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Generic Name: Ranitidine Tablets and Capsules (ra-NI-ti-deen)
Brand Name: Zantac

Zantac is used for:

Treating and preventing ulcers. It is also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to treat and maintain healing of erosive esophagitis. Zantac may also be prescribed for other conditions as determined by your health care provider.

Zantac is a histamine H2antagonist. It works by reducing acid in the stomach by blocking one of the chemicals (histamine) that stimulates the production of stomach acid.

Do NOT use Zantac if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Zantac or other H2 antagonists (eg, famotidine)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Zantac :

Some medical conditions may interact with Zantac . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines or other substances
  • if you have kidney or liver problems; frequent wheezing or chest pain; stomach pain; unexplained weight loss; chest or shoulder pain with shortness of breath; pain spreading to arm, neck, or shoulder; lightheadedness; nausea or vomiting; or increased sweating
  • if you have a history of a certain blood problem (porphyria)
  • if you have difficulty or pain swallowing food, vomiting with blood, or black or bloody stools, or you have had heartburn for longer than 3 months

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Zantac . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Sucralfate because the effectiveness of Zantac may be decreased
  • Anticoagulants (eg, warfarin), beta-blockers (eg, propranolol), bupivacaine, ethanol, hydantoins (eg, phenytoin), nifedipine, procainamide, sulfonylureas (eg, glipizide), theophylline, or triazolam because the actions and side effects of these medicines may be increased
  • Nondepolarizing muscle relaxants (eg, vecuronium) because the effectiveness of these medicines may be decreased

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Zantac may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Zantac :

Use Zantac as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Zantac maybe taken with or without food.
  • Take Zantac at least 2 hours before or after taking cephalosporins (eg, cephalexin), itraconazole, ketoconazole, or quinolones (eg, ciprofloxacin).
  • Continue to use Zantac even if you feel well. Do not miss any doses.
  • Antacids may be taken as needed to help relieve stomach pain, unless your health care provider instructed otherwise.
  • If you miss a dose of Zantac , take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Zantac .

Important safety information:

  • Zantac may cause drowsiness or dizziness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Zantac . Using Zantac alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • The syrup form of Zantac may contain alcohol.
  • Use extreme caution when using Zantac in the ELDERLY as they may be more sensitive to the side effects of Zantac .
  • Zantac is not recommended for use in CHILDREN under the age of 1 month; safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • If you plan on becoming pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Zantac during pregnancy. Zantac is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Zantac .

Possible side effects of Zantac :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Blurred vision; constipation; diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache; feeling of a whirling motion; general body discomfort; nausea; sleeplessness; stomach pain; vomiting.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); changes in heart rate; confusion; fever; hallucinations; irregular heartbeat; severe stomach pain; yellowing of the skin or eyes.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (, or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing; fast heartbeat; restlessness; tremor; vomiting.

Proper storage of Zantac :

Store Zantac between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C) in a tightly closed container away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Zantac out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Zantac , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Zantac is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Zantac . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: November 1, 2006
Database Edition
Copyright © 2006 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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