Zantac is a brand name for ranitidine, a drug used to reduce gastric acid production in the stomach to treat diseases with symptoms such as acid reflux and excessive stomach acid.
The active ingredient in Zantac, ranitidine, belongs to a class of drugs called histamine-2 blockers. They work by inhibiting enzyme function in gastric parietal cells in the stomach that produce acid. Gastric acid kills bacteria and helps digest food. But in some diseases, gastric acid can back up and cause injury to esophagus (the tube that food travels down from mouth to stomach) or stomach lining. In such cases, it’s necessary to reduce the volume of gastric acid to prevent further harm, which drugs like ranitidine do.
Zantac is prescribed mainly to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (where stomach acids back up to the esophagus causing injury), Zollinger–Ellison syndrome (where too much acid is produced by the gastric parietal cells) and peptic ulcer disease (a tear in the stomach lining where reducing acid secretion can help the wound heal). Zantac can relieve symptoms associated with these diseases such as heartburn, abdominal pain, troubled swallowing and coughs that won’t go away.
Zantac is available as 150 mg or 300 mg tablets, and as an oral solution containing 15 mg of ranitidine per dose.
Inactive ingredients in Zantac tablets include croscarmellose sodium, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, yellow iron oxide, titanium dioxide, and triacetin. Inactive ingredients in the Zantac oral solution include artificial peppermint flavor, purified water, butylparaben, propylparaben, dibasic sodium phosphate, monobasic potassium phosphate, sodium chloride, saccharin sodium and sorbitol.
Dosage will depend as per physician recommendation, as well as the disease being treated, severity of the disease and response to the treatment.
Dosage instructions should be followed exactly as prescribed. Do not take more or less than instructed by a doctor to avoid adverse side effects. For Zantac syrup, measure the prescribed dosage precisely using the spoon or measuring cup provided with the package. Do not use regular household spoons to speculate the dosage measurements.
Zantac should be taken once or twice a day, 30 to 60 minutes before meals, or as otherwise instructed by a doctor.
It’s highly recommended to take Zantac the same time each day.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Zantac if allergic to ranitidine or any other ingredients in the drug.
Do not take Zantac if pregnant, breastfeeding or attempting get pregnant without consulting a physician beforehand.
Zantac may not be safe for patients with a history of kidney disease, liver disease, porphyria or phenylketonuria.
Zantac may increase the risk for developing pneumonia for some patients.
Zantac is highly likely to cause adverse drug reactions with triazolam and anticoagulants (“blood thinners”) like warfarin. Disclose all prescription, nonprescription and supplemental drugs being taken to the prescribing physician.
Common side effects of Zantac include the following:
Decreased sex drive
Constipation or diarrhea
Side effects are not limited to the above. Some side effects may be severe than others. Immediately seek medical advice if side effects worsen or persist for a prolonged period.