Also known as its brand name, Zantac, Ranitidine is a popular prescription drug that used to treat various ailments. In a lot of developing countries, it is sold as a generic drug by the name Ranitidine Hcl at a fraction of the cost. It is available as a tablet, capsule, injectable solution, and oral syrup. Read on to know more about what is ranitidine.
As mentioned earlier, ranitidine treats a variety of ailments. However, its main focus is the gastrointestinal part of the body. This drug is typically used in the following conditions:
- Stomach and intestinal ulcers
- Erosive esophagitis
- Persistent cough
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Difficulty in swallowing
- General problems that involve the stomach and throat
If you read up more about what is ranitidine, you will find out that it is also known as a Histamine H2-receptor antagonist or an H2 blocker. This type of drug is primarily used to treat ailments that result from the stomach producing too much acid.
Another thing to note is that Ranitidine becomes more potent if it is used in conjunction with other medications over a substantial period of time. However, you would need to consult with your physician regarding the combination of drugs you plan to take especially since there are some drugs that might cause adverse effects when mixed with Ranitidine. Taking it with the drug Delavirdine, for example, may have dangerous results. Other drugs that you should not mix with Ranitidine include Glipizide, Warfarin, Procainamide, Midazolam, and Triazolam.
There are also mixtures that basically lessen the potency of Ranitidine. These include Gefitinib and Atazanavir.
Finally, one has to understand that Ranitidine is not considered as an antacid. This is because of its function. Ranitidine works by inhibiting the amount of acid being produced in the stomach. Antacid, meanwhile, neutralizes the acid that is already present in your stomach.
How to use it
Part of understanding what is ranitidine is the right way to use it. Unless you subscribe to an injectable solution, the most common way to take this medication is orally. Usual dosage is two capsules a day which you take once after breakfast and the next after the evening meal. If taken only once, you usually have it in the evening after dinner. Some physicians prescribe up to four times a day for more serious conditions but you have to gain clearance from the doctor to do so.
Dosage may vary if you take the oral syrup form of this medication. Usual dosage is two tablespoons a day. This may change given a person’s age. Children, for example, would require weight information to determine the right amount of dosage.
Dosage and duration of time this medication should be used will largely depend on the case. Only a qualified medical practitioner can determine the amount and length of treatment.
If your condition persists or worsens after the recommended duration of treatment has elapsed, inform your doctor immediately.
Ranitidine typically does not cause side effects. However, on the rare occasion that it does, usual symptoms include nausea, dizziness, headache, a feeling of bloatedness, an upset stomach, headache, diarrhea, constipation, and general gastrointestinal discomfort. If you experience any of these symptoms or any other negative reactions after taking ranitidine, it would be wise to discontinue use until you have consulted your doctor. However, if symptoms are mild and tolerable, it might be your body is just adjusting to the medication. Just be mindful. If the adverse reactions persist or worsen, stop using ranitidine and see your doctor immediately.
It is important to note that people react to ranitidine differently. While most rarely react negatively this medication, there have been singular cases where reactions were deemed serious and necessitated immediate medical intervention. If you experience any of these serious side effects, it is imperative that you meet your physician immediately:
- Liver inflammation. This could mean body malaise, persistent stomach pain, yellowing of the skin, and dark urine
- Change in Cognitive Function. This could mean different mental concerns such as hallucination, confusion, and even depression.
- Change in heart rate. This could manifest as shortness of breath, body malaise, and a fast heart rate.
Ranitidine is also known to cause a variety of allergic reactions. This could manifest as trouble in breathing, rashes all over the body, swelling of throat or tongue, and fever. If you observe that you experience these allergic reactions after taking Ranitidine, it would be best to see a health practitioner immediately before the symptoms worsen. Stop using the medication altogether as well until you have spoken with your doctor.
In order to prolong the shelf life of this medication and ensuring your safety when you take it, you also have to be mindful of the right way to store Ranitidine. As suggested by the manufacturer, here are some tips in properly storing Ranitidine:
- Store it at room temperature. Best temperature is around 15 to 30 degrees Celsius.
- It is certainly not advisable to keep it in a moist or damp area. Keep it away from the bathroom or the kitchen.
- Do not store it in a place that is regularly exposed to light.
As you try to understand what is ranitidine, a huge part of it is how it may affect people living with certain conditions. If any of these conditions apply to you, consult your doctor before taking Ranitidine:
- Susceptible to allergic reactions
- Kidney, liver, pancreas problems
- Acute porphyria
- Gastric cancer
- Pregnancy or lactation
- Senior citizens
- Infants or babies
Ranitidine is definitely an effective prescription medication for a wide spectrum of gastrointestinal concerns. To ensure your safety and the drug’s effectivity, make sure you consult your doctor to determine the right dosage and duration of your treatment. Until then, it would be best to continue reading about what is Ranitidine so you can make an informed decision when the time comes.