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ranitidine

Pronunciation

Generic Name: ranitidine (ra NI ti deen)
Brand Name: Taladine, Zantac, Zantac 150, Zantac 300, Zantac 75, Zantac EFFERdose, Zantac GELdose, Zantac 300 GELdose, Acid Control 75

What is ranitidine?

Ranitidine is in a group of drugs called histamine-2 blockers. Ranitidine works by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces.

Ranitidine is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It also treats conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Ranitidine also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

Ranitidine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about ranitidine?

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ranitidine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or porphyria.

Using ranitidine may increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, and coughing up green or yellow mucus. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of developing pneumonia.

Ranitidine granules and effervescent tablets must be dissolved in water before you take them.

Your doctor may recommend an antacid to help relieve pain. Carefully follow your doctor's directions about the type of antacid to use, and when to use it.

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach.

It may take up to 8 weeks of using this medicine before your ulcer heals. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before using ranitidine?

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ranitidine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have:

  • kidney disease;

  • liver disease; or

  • porphyria.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

Ranitidine passes into breast milk. Do not take ranitidine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Using ranitidine may increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, and coughing up green or yellow mucus. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of developing pneumonia.

The ranitidine effervescent tablet may contain phenylalanine. Talk to your doctor before using this form of ranitidine if you have phenylketonuria (PKU).

How should I take ranitidine?

Take exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

Your doctor may recommend an antacid to help relieve pain. Carefully follow your doctor's directions about the type of antacid to use, and when to use it.

Do not crush, chew, or break the ranitidine effervescent tablet, and do not allow it to dissolve on your tongue. The 25-milligram effervescent tablet must be dissolved in at least 1 teaspoon of water before swallowing. The150-milligram effervescent tablet should be dissolved in 6 to 8 ounces of water.

Allow the ranitidine effervescent tablet to dissolve completely in the water, and then drink the entire mixture. If you are giving this medicine to a child, you may draw the liquid mixture into a medicine dropper and empty the dropper into the child's mouth.

Ranitidine granules should be mixed with 6 to 8 ounces of water before drinking.

Measure ranitidine liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or cup, not a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.

It may take up to 8 weeks before your ulcer heals. Keep using the medication as directed and tell your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

This medication can cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using ranitidine.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include lack of coordination, feeling light-headed, or fainting.

What should I avoid while taking ranitidine?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach.

Ranitidine side effects

Stop using ranitidine and get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop taking ranitidine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, coughing up green or yellow mucus;

  • easy bruising or bleeding, unusual weakness;

  • fast or slow heart rate;

  • problems with your vision;

  • fever, sore throat, and headache with a severe blistering, peeling, and red skin rash; or

  • nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious side effects may include:

  • headache (may be severe);

  • drowsiness, dizziness;

  • sleep problems (insomnia);

  • decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm; or

  • swollen or tender breasts (in men);

  • nausea, vomiting, stomach pain; or

  • diarrhea or constipation.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

Ranitidine dosing information

Usual Adult Dose for Duodenal Ulcer:

ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day OR 300 mg orally once a day after the evening meal or at bedtime
-Maintenance dose: 150 mg orally once a day at bedtime
-Duration of therapy: 8 weeks (treatment); up to 1 year (maintenance)

PARENTERAL:
IM or IV (bolus or intermittent infusion) Injection:
-Usual dose: 50 mg IM or IV every 6 to 8 hours
-Maximum dose: 400 mg/day
Continuous IV Infusion:
-Usual rate: 6.25 mg/hour

Comments:
-Patients may use antacids to treat pain.
-Both once or 2 times a day oral dosing regimens were shown to be effective in inhibiting gastric acid secretion.
-Injectable formulations do not require dilution when given as an IM injection.
-Intermittent IV bolus injections should be diluted up to 2.5 mg/mL and injected at a rate of up to 4 mL/min.
-Intermittent IV infusions should be diluted up to a concentration of 0.5 mg/mL and infused at a rate of up to 5 to 7 mL/min (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).
-Most patients receiving oral formulations heal within 4 weeks; there are no safety data for the treatment of uncomplicated duodenal ulcer beyond 8 weeks. Studies have not been conducted to assess safety in oral maintenance therapy longer than 1 year.

Uses:
-Short-term treatment of active duodenal ulcer
-Maintenance therapy for duodenal ulcer patients at reduced dosage after healing of acute ulcers
-Some hospitalized patients with intractable duodenal ulcers

Usual Adult Dose for Dyspepsia:

ORAL (OVER-THE-COUNTER FORMULATIONS):
-Symptom relief: 75 to 150 mg orally with a glass of water
-Symptom prevention: 75 to 150 mg orally with a glass of water 30 to 60 minutes before a meal
-Maximum dose: 2 tablets/day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 14 days (self-treatment)

Uses:
-Relief of heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach
-Relief of heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach brought on by eating/drinking certain foods and beverages

Usual Adult Dose for Erosive Esophagitis:

ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 150 mg orally 4 times a day
-Maintenance dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 48 weeks (maintenance)

Comments:
-Symptomatic relief usually starts within 24 hours of starting oral treatment.
-Placebo-controlled studies included use of maintenance doses for up to 48 weeks.

Use:
-Treatment of endoscopically diagnosed erosive esophagitis

Usual Adult Dose for Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

ORAL:
-Initial dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day
-Maximum dose: Up to 6 g/day

PARENTERAL:
Continuous IV Infusion:
-Initial rate: 1 mg/kg/hr
-Titration: After 4 hours, if gastric acid output is greater than 10 mEq/hr or the patient is symptomatic, the dose should be increased in 0.5 mg/kg/hr increments and acid levels should be re-measured
-Maximum dose: 2.5 mg/kg/hr
-Maximum rate: 220 mg/hr

Comment:
-Continuous IV infusions should be diluted to a concentration of 2.5 mg/mL or less.

Uses:
-Treatment of pathological hypersecretory conditions (e.g., Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, systemic mastocytosis)
-Alternative to oral formulations for short-term use in some hospitalized patients who are unable to take oral medications

Usual Adult Dose for Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions:

ORAL:
-Initial dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day
-Maximum dose: Up to 6 g/day

PARENTERAL:
Continuous IV Infusion:
-Initial rate: 1 mg/kg/hr
-Titration: After 4 hours, if gastric acid output is greater than 10 mEq/hr or the patient is symptomatic, the dose should be increased in 0.5 mg/kg/hr increments and acid levels should be re-measured
-Maximum dose: 2.5 mg/kg/hr
-Maximum rate: 220 mg/hr

Comment:
-Continuous IV infusions should be diluted to a concentration of 2.5 mg/mL or less.

Uses:
-Treatment of pathological hypersecretory conditions (e.g., Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, systemic mastocytosis)
-Alternative to oral formulations for short-term use in some hospitalized patients who are unable to take oral medications

Usual Adult Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease:

ORAL:
-Usual dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day

Comment:
-Symptomatic relief usually starts within 24 hours of starting oral treatment.

Use:
-Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Usual Adult Dose for Gastric Ulcer:

ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day
-Maintenance dose: 150 mg orally once a day at bedtime

Comments:
-Most patients heal within 6 weeks; there are no safety data for the treatment of uncomplicated, benign gastric ulcer beyond 6 weeks.

Uses:
-Short-term treatment of active, benign gastric ulcer
-Maintenance therapy for gastric ulcer patients at reduced dosage after healing of acute ulcers

Usual Pediatric Dose for Duodenal Ulcer:

Less than 1 month AND with Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO):
PARENTERAL:
-2 mg/kg IV every 12 to 24 hours OR as a continuous infusion

1 month to 16 years:
ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg orally 2 times a day
-Maximum treatment dose: 300 mg/day
-Maintenance dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg orally once a day
-Maximum maintenance dose: 150 mg/day

PARENTERAL:
-Usual dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg IV, divided and given every 6 to 8 hours OR as a continuous infusion
-Maximum dose: 50 mg/dose

16 years and older:
ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day OR 300 mg orally once a day after the evening meal or at bedtime
-Maintenance dose: 150 mg orally once a day at bedtime
-Duration of therapy: 8 weeks (treatment); up to 1 year (maintenance)

PARENTERAL:
IM or IV (bolus or intermittent infusion) Injection:
-Usual dose: 50 mg IM or IV every 6 to 8 hours
-Maximum dose: 400 mg/day
Continuous IV Infusion:
-Usual rate: 6.25 mg/hour

Comments:
-Patients younger than 1 month with ECMO who were given doses of 2 mg/kg had a gastric pH of greater than 4 for at least 15 hours.
-Placebo-controlled studies included use of maintenance doses for up to 48 weeks.
-Injectable formulations do not require dilution when given as an IM injection.
-Intermittent IV bolus injections should be diluted up to 2.5 mg/mL and injected at a rate of up to 4 mL/min.
-Intermittent IV infusions should be diluted up to a concentration of 0.5 mg/mL and infused at a rate of up to 5 to 7 mL/min (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).

Uses:
-Alternative to oral formulations for short-term use in some hospitalized patients who are unable to take oral medications
-Short-term treatment of active duodenal ulcer
-Maintenance therapy for duodenal ulcer patients at reduced dosage after healing of acute ulcers
-Some hospitalized patients with intractable duodenal ulcers

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gastric Ulcer:

Less than 1 month AND with Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO):
PARENTERAL:
-2 mg/kg IV every 12 to 24 hours OR as a continuous infusion

1 month to 16 years:
ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg orally 2 times a day
-Maximum treatment dose: 300 mg/day
-Maintenance dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg orally once a day
-Maximum maintenance dose: 150 mg/day

PARENTERAL:
-Usual dose: 2 to 4 mg/kg IV, divided and given every 6 to 8 hours OR as a continuous infusion
-Maximum dose: 50 mg/dose

16 years and older:
ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day OR 300 mg orally once a day after the evening meal or at bedtime
-Maintenance dose: 150 mg orally once a day at bedtime
-Duration of therapy: 8 weeks (treatment); up to 1 year (maintenance)

PARENTERAL:
IM or IV (bolus or intermittent infusion) Injection:
-Usual dose: 50 mg IM or IV every 6 to 8 hours
-Maximum dose: 400 mg/day
Continuous IV Infusion:
-Usual rate: 6.25 mg/hour

Comments:
-Patients younger than 1 month with ECMO who were given doses of 2 mg/kg had a gastric pH of greater than 4 for at least 15 hours.
-Placebo-controlled studies included use of maintenance doses for up to 48 weeks.
-Injectable formulations do not require dilution when given as an IM injection.
-Intermittent IV bolus injections should be diluted up to 2.5 mg/mL and injected at a rate of up to 4 mL/min.
-Intermittent IV infusions should be diluted up to a concentration of 0.5 mg/mL and infused at a rate of up to 5 to 7 mL/min (approximately 15 to 20 minutes).

Uses:
-Alternative to oral formulations for short-term use in some hospitalized patients who are unable to take oral medications
-Short-term treatment of active duodenal ulcer
-Maintenance therapy for duodenal ulcer patients at reduced dosage after healing of acute ulcers
-Some hospitalized patients with intractable duodenal ulcers

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease:

1 month to 16 years:
ORAL:
-Usual dose: 5 to 10 mg/kg/day orally, given in 2 divided doses

16 years and older:
ORAL:
-Usual dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day

Comments:
-Symptomatic relief usually starts within 24 hours of starting oral treatment.
-Placebo-controlled studies included use of maintenance doses for up to 48 weeks.

Use:
-Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Usual Pediatric Dose for Erosive Esophagitis:

1 month to 16 years:
ORAL:
-Usual dose: 5 to 10 mg/kg/day, given in 2 divided doses

16 years and older:
ORAL:
-Treatment dose: 150 mg orally 4 times a day
-Maintenance dose: 150 mg orally 2 times a day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 48 weeks (maintenance)

Comments:
-Symptomatic relief usually starts within 24 hours of starting oral treatment.
-Placebo-controlled studies included use of maintenance doses for up to 48 weeks.

Use:
-Treatment of endoscopically diagnosed erosive esophagitis

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dyspepsia:

12 years and older:
ORAL (OVER-THE-COUNTER FORMULATIONS):
-Symptom relief: 75 mg orally with a glass of water
-Symptom prevention: 75 mg orally with a glass of water 30 to 60 minutes before a meal
-Maximum dose: 150 mg/day
-Duration of therapy: Up to 14 days (self-treatment)

Uses:
-Relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach
-Relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach brought on by eating/drinking certain foods and beverages

What other drugs will affect ranitidine?

Before taking ranitidine, tell your doctor if you are taking triazolam (Halcion). You may not be able to use ranitidine, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs that can interact with ranitidine. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about ranitidine.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 7.02.

Date modified: January 10, 2017
Last reviewed: December 15, 2010

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