Zantac is also known as Ranitidine. It belongs to the group of drugs called histamine 2 blockers. It is sold under the name of Zantac in the market. This medicine was first discovered in the year 1976 and was used commercially in the year 1981. This medicine is part of the World Health Organization’s list of essential medicines. It is an effective and safe medicine in a health system and is available worldwide. The generic versions of this medicine are also available in the market.
Uses of Zantac
The medicine is used to deal with ulcers in the stomach. In some cases, it also treats the conditions in which stomach produces too much acid. Such conditions are also known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux diseases or also known as GERD. Zantac can also be used to treat cases of heartburn in which the acid from the stomach backs into the esophagus.
Side Effects of Zantac
There can be certain side effects of this medicine. It is important for the patient to be aware of such side effects and stop using this medicine in case any side effects are observed. If you have any allergic reactions to Zantac such as hives or swelling of the lips, face or tongue or y=if you face any difficulty in breathing then stop the medicine and get immediate help.
Some of the common side effects are:
- Insomnia or sleep problems
- Tender or swollen breasts in men
- Decrease sex drive
- Difficulty having an orgasm
Apart from common side effects there can be certain serious side effects which may need immediate medical help. These side effects can be:
- Problems with vision
- Irregular heart rate
- Chest pain
- Sore throat
- Peeling of the skin
- Headache with severe blistering
- Skin rash
- Low fever
- Dark urine
Contraindications of Zantac
It is important to understand that people who are allergic to the medicine or any of its active components should not use this medicine. Patients who are using this medicine are at a greater risk of developing pneumonia. If you have a history of liver disease, kidney disease or porphyria, then it is important that you consult your doctor before using this medicine. If there are any signs of chest pain or pain spreading from arm then consult a doctor immediately and get immediate medical help. Make sure that you follow all the instructions of your doctor. Especially if the doctor has suggested any antacid, make sure that you follow the prescription. Alcohol can have adverse effects, hence avoid it at all costs. Alcohol also increases the risk of damage to the stomach. It may take up to 8 weeks for the ulcers to heal hence you will have to be patient.
Pregnancy and Zantac
This medicine is a pregnancy category B and does not harm an unborn baby. Consult your doctor if you are a nursing mother before using this medicine as it may pass to the baby through breast milk.
Zantac is prescribed to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines, heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Zantac also treats conditions associated with the stomach producing too much acid, e.g. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and systemic mastocytosis. Zantac is prescribed by doctors to treat other medical conditions.
Zantac helps prevent the recurrence of ulcers.
Zantac is used as a short-term treatment (4-8 weeks) for active duodenal ulcers and active benign gastric ulcers. A low dose of Zantac is used as maintenance therapy of healed gastric and duodenal ulcers as well as erosive esophagitis.
Some doctors prescribe Zantac to prevent damage to the stomach after the long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
Zantac comes in the form of oral tablets, granules and effervescent tablets, as well as a syrup formula. Always use Zantac exactly as prescribed by a doctor. Never increase or decrease the dosage without your doctor’s permission.
The usual dose for ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and pathological hypersecretory conditions is 150mg twice a day.
The usual dose for erosive esophagitis is 150mg four times a day.
To help prevent conditions from recurring the usual dose is 150m once or twice a day.
Zantac granules and effervescent tablets must be dissolved in 6-8 ounces of water.
If a dose is missed, it can be taken as soon as you remember, as long as it does not clash with the next scheduled dose. In this case, rather skip the missed dose. Never take a double dose.
Avoid the use of Zantac if you have experienced an allergic reaction to any ingredient contained in Zantac. Ensure that your doctor is informed of any other medications you are taking before using Zantac. Zantac has been known to react adversely with certain medications.
If you have the condition, phenylketonuria, avoid the use of Zantac effervescent tablets as they contain phenylalanine.
Serious side-effects include allergic reaction (difficulty in breathing, swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat), chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing up green or yellow mucus, bleeding disorders, unusual weakness, irregular heart beat, vision problems, fever, sore throat, headache, severe blistering of the skin, peeling of the skin, red skin rash, nausea, stomach pain, fever, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay colored stools, or yellowing of the skin or eyes. If any of these symptoms appear, stop using Zantac and get emergency medical assistance.
Less serious side-effects include headache, drowsiness, dizziness, insomnia, loss of libido, erectile dysfunction, other sexual problems, swollen or tender breasts (in men), nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, diarrhea, or constipation.
Zantac may cause other side-effects not listed above. If any other uncomfortable symptoms occur while using Zantac contact your doctor.
All medications taken in excessive doses will cause serious conditions. If overdose is suspected, call for emergency assistance immediately. Some symptoms of overdose include low blood pressure and walking abnormally.
Zantac should be stored in an air-tight container in a cool, dry place away from sunlight and moisture. Ensure that the syrup formula does not freeze.