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Generic Name:

ranitidine, Oral tablet

All Brands

  • Zantac 150 (Discontinued)
  • Zantac 75 (Discontinued)
  • Zantac
A discontinued drug is a drug that has been taken off the market due to safety issues, shortage of raw materials, or low market demand.
SECTION 1 of 5

Highlights for ranitidine

Oral tablet
1

Ranitidine is used to treat intestinal and stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This drug is also used to heal acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach). It’s also used to treat conditions where your stomach makes too much acid, including a rare condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

2

This drug comes as a tablet, capsule, or syrup that you take by mouth.

3

All of the forms are available as generic drugs. Ranitidine tablet is also available as the brand-name drug Zantac.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Cancer

This drug reduces the amount of acid in your stomach. This can help improve the symptoms of your gastrointestinal condition. However, if your symptoms are caused by a cancerous gastric tumor, you may still have the tumor. This drug does not treat cancer.

What is ranitidine?

Ranitidine is a prescription drug and an over-the-counter drug. Prescription ranitidine is available as an oral tablet, oral capsule, or oral syrup.

Ranitidine tablet is available as the brand-name drug Zantac. The tablet, capsule, and syrup are also available as generic drugs. Generic drugs usually cost less. In some cases, they may not be available in every strength or form as the brand-name version.

Ranitidine may be used as part of a combination therapy. This means you may need to take it with other medications.

Why it's used

Ranitidine is used to treat several conditions, including:

  • Intestinal and stomach ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD occurs when your stomach acid flows into your esophagus (the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach). This causes a burning feeling in your chest or throat, a sour taste in your mouth, and burping.
  • Erosive esophagitis. This drug heals acid-related damage to the lining of your esophagus.
  • Conditions where your stomach makes too much acid. These include a rare condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

How it works

Ranitidine belongs to a class of drugs called histamine receptor antagonists. A class of drugs is a group of medications that work in a similar way. These drugs are often used to treat similar conditions.

Ranitidine works by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach.

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SECTION 2 of 5

ranitidine Side Effects

Oral tablet

More common side effects

The more common side effects of ranitidine can include:

  • headache

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • nausea and vomiting

  • stomach discomfort or pain

If these effects are mild, they may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If they’re more severe or don’t go away, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Serious side effects

Call your doctor right away if you have serious side effects. Call 9-1-1 if your symptoms feel life-threatening or if you think you’re having a medical emergency. Serious side effects and their symptoms can include the following:

  • Inflammation of your liver. Symptoms can include:

    • yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
    • tiredness
    • dark urine
    • stomach pain
  • Changes in your brain function. Symptoms can include:

    • confusion
    • agitation
    • depression
    • hallucinations (seeing or hearing something that isn’t there)
    • blurry vision
  • Abnormal heart rate. Symptoms can include:

    • fast heart rate
    • tiredness
    • shortness of breath
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Ranitidine may cause drowsiness.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
SECTION 3 of 5

ranitidine May Interact with Other Medications

Oral tablet

Ranitidine can interact with other medications, vitamins, or herbs you may be taking. An interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works. This can be harmful or prevent the drug from working well.

To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk to your doctor or pharmacist.

Medications that might interact with this drug

Drugs you should not use with ranitidine

Do not take these drugs with ranitidine. Doing so can cause dangerous effects in your body. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Delavirdine
    • Ranitidine reduces the levels of delavirdine in your body. This means your delavirdine won’t work as well.

Interactions that increase your risk of side effects

Side effects from other drugs: Taking ranitidine with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from these drugs. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Procainamide
    • Taking high doses of ranitidine with procainamide can cause side effects from procainamide.
  • Warfarin
    • Taking ranitidine with warfarin may increase your risk of bleeding or blood clots. Your doctor may watch you more closely if you’re taking these drugs together.
  • Midazolam and triazolam
    • Taking ranitidine with either of these drugs raises your risk of extreme drowsiness that can last a long time.
  • Glipizide
    • Taking these drugs together can increase your risk for low blood sugar. You may need to test your blood sugar or test it more often when starting or stopping ranitidine.

Interactions that can make your drugs less effective

When other drugs are less effective: When certain drugs are used with ranitidine, they may not work as well. This is because the amount of these drugs in your body may be decreased. Examples of these drugs include:

  • Atazanavir
    • If you need to take these drugs together, your doctor will tell you how long you should wait between doses of these medications.
  • Gefitinib
    • If you take these drugs together with the antacid sodium bicarbonate, gefitinib may not work as well. Talk to your doctor if you’re taking gefitinib and ranitidine.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare provider about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you are taking.
Drug warnings
kidney problem warning
People with kidney problems

If you have kidney problems or a history of kidney disease, you may not be able to clear this drug from your body well. This may increase the levels of ranitidine in your body and cause more side effects.

liver problem warning
People with liver problems

If you have liver problems or a history of liver disease, you may not be able to process this drug well. This may increase the levels of ranitidine in your body and cause more side effects.

acute porphyria warning
People with acute porphyria (an inherited blood disorder)

You shouldn’t use this drug if you have a history of an acute porphyria attack. This drug can trigger an acute porphyric attack.

pregnancy warning
Pregnant women

Ranitidine is a category B pregnancy drug. That means two things:

  1. Research in animals has not shown a risk to the fetus when the mother takes the drug.
  2. There aren’t enough studies done in humans to show if the drug poses a risk to the fetus.

Talk to your doctor if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant. Animal studies do not always predict the way humans would respond. Therefore, this drug should only be used in pregnancy if clearly needed.

breast feeding warning
Women who are breast-feeding

Ranitidine may pass into breast milk and cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.

Talk to your doctor about breastfeeding your child. You may need to decide whether to stop breastfeeding or stop taking this medication.

senior warning
For seniors

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

In rare cases, this drug may cause confusion, agitation, depression, and hallucinations. These problems happen most often in seniors who are very ill.

childrens warning
For children

Ranitidine has not been confirmed as safe and effective in children younger than 1 month.

Ranitidine has not been confirmed as safe and effective in people younger than 18 years for conditions where the stomach makes too much acid. These conditions include Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

call the doctor
When to call the doctor

Call your doctor right away if you become pregnant while taking this drug.

allergy warning
Allergies

Ranitidine can cause a severe allergic reaction. Symptoms can include:

  • trouble breathing
  • swelling of your throat or tongue
  • fever
  • rash

If you have an allergic reaction, call your doctor or local poison control center right away. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room.

Don’t take this drug again if you’ve ever had an allergic reaction to it. Taking it again could be fatal (cause death).

SECTION 4 of 5

How to Take ranitidine (Dosage)

Oral tablet

All possible dosages and drug forms may not be included here. Your dosage, drug form, and how often you take the drug will depend on:

  • your age
  • the condition being treated
  • how severe your condition is
  • other medical conditions you have
  • how you react to the first dose

What are you taking this medication for?

Duodenal (intestinal) ulcer

Generic: Ranitidine

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral syrup
Strengths: 75 mg/5 mL

Brand: Zantac

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Adult dosage (ages 17–64 years)
  • Treatment of an active intestinal ulcer: 150 mg taken twice per day or 300 mg taken once per day. If you take one dose, take it after your evening meal or at bedtime.
  • Maintenance therapy: 150 mg taken once per day at bedtime
Child dosage (ages 1 month-16 years)

Typical dosage:

  • Treatment of an active intestinal ulcer: 2-4 mg/kg of body weight twice per day
  • Maintenance therapy: 2-4 mg/kg taken once per day

Maximum dosage:

  • Treatment of an active intestinal ulcer:300 mg per day
  • Maintenance therapy:150 mg per day
Child dosage (younger than 1 month)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for children younger than 1 month.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of the drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

People with kidney disease: If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may start you on 150 mg taken once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage to twice per day.

Gastric (stomach) ulcer

Generic: Ranitidine

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral syrup
Strengths: 75 mg/5 mL

Brand: Zantac

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Adult dosage (ages 17–64 years)
  • Treatment of an active stomach ulcer: 150 mg taken twice per day
  • For maintenance therapy: 150 mg taken once per day at bedtime
Child dosage (ages 1 month-16 years)

Typical dosage:

  • Treatment of an active intestinal ulcer: 2-4 mg/kg of body weight twice per day
  • Maintenance therapy: 2-4 mg/kg taken once per day

Maximum dosage:

  • Treatment of an active intestinal ulcer:300 mg per day
  • Maintenance therapy:150 mg per day
Child dosage (younger than 1 month)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for children younger than 1 month.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of the drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

People with kidney disease: If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may start you on 150 mg taken once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage to twice per day.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

Generic: Ranitidine

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral syrup
Strengths: 75 mg/5 mL

Brand: Zantac

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Adult dosage (ages 17–64 years)

Typical dosage: 150 mg taken twice per day

Child dosage (ages 1 month-16 years)

Typical dosage: 5-10 mg/kg of body weight per day given in two divided doses

Child dosage (younger than 1 month)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for children younger than 1 month.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of the drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

People with kidney disease: If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may start you on 150 mg taken once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage to twice per day.

Erosive esophagitis

Generic: Ranitidine

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral syrup
Strengths: 75 mg/5 mL

Brand: Zantac

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Adult dosage (ages 17–64 years)
  • Treatment of active disease: 150 mg taken four times per day
  • For maintenance therapy:150 mg taken twice per day
Child dosage (ages 1 month-16 years)

Typical dosage: 5-10 mg/kg of body weight per day given in two divided doses

Child dosage (younger than 1 month)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective for children younger than 1 month.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of the drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

People with kidney disease: If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may start you on 150 mg taken once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage to twice per day.

Hypersecretory conditions

Generic: Ranitidine

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 75 mg, 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral capsule
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Form: oral syrup
Strengths: 75 mg/5 mL

Brand: Zantac

Form: oral tablet
Strengths: 150 mg, 300 mg
Adult dosage (ages 17–64 years)
  • Typical dosage:150 mg taken twice per day
  • Dosage increases: Your doctor may change your dosage as needed.
  • Maximum dosage: 6000 mg (or 6 g) per day
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)

It hasn’t been confirmed that this drug is safe and effective in people younger than 18 years for this condition.

Senior dosage (ages 65 years and older)

The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This raises your risk of side effects.

Your doctor may start you on a lowered dosage or a different treatment schedule. This can help keep levels of the drug from building up too much in your body.

Special considerations

People with kidney disease: If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may start you on 150 mg taken once per day. Your doctor may increase your dosage to twice per day.

Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always to speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Pharmacist's Advice
Clinical Associate Professor, University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy

Ranitidine comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.

If you stop taking the drug suddenly or don’t take it at all

You may still have stomach pain caused by high amounts of acid in your stomach. This may make your condition worse.

If you miss doses or don’t take the drug on schedule

Your medication may not work as well or may stop working completely. For this drug to work well, a certain amount needs to be in your body at all times.

If you take too much

You could have dangerous levels of the drug in your body. Symptoms of an overdose of this drug can include:

  • trouble walking
  • low blood pressure (may make you feel dizzy or faint)

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, call your doctor or local poison control center. If your symptoms are severe, call 9-1-1 or go to the nearest emergency room right away.

What to do if you miss a dose

Take your dose as soon as you remember. But if you remember just a few hours before your next scheduled dose, take only one dose. Never try to catch up by taking two doses at once. This could result in dangerous side effects.

How to tell if the drug is working

You should have less stomach pain.

This drug is used for long-term or short-term treatment.

Ranitidine is typically used for short-term treatment, especially for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). If you’re taking this drug for other conditions, you may need long-term treatment. You may need to take it for several weeks or months.

Important considerations for taking this drug
with or without food
You can take ranitidine with or without food
timing considerations
Take this drug at the time(s) recommended by your doctor
ok to crush
You can cut or crush the tablet
storage considerations
Store this drug carefully
See Details
medication is refillable
A prescription for this medication is refillable
See Details
travel considerations
Travel
See Details
clinical monitoring considerations
Clinical monitoring
See Details

Store this drug carefully

  • Store ranitidine at room temperature. Keep it between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C).
  • Keep this drug away from light.
  • Don’t store this medication in moist or damp areas, such as bathrooms.

A prescription for this medication is refillable

You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.

Travel

When traveling with your medication:

  • Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
  • Don’t worry about airport x-ray machines. They can’t hurt your medication.
  • You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled box with you.
  • Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.

Clinical monitoring

You and your doctor should monitor certain health issues. This can help make sure you stay safe while you take this drug. These issues can include:

  • Kidney function. Your doctor may do blood tests to check how well your kidneys are working. If your kidneys aren’t working well, your doctor may lower your dosage of this drug.

Are there any alternatives?

There are other drugs available to treat your condition. Some may be better suited for you than others. Talk to your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.

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How Much Does ranitidine Cost?

Oral tablet

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Lowest price for ranitidine

Walmart $4.00
Sams Club $8.08
Kroger Pharmacy $8.53
These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for ranitidine on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

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These prices represent the lowest priced national pharmacies for ranitidine on GoodRx. They may be lower than your insurance.

Show Sources

Content developed in collaboration with University of Illinois-Chicago, Drug Information Group

Medically reviewed by Creighton University, Center for Drug Information and Evidence-Based Practice on April 13, 2016

Disclaimer: Healthline has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or other healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
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