What is Zantac?
Zantac is an oral medication that treats a number of stomach-, esophagus- and intestines-related diseases. Its main ingredient is ranitidine hydrochloride, a histamine antagonist that blocks stomach acid production. As far as excessive stomach acid may damage stomach, esophagus and duodenum leading to ulceration and inflammation, its reduction helps to prevent and cure acid-induced ulcers and inflammations. The medication available in tablet form and syrup is produced by several pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer. The generic drug is also available.
When is Zantac indicated?
Zantac is indicated for the treatment of epigastric burning, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric and peptic ulcers, erosive esophagus, gastric bleeding and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES). It is used concomitantly with fexofenadine or other antihistamine drugs to treat skin diseases such as hives. Its off-label use often includes acid indigestion, sour stomach and other conditions.
How to take Zantac?
Zantac is usually taken once or twice a day regardless to meals. The average dose for ulcer and GERD treatment in adults is 150 mg q12h or 300 mg as a single dose at bedtime. The maintenance dose to prevent recurrence is 150 mg q24h. The dose for erosive esophagus is 150 mg q6h. For ZES the dose can be as high as 6 g a day. 75 mg-150 mg should be taken once or twice a day 30 minutes prior to meals that cause heartburn. The dosage for children and infants over 1 month is calculated according to the child’s weight and usually is 2mg-4mg/kg q12h.
What are Zantac side effects?
Zantac minor side effects are: headache, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, stomachache, rash. More serious ones may include anemia, arrhythmia, confusion, depression, blurred vision, loss of hair, sleeping difficulty, yellowing of eyes and skin. The drug reduces the absorption of vitamin B12 therefore vitamin supplementation is required especially in elderly patients. The drug also reduced the absorption of some drugs, such as antifungals and calcium carbonate.
When is Zantac contraindicated?
Zantac is contraindicated to patients hypersensitive to it or to its inactive ingredients. Since the agent is metabolized in liver, caution should be exercised in patients with hepatic dysfunction. The dosage for patients with decreased kidney function must be adjusted by the doctor since the drug is excreted mainly by the kidneys.
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