Ranitidine belongs to a group of drugs called histamine-2 blockers. It is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It also treats conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn. Ranitidine works by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces.
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a painful condition involving the upper digestive system, not the heart itself. Because the pain often radiates from the central chest region, some sufferers confuse the symptoms of heartburn with a heart attack. Heartburn is actually the result of stomach acids reacting strongly to certain foods during digestion. A small amount of stomach acid is forced up the unprotected esophagus and the resultant chemical burn causes moderate to severe pain.
How is Ranitidine taken?
- Take Ranitidine exactly as prescribed. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Always follow the directions on your prescription label.
- Take each ranitidine tablet with a full glass of water.
- Do not crush, chew, or break the rantidine 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. The 150-milligram effervescent tablet should be dissolved in 6 to 8 ounces of water.
- Allow the 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 the liquid form of Ranitidine 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 of using Ranitidine 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.
- This medication can cause you to have unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Ranitidine.
- Store Ranitidine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
Should I avoid anything while taking Ranitidine?
You should not consume alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach.
Does Ranitidine have any side effects?
You should stop taking Ranitidine and seek emergency medical help if you have any of signs of an allergic reaction, such as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat
Call your doctor at once if you have any of these serious side effects:
- Chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, coughing up green or yellow mucous
- 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
- Nausea, stomach pain, low fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay-colored stools, jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur, such as:
- Headache (may be severe)
- Drowsiness, dizziness
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Decreased sex drive, impotence, or difficulty having an orgasm
- Swollen or tender breasts (in men)
- Nausea, vomiting, stomach pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
If side effects persist or worsen while taking Ranitidine speak with your doctor.
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