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Is Ranitidine A Ppi

is ranitidine a ppi

Do you need a PPI?

PPIs are powerful drugs. Studies suggest that more than half of the people who take PPIs probably do  not need them. Simple heartburn can be relieved with antacids or other less powerful drugs.

Do you have heartburn every now and then—after a big, spicy meal, for example? This kind of heartburn is uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You don’t need a PPI. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.

Have you had heartburn more than twice a week for several weeks? Then you may have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). This is when acid made in the stomach backs up into your throat. Over time, it damages the lining of your esophagus (the tube from your throat to your stomach). If your doctor thinks you have GERD, you may need a PPI.

PPIs have risks.

If you need a PPI, taking a low dose for less than a year is probably safe. But taking a PPI for a year or longer has been linked to:

A higher risk of breaking a hip.

Low levels of the mineral magnesium in your blood. This can cause shaking, muscle cramps, and irregular heartbeats.


An intestinal infection called Clostridium difficile, which can lead to severe diarrhea, fever, and, in rare cases, death.

PPIs can change the way other drugs work

PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix (generic clopidogrel). This can increase the risk of heart attack and even death.

Treating indigestion with ranitidine and PPIs

Ranitidine is the only H2-receptor antagonist currently marketed for OTC sale in the UK. Famotidine and nizatidine are both licensed for sale without prescription for similar indications to ranitidine but no products are available.

How does it act?

Histamine is thought to be the most important mediator of gastric acid secretion through its activation of parietal cell receptors in the stomach lining. It stimulates the production of a protein kinase, which activates the proton pump (the enzyme hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase, or H+/K+ ATPase) in parietal cells to secrete hydrogen ions into the stomach. H2-receptor antagonists interfere with this mechanism by occupying receptor sites on the parietal cells, blocking the action of histamine.

They are effective for longer than antacids because their action is not limited by contact time with the stomach contents. Ranitidine reaches peak plasma levels about an hour after ingestion and the elimination half-life is two to three hours. Acid secretion is inhibited for up to 12 hours.

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