Why is this medication prescribed?
Ranitidine is used to treat and prevent the recurrence of ulcers and to treat other conditions where the stomach makes too much acid. Ranitidine also is used to treat or prevent occasional heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach. It decreases the amount of acid made in the stomach. Ranitidine is available with and without a prescription.
This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
How should this medicine be used?
Ranitidine comes as a hard tablet, an effervescent tablet, granule packets, and liquid to take by mouth. It usually is taken once daily at bedtime or twice a day with or without food. Swallow ranitidine hard tablets whole, do not chew, and take with water. Dissolve ranitidine effervescent tablets and granules in a full glass (6-8 ounces) of water. Follow the directions on the package or on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take ranitidine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
If symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach last longer than 2 weeks while taking ranitidine, stop taking it and call your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Ranitidine also is used to treat recurrent ulcers following surgery and for bleeding in the stomach area caused by ulcers or gastritis. Talk to your doctor about the possible risks of using this drug for your condition.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking ranitidine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to ranitidine or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, especially triazolam (Halcion) and vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease or acute porphyria.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking ranitidine, call your doctor.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Although side effects from ranitidine are not common, they can occur. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- stomach pain
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). The liquid may be kept in the refrigerator, but do not let it freeze. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed, and throw away liquid ranitidine after 30 days. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor. Your doctor may order certain lab tests to check your body's response to ranitidine.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.