Ranitidine use while Breastfeeding
Drugs containing Ranitidine: Zantac, Zantac 150, Zantac 75, Zantac 300, Acid Reducer, Zantac 150 EFFERdose, Taladine, Zantac Injection, Equaline Heartburn Relief, Careone Acid Reducer, Show all 21 »Acid Control 75, Sunmark Acid Reducer Maximum Strength, Acid Relief, Zantac GELdose, Acid Reducer Non-Prescription Strength, Zantac EFFERdose, Zantac 300 GELdose, Deprizine, Berkley and Jensen Acid Reducer Maximum Strength, Zantac 25 mg EFFERdose, Acid Control 150
Medically reviewed on Dec 27, 2018
Ranitidine Levels and Effects while Breastfeeding
Summary of Use during Lactation
Although interpatient variability exists, the dose of ranitidine in breastmilk is less than the dose used in newborn infants. Maternal ranitidine would not be expected to cause any adverse effects in breastfed infants. No special precautions are required.
Maternal Levels. Six women with established lactation who were 6 to 10 days postpartum were given a single dose of 150 mg of ranitidine orally. Average milk levels were 1.28, 1.42 and 1.02 mg/L at 2, 4 and 8 hours, respectively, after the dose; however, there was great interpatient variability in both peak levels and the time of the peak.
After 5 oral doses of ranitidine 150 mg every 12 hours in a 54-day postpartum woman, the highest measured milk level occurred 5.5 hours after the 5th dose and was 2.6 mg/L. The estimated half-life in milk was 2.9 hours.
Using the average peak milk level data from these 2 papers, an exclusively breastfed infant would receive an estimated maximum of 300 mcg/kg daily with a maternal dosage of 150 mg daily. This dosage is 20% of the dosage used intravenously in newborn infants for stress ulcer prophylaxis.
Infant Levels. Relevant published information was not found as of the revision date.
Effects in Breastfed Infants
One 54-day-old breastfed infant had no observable adverse effects after maternal ingestion of ranitidine 150 mg every 12 hours for 2 days.
Effects on Lactation and Breastmilk
Histamine H2-receptor blockade is known to stimulate prolactin secretion. Ranitidine in intravenous doses over 100 mg or during long-term oral use have increased serum prolactin in some studies, and rare cases of gynecomastia have been reported. The prolactin level in a mother with established lactation may not affect her ability to breastfeed.
Alternate Drugs to Consider
1. Riley AJ, Crowley P, Harrison C. Transfer of ranitidine to biological fluids: Milk and semen. In: Misiewicz JJ, Wormsley KG, eds. The clinical use of ranitidine. Oxford: Medicine Publishing Foundation, 1982:78-81.
2. Kearns GL, McConnell RF Jr, Trang JM et al. Appearance of ranitidine in breast milk following multiple dosing. Clin Pharm. 1985;4:322-4. PMID: 4039999
3. Knigge UP. Histaminergic regulation of prolactin secretion. Dan Med Bull. 1990;37:109-24. PMID: 2188799
4. Perret G, Hugues JN, Louchahi M et al. Effect of a short-term oral administration of cimetidine and ranitidine on the basal and thyrotropin-releasing hormone-stimulated serum concentrations of prolactin, thyrotropin and thyroid hormones in healthy volunteers. A double-blind cross-over study. Pharmacology. 1986;32:101-8. PMID: 3081918
5. Delitala G, Devilla L, Pende A et al. Effects of the H2 receptor antagonist ranitidine on anterior pituitary hormone secretion in man. Eur J Clin Pharmacol. 1982;22:207-11. PMID: 6125393
6. Knigge U, Wollesen F, Dejgarrd A et al. Comparison between dose-responses of prolactin, thyroid stimulating hormone and growth hormone to two different histamine H-2 receptor antagonists in normal men. Clin Endocrinol (Oxf). 1981;15:585-92. PMID: 6276054
7. Tosi S, Cagnoli M. Painful gynecomastia with ranitidine. Lancet. 1982;2:160. PMID: 6123872
8. Bera F, Jonville-Bera AP, Doustin P et al. [Impotence and gynecomastia secondary to hyperprolactinemia induced by ranitidine]. Therapie. 1994;49:361-2. PMID: 7878608
CAS Registry Number
Histamine H2 Antagonists
LactMed Record Number
Information presented in this database is not meant as a substitute for professional judgment. You should consult your healthcare provider for breastfeeding advice related to your particular situation. The U.S. government does not warrant or assume any liability or responsibility for the accuracy or completeness of the information on this Site.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.
More about ranitidine
- Ranitidine Side Effects
- During Pregnancy
- Dosage Information
- Patient Tips
- Drug Images
- Drug Interactions
- Compare Alternatives
- Support Group
- Pricing & Coupons
- En Español
- 119 Reviews
- Drug class: H2 antagonists
- Ranitidine Tablets and Capsules
- Ranitidine Injection
- Ranitidine Suspension
- Ranitidine Syrup
Other brands: Zantac