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.
Dissolve 1 tablet in at least 1 teaspoon (5 milliliters) of water. After the tablet is completely dissolved, give the solution by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. When giving the solution to an infant, it is best to use a medicine dropper or oral syringe (available from your pharmacist). If this medication is being used once daily, it is usually taken after the evening meal or before bedtime.
The dosage and length of treatment are based on medical condition and response to therapy. In children, dosage may also be based on body weight. Follow the doctor's instructions carefully. Other medications (e.g., antacids) may be taken if needed as recommended by the doctor.
Use this medication regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, use it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase the dose or use it more often than prescribed. Do not stop using this without the doctor's approval because this may delay healing of the ulcer.
Tell the doctor if the condition does not improve or if it worsens.
Remember that the doctor has prescribed this medication because he or she has judged that the benefit is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell the doctor immediately if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., fussiness, nervousness, confusion, depression, hallucinations), vision changes (e.g., blurred vision).
Tell the doctor immediately if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bleeding/bruising, severe tiredness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat, cough), severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
This is not a complete list of possible side effects. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact the doctor or pharmacist.
In the US -
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
In Canada - Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to Health Canada at 1-866-234-2345.
Before using ranitidine, tell the doctor or pharmacist if your child is allergic to it; or to other H2 histamine blockers (e.g., cimetidine, famotidine); or if your child has any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell the doctor or pharmacist your child's medical history, especially of: immune system problems, kidney problems, liver problems, lung problems (e.g., asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), other stomach problems (e.g., tumors).
Some symptoms may actually be signs of a more serious condition. Get medical help right away if your child has: heartburn with lightheadedness/sweating/dizziness, chest/jaw/arm/shoulder pain (especially with shortness of breath, unusual sweating), unexplained weight loss.
This medicine may contain aspartame. If your child has phenylketonuria (PKU) or any other condition that requires intake of aspartame (or phenylalanine) to be restricted, consult the doctor or pharmacist regarding the safe use of this medicine.
Kidney function declines as you grow older. This medication is removed by the kidneys. Therefore, elderly people may be at greater risk for side effects while using this drug. Caution is advised when using this drug in the elderly because they may be more sensitive to its effects, especially confusion and dizziness.
Ranitidine should be used only when clearly needed during pregnancy. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor.
This medication passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
The effects of some drugs can change if you take other drugs or herbal products at the same time. This can increase your risk for serious side effects or may cause your medications not to work correctly. These drug interactions are possible, but do not always occur. Your doctor or pharmacist can often prevent or manage interactions by changing how you use your medications or by close monitoring.
To help your doctor and pharmacist give you the best care, be sure to tell your doctor and pharmacist about all the products you use (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs, and herbal products) before starting treatment with this product. While using this product, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any other medicines you are using without your doctor's approval.
This medication decreases the amount of acid in your stomach. This can change the amount of medication absorbed from your stomach which may affect how these medications work. Examples of affected drugs include atazanavir, delavirdine, dasatinib, gefitinib, raltegravir, triazolam among others. Azole antifungals such as ketoconazole may also be affected.
Check the labels on all medicines because they may contain aspirin or aspirin-like NSAIDs (e.g., ibuprofen, naproxen) that can cause stomach irritation/ulcers. Ask your pharmacist about the safe use of those products. Low-dose aspirin, as prescribed by the doctor for specific medical reasons such as heart attack or stroke prevention (usually at dosages of 81-325 milligrams per day), should be continued. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for more details.
This medication and similar H2 histamine blockers (e.g., cimetidine, famotidine) are available both over-the-counter and by prescription. Do not take them at the same time.
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (e.g., urine protein), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all the doctors know your child is using this drug.
This document does not contain all possible interactions. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share the list with your doctor and pharmacist.
If overdose is suspected, contact a poison control center or emergency room immediately. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center. Symptoms of overdose may include difficulty walking, severe dizziness/fainting.
Do not share this medication with others.
Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol, and diet changes (e.g., avoiding caffeine, certain spices) may increase the effectiveness of this medication. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you or your child.
Laboratory and/or medical tests (e.g., endoscopy, kidney function tests) may be performed to monitor your child's progress or check for side effects. Consult the doctor for more details.
If a dose is missed, give it as soon as remembered. If it is near the time of the next dose, skip the missed dose and resume the usual dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to catch up.
Store in the original foil packages between 36-86 degrees F ( 2-30 degrees C) away from moisture and light. Do not open until ready to use. Discard any medication in damaged/opened packages. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medicines away from children and pets.
Do not flush medications down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. Properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for more details about how to safely discard your product.
Information last revised February 2014. Copyright(c) 2014 First Databank, Inc.
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