Ranitidine is used to treat conditions caused by excessive acidity in your stomach, such as ulcers in the stomach or duodenum (upper portion of the small intestine) and reflux disease (also known as "heartburn", in which food or acid from your stomach backs up into your mouth, leaving a sour or bitter taste).
This medicine may also be used to relieve stomach irritation and ulceration caused by certain medicines for pain and inflammation, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Ranitidine treats these conditions by reducing the amount of acid your stomach makes.
It may also be used together with other medicines to treat a specific type of stomach problem caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
Ranitidine may be used to treat other conditions as decided by your doctor.
Take Ranitidine exactly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions on the label. Do not take more or less than instructed by your doctor.
Ranitidine may be taken with or without food or at bedtime. Try to take it at the same time each day.
This medicine is available as a tablet and oral solution or syrup.
If you are taking an oral syrup, shake the bottle well before you take it to ensure that the liquid is evenly mixed. Use the measuring spoon or cup provided to measure your dose.
Ranitidine must be taken regularly for it to be effective. Continue taking this medicine even when you feel better. Do not stop taking it unless instructed by the doctor.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and return to your normal dosing schedule.
DO NOT double a dose under any circumstances.
If you often forget to take your medicine, let your doctor and pharmacist know.
Alert your doctor if you have had porphyria (an inherited disorder that may cause skin or nervous system abnormalities) as Ranitidine may not be suitable for you.
Inform your doctor if you have the following conditions:
- weak immune system caused by a disease
- other serious stomach diseases
- heart disease
- long term lung disease
- kidney disease
- liver disease
Let your doctor know if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving Ranitidine to a child.
If you are scheduled for a laboratory test (e.g. urine protein test), inform your doctor that you are taking this medicine.
Your doctor may need to perform blood tests to make sure that your liver and kidney function is normal before you take this medicine and thereafter depending on your doctor’s advice.
Ranitidine may cause drowsiness, dizziness or blurred vision. If affected, do not drive or take part in any activity in which you need to be alert or need to see clearly.
Other side effects include any of the following: headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, stomach pain or discomfort, rash, dizziness with sensation of spinning, joint and muscle pain, uneasiness, hair loss, uncontrollable movements, difficulty sleeping, and loss of libido.
Rarely, this medicine may cause the level of your red blood cells, white blood cells and platelets to drop.
Red blood cells carry oxygen around your body. A fall in the level of red blood cells may make you feel tired and worn out.
White blood cells help your body to fight infections. A fall in the level of your white blood cells may put you at higher risk for infections, such as coughs, colds and flu, which may lead to more serious infections. Avoid crowded places and people who are sick. Alert your doctor if you have a fever, or a cough or flu that does not go away.
Platelets help your blood to clot when there is a cut in the skin. A fall in the level of your platelets may put you at risk of bleeding more than usual. Do not take part in activities where you may fall or get injured, such as contact sports. Alert your doctor if you get any unusual bruising (large bruises or several bruises, especially if the bruises appeared on their own) or bleeding that takes a long time to stop (for example, too much bleeding when you floss or brush your teeth).
Inform your doctor if any of these side effects do not go away or are severe, or if you experience other side effects.
Inform your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any of these medicines:
- medicines for fungal infection e.g. ketoconazole
- blood-thinning medicines e.g. warfarin
- medicines for heart disease e.g. procainamide
- medicines for mood or sleep disorder e.g. triazolam, midazolam
- medicines for cancer e.g. gefitinib
- medicines for HIV infection e.g. delavirdine, atazanavir
- glipizide (medicine for diabetes)
- high-dose sucralfate (gastric medicine)
This list does not include all medicines that may interact with Ranitidine.
Always notify your doctor and pharmacist if you are taking any other medicines, including herbal tonics such as traditional Chinese medicines, supplements and medicines that you buy without a prescription.
Store in a cool, dry place away from the reach of children.
Protect from light and moisture.
Medicines must not be used past the expiry date.