What is ranitidine?

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Generic Name: Ranitidine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is ranitidine used for?

Ranitidine is used to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines and prevent them from returning after treatment. This medication is also used to treat and prevent certain stomach and throat (esophagus) problems caused by too much stomach acid (e.g., Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, erosive esophagitis) or a backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux disease-GERD).

Ranitidine is known as an H2 histamine blocker. It works by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach. This helps heal and prevent ulcers and improves symptoms such as heartburn and stomach pain.

This medication is also available without a prescription. It is used to prevent and treat heartburn and other symptoms caused by too much acid in the stomach (acid indigestion). If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, it is important to read the manufacturer’s package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How should I take ranitidine?

Take this medication by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. It may be prescribed 4 times a day for some conditions. If you are taking this medication once daily, it is usually taken after the evening meal or before bedtime.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, dosage may also be based on body weight. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. You may take other medications (e.g., antacids) for your condition as recommended by your doctor.

Take this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. Do not stop taking this without your doctor’s approval because this may delay healing of the ulcer.

If you are using nonprescription ranitidine for self-treatment of acid indigestion or heartburn, take 1 tablet by mouth with a glass of water as needed. To prevent heartburn, take 1 tablet by mouth with a glass of water 30-60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause heartburn. Do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours unless directed by your doctor. Do not take for more than 14 days in a row without talking with your doctor.

Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store ranitidine?

Ranitidine is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store ranitidine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of ranitidine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush ranitidine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using ranitidine?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to 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.

Is it safe to take ranitidine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There isn’t enough information about the safety of using this medication during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking this medication.

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of ranitidine?

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.

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with ranitidine?

Ranitidine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

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.

Does food or alcohol interact with ranitidine?

Ranitidine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with ranitidine?

Ranitidine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease; or
  • porphyria.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using this medication.

What is the dose of ranitidine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Duodenal Ulcer

Oral: 150 mg 2 times a day, or 300 mg once a day after the evening meal or at bedtime.

Parenteral: 50 mg, IV or IM, every 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, a continuous IV infusion may be administered at a rate of 6.25 mg/hour over 24 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Dyspepsia

75 mg orally once daily (Over-the-counter) 30 to 60 minutes before meal. Dose may be increased to 75 mg twice daily. Maximum duration of therapy if self-medicating is 14 days.

Usual Adult Dose for Duodenal Ulcer Prophylaxis

150 mg orally once a day at bedtime.

Usual Adult Dose for Gastric Ulcer Maintenance

150 mg orally once a day at bedtime.

Usual Adult Dose for Erosive Esophagitis

Oral:

Initial: 150 mg 4 times a day.

Maintenance: 150 mg twice daily.

Parenteral: 50 mg, IV or IM, every 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, a continuous IV infusion may be administered at a rate of 6.25 mg/hour over 24 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis

Parenteral: 50 mg, IV or IM, every 6 to 8 hours. Alternatively, a continuous IV infusion may be administered at a rate of 6.25 mg/hour over 24 hours. Titrate to maintain gastric pH >=4.0.

Usual Adult Dose for Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage

Parenteral: 50 mg IV loading dose, followed by 6.25 mg/hr continuous IV infusion titrated to gastric pH >7.0 for treatment.

Usual Adult Dose for Surgical Prophylaxis

Study (n=80) – Premedication in Thoracotomy to reduce GER:

150 mg orally 2 hours before surgery.

Usual Adult Dose for Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

Oral: 150 mg 2 times a day initially. Adjust dose to control gastric acid secretion. Doses up to 6 g per day have been used.

Parenteral: 1 mg/kg/hour administered as a continuous IV infusion to a maximum of 2.5 mg/kg/hour (infusion rates up to 220 mg/hour have been used).

Usual Adult Dose for Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions

Oral: 150 mg 2 times a day initially. Adjust dose to control gastric acid secretion. Doses up to 6 g per day have been used.

Parenteral: 1 mg/kg/hour administered as a continuous IV infusion to a maximum of 2.5 mg/kg/hour (infusion rates up to 220 mg/hour have been used).

Usual Adult Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Oral: 150 mg twice daily.

Parenteral: 50 mg, IV or IM, every 6 to 8 hours.

Usual Adult Dose for Gastric Ulcer

Benign Gastric Ulcer –

Oral: 150 mg twice a day.

Parenteral: 50 mg, IV or IM, every 6 to 8 hours.

What is the dose of ranitidine for a child?

Usual Pediatric Dose for Duodenal Ulcer

1 month to 16 years:

IV: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours

Maximum: 200 mg/day IV

Oral:

Treatment: 4 to 8 mg/kg twice daily, every 12 hours

Maximum: 300 mg/day orally

Maintenance: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day orally once daily

Maximum: 150 mg/day orally

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gastric Ulcer

1 month to 16 years:

IV: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours

Maximum: 200 mg/day IV

Oral:

Treatment: 4 to 8 mg/kg twice daily, every 12 hours

Maximum: 300 mg/day orally

Maintenance: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day orally once daily

Maximum: 150 mg/day orally

Usual Pediatric Dose for Duodenal Ulcer Prophylaxis

1 month to 16 years:

IV: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours

Maximum: 200 mg/day

Oral: 2 to 4 mg/kg once daily, not to exceed 150 mg/24 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gastric Ulcer Maintenance

1 month to 16 years:

IV: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours

Maximum: 200 mg/day

Oral: 2 to 4 mg/kg once daily, not to exceed 150 mg/24 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Neonatal:

IV: 1.5 mg/kg IV as a loading dose followed 12 hours later with 1.5 to 2 mg/kg/day IV divided every 12 hours. Alternatively, a continuous IV infusion may be administered at a rate of 0.04 to 0.08 mg/kg/hour (1 to 2 mg/kg/day) after a loading dose of 1.5 mg/kg has been given.

Continuous IV infusion: Loading dose: 1.5 mg/kg/dose, followed by 0.04 to 0.08 mg/kg/hour infusion (or 1 to 2 mg/kg/day).

Oral: 2 mg/kg/day divided into 2 doses, administered every 12 hours.

1 month to 16 years:

IV: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours

Maximum: 200 mg/day. Alternatively, an initial IV bolus dose of 1 mg/kg given once, followed by a constant IV infusion at a rate of 0.08 to 0.17 mg/kg/hour (2 to 4 mg/kg/day) may be administered.

Oral: 4 to 10 mg/kg/day administered in 2 divided doses, every 12 hours.

Maximum: 300 mg orally day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Erosive Esophagitis

1 month to 16 years:

IV: 2 to 4 mg/kg/day divided every 6 to 8 hours

Maximum: 200 mg/day. Alternatively, an initial IV bolus dose of 1 mg/kg given once, followed by a constant IV infusion at a rate of 0.08 to 0.17 mg/kg/hour (2 to 4 mg/kg/day) may be administered.

Oral: 4 to 10 mg/kg/day administered in 2 divided doses, every 12 hours.

Maximum: 300 mg orally day

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dyspepsia

Children greater than or equal to 12 years:

75 mg orally once 30 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages which cause heartburn.

Maximum: 150 mg/24 hours

Duration of therapy: Do not use for more than 14 days

How is ranitidine available?

Ranitidine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

Tablet, oral 25 mg; 75 mg; 150 mg; 300 mg

Capsule, oral 150 mg; 300 mg;

Solution, injection: 50 mg/2 mL; 150 mg/6 mL; 1000 mg/40 mL

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of ranitidine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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