Zantac: Uses, Side Effects, Dosage, Precautions


Update April 1, 2020: The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced a recall of all drugs that contain the ingredient ranitidine, known by the brand name Zantac. The FDA also recommended not taking over-the-counter ranitidine and that patients taking prescription ranitidine discuss other treatment options with their healthcare provider before stopping their medication. For more information, visit the FDA website .

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Zantac (ranitidine) is an over-the-counter medicine most often used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) . Ranitidine is also used to treat other conditions that involve excess stomach acid and can prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers. Ranitidine is a drug in the histamine-2 blocker class and can be taken as a syrup, pill, or effervescent tablet.

The most common brand of ranitidine is Zantac, but it can also be found in stores under the Wal-Zan and Heartburn Relief labels. Due to the fact that this drug is sold without a prescription, many major retailers have developed their versions with ranitidine as the same main ingredient.


The FDA-approved uses of ranitidine include the treatment of duodenal and gastric ulcers, GERD, and erosive esophagitis that have been diagnosed with endoscopy . Another diagnosis in which ranitidine is commonly used is the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome , which causes excessive stomach acid production.

Ranitidine has been found to be safe for short-term use in treating the conditions listed above. It is also safe for humans to stay on a different dose of ranitidine for a long time as part of a maintenance program for these conditions.

Use not indicated on the label

One of the unauthorized uses of ranitidine is the prophylactic treatment of stress ulcers. In pediatrics, ranitidine is used off-label as a parenteral agent for the treatment of erosive esophagitis and GERD. Another unauthorized use of ranitidine is the treatment of erosive esophagitis in newborns.

Before drinking

Ranitidine is considered safe for most healthy people with reflux and other acid-related symptoms because it is available without a prescription. This means that it is considered a first-line drug due to its availability.

Precautions and contraindications.

There are no contraindications associated with taking ranitidine. There are some precautions associated with the use of ranitidine in the pediatric and geriatric population, as the dose must be adjusted to the rate of absorption.

Doctors must adjust the ranitidine dose in patients with renal and hepatic insufficiency, since absorption and excretion of the drug pass through these organs. Ranitidine should be used with caution in people with porphyria . Porphyria is a condition that causes excessive protein build-up, and ranitidine can make porphyria symptoms worse. Ranitidine allergic patients should not use this drug in any amount.

Other histamine-2 antagonists

  • Axid
  • Axid AR
  • Pulvulas Axid
  • Relief from heartburn
  • Pepsid
  • Pepcid AC
  • Tagamet
  • Tagamet HB
  • Zantac 150
  • Zantac 150 Efferdose
  • Zantac 25


Duodenal ulcer patients are advised to take 150 milligrams (mg) of ranitidine syrup twice daily for short-term treatment. In patients who cannot forget to take the medicine twice a day, this dose can be adjusted to take 300 mg of the syrup once a day after meals. The recommended dose to help heal duodenal ulcers is 150 mg once a day before bedtime. Patients with GERD, hypersecretory diseases such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and benign stomach ulcers should take ranitidine 150 mg twice daily.

Patients with erosive esophagitis should take ranitidine 150 mg four times a day. This dose should be adjusted to 150 mg twice daily for patients who wish to maintain the healing process of erosive esophagitis.

Patients taking ranitidine effervescent tablets should take 2 to 4 mg twice daily to treat duodenal and gastric ulcers. The maximum dose of effervescent tablets is 300 mg per day. This dose should be adjusted to 2 to 4 mg once a day to support the healing process of gastric and duodenal ulcers.

All indicated doses are indicated by the manufacturer of the drug. Check your prescription and talk to your doctor to make sure you are taking the correct dose.


Pediatric patients who wish to treat GERD and erosive esophagitis should carefully calculate the dose based on body weight. The recommended formula is 5 to 10 mg per pound per day, which is generally divided into two doses.

For geriatricians or people with kidney failure, the daily dose of ranitidine should not exceed 150 mg of syrup.

How to take and store

One effervescent ranitidine 25 tablet should be dissolved in at least one teaspoon of water. The tablet must be completely dissolved in water before taking it. Effervescent tablets can be given to babies with a dropper. One Ranitidine 150 effervescent tablet must be dissolved in 6-8 ounces of water before use. This increase in liquid corresponds to an increase in the hardness of the tablet.

It is allowed to make up for the forgotten dose and there should be no negative side effects. However, be careful not to exceed the maximum daily dose in such cases.

In cases of overdose, patients experienced difficulty walking and a drop in blood pressure. This happened when up to 18 grams of ranitidine was taken internally.

In case of overdose, patients should seek medical attention to remove the remaining ranitidine from their body. This will be followed by clinical follow-up and other treatments as needed.

Ranitidine effervescent tablets should be stored between 36 F (2 C) and 86 F (30 C). Ranitidine syrup should be stored between 39 F (4 C) and 77 F (25 C) in airtight, light-resistant containers. Store ranitidine standard tablets in a dry, dark place between 60 F (15 C) and 86 F (30 C).

Side effects


Common side effects associated with taking ranitidine include dizziness, nausea, vomiting, constipation, abdominal discomfort, muscle and joint pain, and a skin rash. When patients with kidney failure took too high a dose, they caused sedation, confusion, agitation, and hallucinations. Research has shown that these symptoms are mild and can be easily treated with medical attention.

Severe form

Serious side effects associated with ranitidine administration include irregular heart rhythms, mixed hepatitis, changes in blood counts (such as leukopenia, granulocytopenia, and thrombocytopenia), gynecomastia, impotence, alopecia, vasculitis, and hypersensitivity reactions such as anaphylaxis and angioedema. See your doctor if you have any serious symptoms.

Warnings and interactions

Ranitidine interacts slightly with warfarin , which is a blood thinner. This caused fluctuations in the results of a blood test that measures prothrombin time.

Studies have been done to confirm that ranitidine does not harm fetuses in rats and rabbits. However, these studies have not been replicated in human fetuses, so it is recommended to interrupt them in case of pregnancy. Research has shown that ranitidine can affect breastfeeding and should be discontinued if this is the case.

Ranitidine may have accumulating levels of toxins in geriatric patients, patients with poor kidney function, and pediatric patients. In such cases, ranitidine should be used with caution.

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