Zantac (Ranitidine) is a treatment for acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and stomach ulcers. It is available both on prescription and over the counter, and can be taken continuously to treat recurrent acid reflux or GORD or as and when symptoms occur.
Zantac contains the active ingredient Ranitidine, a H2 receptor agonist. Ranitidine works by reducing acid production in the stomach, preventing acid from moving into the esophagus to reduce heartburn and allowing any esophageal damage to heal.
The active ingredient in Zantac is ranitidine hydrochloride.
The inactive ingredients in Zantac are microcrystalline cellulose, magnesium stearate, methylhydroxypropyl cellulose (E464), titanium dioxide (E171) and triacetin. The 300 mg tablets also contain croscarmellose sodium.
Zantac is an acid reflux medication rarely associated with a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction include finding it difficult to breathe, a rash, dizziness, chest tightness and swelling of the face. It is imperative you get medical attention as soon as possible if you experience any of these symptoms after taking the medication.
Always take Zantac as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist. Tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is time for your next dose, in what case you should skip it. Never take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
The recommended dosage for Zantac is 150 mg taken in the morning and 150 mg in the evening, or 300 mg taken once daily at bedtime.
Like all medications, Zantac can cause side effects in some patients. If you experience any of the following rare but serious side effects, stop taking Zantac and seek urgent medical attention:
The following uncommon side effects may affect up to 1 in 10 patients:
Rare side effects (1 in 1 000 people) include:
Very rarely (1in 10 000 cases), the following side effects may occur:
Do NOT take Zantac if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication. Before taking Zantac, speak to your doctor if:
Before taking Zantac, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medications, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. In particular, tell your doctor and take particular care if you are taking any of the following:
Like all medications, Zantac can have some side effects. There are usually mild and can be managed easily. If you experience stomach pains, try eating smaller portions of food more often. Rest up with a hot water bottle against your abdomen, and speak to a doctor if the pain does not let up. Any constipation can usually be relieved by eating more high-fibre foods, such as fruits, vegetables and cereals, and by exercising regularly. Avoid eating particularly rich or spicy food and don’t drink too much alcohol while taking Zantac, as this can cause you to feel nauseous.
You can drink alcohol with Zantac, but be aware that Zantac itself contains a small amount of alcohol. Alcohol can irritate your stomach lining and exacerbate acid reflux, so it best to avoid it to get the full results of Zantac.
Zantac is usually safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but speak to a doctor first.
Ranitidine is the generic version of the branded Zantac. Both contain the active ingredient ranitidine and work in the same way.
In many cases, Acid reflux can be treated with lifestyle changes and over-the-counter treatments. Zantac is available as an over-the-counter version, as is Omeprazole and foaming agents such as Gaviscon, which work by coating your stomach to prevent reflux. Proton pump inhibitors Omeprazole (Losec) and Lansoprazole are other prescription-treatments. Omeprazole is available in a dispersible and orodispersible form for those who struggle to swallow tablets and capsules.
Acid reflux can often be avoided by making a few lifestyle changes. Some foods may act as triggers, most commonly citrus fruits, tomato, mint, garlic, onions, spicy foods, alcohol and fizzy drinks. Try and work out which foods cause your heartburn and avoid them. Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day may also help, as can waiting at least 2 hours after eating before lying down or sleeping. If you are overweight, losing weight is the best way to reduce heartburn, and you should quit smoking if you have not already done so.
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