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Ranitidine is known as an H2 blocker. It works by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach. It is used to prevent and treat heartburn and other symptoms caused by too much acid in the stomach (acid indigestion).
To treat heartburn and acid indigestion, take 1 tablet with a glass of water as needed, unless otherwise directed by your doctor. Swallow the tablet whole without chewing. Ranitidine can be taken with or without food.
To prevent heartburn and acid indigestion, take ranitidine 30-60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that can cause indigestion.
Do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours unless directed by your doctor. Follow all directions on the product package. If you are uncertain about any of the information, consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Stop taking this medication and call your doctor promptly if your symptoms continue after you begin taking it, or if they do not improve after you have been taking this medication for 14 days in a row. Do not take this medication for more than 14 days in a row without talking with your doctor.
Headache, constipation or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
Tell your doctor right away if you have any serious side effects, including: vomiting, severe stomach pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin.
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking ranitidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other H2 blockers (e.g., cimetidine, famotidine); or if you have 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 your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: a certain blood disorder (porphyria), kidney problems, liver problems, other stomach problems (e.g., tumors).
Some symptoms may actually be signs of a more serious condition. Get medical help right away if you have: heartburn with lightheadedness/sweating/dizziness, chest/jaw/arm/shoulder pain (especially with shortness of breath, unusual sweating), unexplained weight loss.
In addition, before you self-treat with this medication, get medical help right away if you have any of these signs of a serious condition: trouble/pain swallowing food, bloody vomit, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, bloody/black stools, heartburn for over 3 months, frequent chest pain, frequent wheezing (especially with heartburn), nausea/vomiting, stomach pain.
Do not use this medication in children younger than 12 unless directed by the doctor.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially confusion.
During pregnancy, this medication should only be used if clearly needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using this medication.
Ranitidine passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Different brands of this medication have different storage needs. Check the product package for instructions on how to store your brand, or ask your pharmacist. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep all medications 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.
Drug interactions may change how your medications work or increase your risk for serious side effects. This document does not contain all possible drug interactions. Keep a list of all the products you use (including prescription/nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicines without your doctor's approval.
Some products need stomach acid so that the body can absorb them properly. Ranitidine decreases stomach acid, so it may change how well these products work. Some affected products include atazanavir, dasatinib, delavirdine, certain azole antifungals (such as itraconazole, ketoconazole), pazopanib, among others.
Do not use this medication with other products that contain ranitidine or other H2 blockers (cimetidine, famotidine, nizatidine).
This medication may interfere with certain laboratory tests (including certain urine protein tests), possibly causing false test results. Make sure laboratory personnel and all your doctors know you use this drug.
If someone has overdosed and has serious symptoms such as passing out or trouble breathing, call 911. Otherwise, call a poison control center right away. US residents can call their local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. Canada residents can call a provincial poison control center.
Lifestyle changes such as stress reduction programs, stopping smoking, limiting alcohol, and diet changes (such as avoiding caffeine and certain spices) may help this medication work better. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about lifestyle changes that might benefit you.