Zantac

Acid reflux/indigestion or heartburn are terms used interchangeably to describe the burning pain caused by stomach acid.
Get prescription acid reflux treatment such as regular Losec (Omeprazole) or Zantac (Ranitidine) for people with severe or ongoing acid symptoms.

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Strength Quantity Price
150mg30 tablets7.99
150mg60 tablets13.99
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About

What is Zantac?

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.  

How does Zantac work?

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.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Zantac is ranitidine hydrochloride.

Inactive ingredients

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.

Dosage

How to take Zantac

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.

Zantac dosage

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. 

Side Effects

Zantac side effects

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:

  • Allergic reactions with symptoms of rash, itching or hives, swelling of the face, lips or tongue, chest pain, shortness of breath, wheezing or trouble breathing, unexplained fever and feeling faint when standing up
  • Kidney problems which may cause changes in the amount and colour of urine you pass, leading to back pain, fever, pain when urinating, blood in the urine and blood tests
  • Pancreatitis with severe stomach pain
  • A slow or irregular heartbeat

The following uncommon side effects may affect up to 1 in 10 patients:

  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Nausea

Rare side effects (1 in 1 000 people) include:

  • Skin rash
  • Increase in serum creatine in the blood
  • Changes to liver function

Very rarely (1in 10 000 cases), the following side effects may occur:

  • Changes in the level of certain substances in your blood, causing you to feel unusually tired and short of breath, more likely to bruise or get an infection
  • Feeling depressed, confused, or hallucinations
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Feeling dizzy or blurred vision
  • Joint or muscle pain or inflammation
  • Slow or irregular heartbeat
  • Vasculitis with symptoms such as rash, swollen joints or kidney problems
  • Swollen liver, with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, generally feeling unwell, itching, fever, yellowing of the skin and eyes or dark coloured urine
  • Flushing or target-like marks on the skin
  • Unexplained hair loss
  • Impotence
  • Breast tenderness and/or breast enlargement
  • Breast discharge
  • Inflammation of the pancreas

Contraindications

Do NOT take Zantac if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication. Before taking Zantac, speak to your doctor if:

  • You have stomach cancer
  • You have kidney problems
  • You have had stomach ulcers before
  • You have a rare condition called acute porphyria
  • You are over 65 years old
  • You have lung disease
  • You are diabetic
  • You have any problems with your immune system

Drug interactions

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:

  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) medicines such as aspirin, naproxen, and ibuprofen
  • Lidocaine
  • Propranolol, procainamide or n-acetylprocainamide
  • Diazepam
  • Phenytoin
  • Theophylline
  • Warfarin
  • Glipizide
  • Atazanavir or delavirdine for HIV
  • Triazolam for insomnia
  • Gefitinib
  • Ketoconazole, itraconazole
  • Sucralfate

How to cope with the side effects of Zantac

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. 

Zantac and alcohol

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 and pregnancy

Zantac is usually safe for use during pregnancy and breastfeeding, but speak to a doctor first.

Treatment Options

Zantac vs Ranitidine

Ranitidine is the generic version of the branded Zantac. Both contain the active ingredient ranitidine and work in the same way. 

Alternatives to Zantac

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.

Other ways to avoid acid reflux

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.

Q&A

Can Zantac help nausea, bloating or constipation?

Zantac will not help treat nausea, bloating or constipation. In fact, these are some uncommon side effects of Zantac.

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