritation of the lining of the esophagus, larynx, and...
Fabry Disease (Symptoms and Life Expectancy)
Fabry disease (Fabry's disease, alpha-galactosidase-A) is a genetic disorder with symptoms such as burning sensations in...
Treatment & Diagnosis
- GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease FAQs
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Medication Disposal - What to Do with Old or Unusable Medication
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
Medications & Supplements
Prevention & Wellness
- Popular Heartburn Drugs May Boost Death Risk: Study
- Clues to How Popular Heartburn Drug Might Harm Arteries
- 1 in 4 Hospitalized Newborns Gets Heartburn Drugs, Despite Risks
- FAQ: Heartburn Meds and Health Risks
- Antihistamines Adding to Drug Pollution in Streams
- Infections, Fractures Linked to Acid Reflux Drugs
Daily Health News
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Top ranitidine Related ArticlesComplete List
Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as
- allergic rhinitis,
- sinus infection,
- cigarette smoking,
- postnasal drip,
- medications, and
- less frequently tumors or other lung disease. Treatment of chronic cough is dependent upon the cause.
Chronic cough treatment is based on the cause, but may be soothed natural and home remedies.
Esophageal pH MonitoringEsophageal pH monitoring is a procedure for measuring the reflux (regurgitation or backwash) of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. The Esophageal pH test is used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to determine if the acid is responsible for symptoms such as:
- and sore throat.
Esophagitis is caused by an infection or irritation of the esophagus. Infections that cause esophagitis include candida yeast infection of the esophagus as well as herpes. Signs and symptoms of esophagitis include:
- Mouth sores
- Chest pain
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
Treatment of esophagitis includes diet, lifestyle changes, and medication depending upon the cause.
Esophagus PictureThe esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. See a picture of the Esophagus and learn more about the health topic.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are:
- regurgitation, and
Take the GERD QuizWho is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about it.
Heartburn (Reflux)Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include
- chest pain,
- burning in the throat,
- difficulty swallowing,
- the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and
- a burning feeling in the chest.
- dietary habits,
- lifestyle habits, and
- medical causes.
- lifestyle changes,
- OTC medication,
- prescription medication, and
Hiatal Hernia Overview
Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a thin membrane of tissue connects the esophagus with the diaphragm becomes week, and a portion of the stomach slides up into the esophagus. Causes include obesity, pregnancy, straining during a bowel movement, aging, and ascites. There are generally no symptoms for hiatal herniaa>, and it is discovered during another medical procedure to test for GERD, or other swallowing problems.
HivesHives, also called urticaria, is a raised, itchy area of skin that is usually a sign of an allergic reaction. The allergy may be to food or medications, but usually the cause of the allergy (the allergen) is unknown.
How to Stop Coughing
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including:
- Irritants like
- cigarette and secondhand smoke
- air fresheners
- Medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors
- Medical conditions like
- the common cold
- lung cancer
- heart disease
Natural and home remedies that help cure and soothe a cough are:
Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough are:
- Stay hydrated
- Gargle saltwater
- Use cough drops or lozenges
- Use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm
- Don't smoke
Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include
- cough suppressants and expectorants, and
- anti-reflux drugs.
Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include
- narcotic medications,
- inhaled steroids, and
- anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example,
- omeprazole (Prilosec),
- rabeprazole (Aciphex), and
- pantoprazole (Protonix).
- Irritants like
Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related to H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, use of anti-inflammatory medications, and cigarette smoking. Symptoms of peptic or stomach ulcers include:
- Abdominal burning or hunger pain
- Abdominal discomfort after meals
Treatment for stomach ulcers depends upon the cause.
SclerodermaScleroderma is an autoimmune disease of the connective tissue. It is characterized by the formation of scar tissue (fibrosis) in the skin and organs of the body, leading to thickness and firmness of involved areas. Scleroderma is also referred to as systemic sclerosis, and the cause is unknown. Treatment of scleroderma is directed toward the individual features that are most troubling to the patient.