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RANITIDINE HCL
RANITIDINE TABLETS - ORAL

Important Note

The following information is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your physician, pharmacist or other healthcare professional. It should not be construed to indicate that use of the drug is safe, appropriate, or effective for you. Consult your healthcare professional before using this drug.

RANITIDINE TABLETS - ORAL

(ran-IT-uh-deen)

COMMON BRAND NAME(S): Zantac

Uses

This medication reduces the amount of acid in your stomach. It is used to treat and prevent ulcers, to treat gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), and to treat conditions associated with excessive acid secretion.

How To Use

This medication is best taken with or immediately after meals. Antacids and sucralfate can block the effect of this medication. If you are taking an antacid in addition to this medication, separate the doses of each medication by at least one half hour. If you are taking sucralfate in addition to this medication, take the ranitidine 2 hours before the sucralfate. Do not stop taking this medication without your doctor's approval. Stopping therapy too soon may delay healing of the ulcer.

Side Effects

Nausea, diarrhea, headache, or dizziness may occur at first as your body adjusts to the medication. If these effects persist or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you experience: unusual bleeding or bruising, rash, difficulty sleeping, mental changes, extreme weakness, fast/slow/irregular heartbeat. An allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include: rash, itching, swelling, dizziness, trouble breathing. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.

Precautions

Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: heartburn combined with lightheadedness or sweating or dizziness, chest pain or shoulder/jaw pain especially with shortness of breath, pain spreading to arms or neck or shoulders, unexplained weight loss, liver or kidney problems, porphyria, other stomach problems (e.g., tumors), any allergies (including drug allergies). Smoking helps cause ulcers and can prevent healing. Smoking should be avoided. Alcohol can irritate the stomach and cause bleeding. Consult your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before taking this drug. Ranitidine is excreted into breast milk. The effect on the nursing infant is not known. Consult your doctor.

Drug Interactions

Tell your doctor of all over-the-counter and prescription medication you may use, especially of: ketoconazole, itraconazole, triazolam. This medication is available in both prescription and over-the-counter formulations. Do not take both at the same time. Do not start or stop any medicine without doctor or pharmacist approval.

Overdose

If overdose is suspected, contact your local poison control center or emergency room immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include difficulty breathing, fast heartbeat, tremors, vomiting, restlessness, weakness, fatigue, or dizziness.

Notes

Your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes such as stop-smoking programs, diet changes and exercise to assist in the treatment and prevention of ulcers. Ranitidine may affect the results of tests for urine protein. Be sure to tell your doctor you are taking ranitidine. Remember that all nonprescription/prescription aspirin or aspirin-like medicine can cause stomach irritation/ulcers. Consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Missed Dose

If you miss a dose, take as soon as remembered; do not take if it is almost time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.

Storage

Store between 59 and 86 degrees F (between 15 and 30 degrees C) away from moisture and sunlight. Do not store in the bathroom.