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Ranitidine Drug Class

ranitidine drug class

What is ranitidine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Ranitidine is an oral drug that blocks the production of acid by acid-producing cells in the stomach. It belongs to a class of drugs called H2 (histamine-2) blockers that also includes cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid). Histamine is a naturally-occurring chemical that stimulates cells in the stomach (parietal cells) to produce acid. H2-blockers inhibit the action of histamine on the cells, thus reducing the production of acid by the stomach. Since excessive stomach acid can damage the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum and lead to inflammation and ulceration, reducing stomach acid prevents and heals acid-induced inflammation and ulcers. The FDA approved ranitidine in October 1984.

Uses

Ranitidine is used to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines and prevent them from coming back after they have healed. This medication is also used to treat certain stomach and throat (esophagus) problems (such as erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease-GERD, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome). It works by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach makes. It relieves symptoms such as cough that doesn't go away, stomach pain, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. Ranitidine belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers.

Important information

Using ranitidine may increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, fever, feeling short of breath, and coughing up green or yellow mucus. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of developing pneumonia.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ranitidine.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have kidney disease, liver disease, or porphyria.

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Ranitidine granules and effervescent tablets must be dissolved in water before you take them. Your doctor may recommend an antacid to help relieve pain. Carefully follow your doctor's directions about the type of antacid to use, and when to use it. Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach. It may take up to 8 weeks of using this medicine before your ulcer heals. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

Before using ranitidine

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to ranitidine.

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take this medicine if you have:

kidney disease;

liver disease; or

porphyria (a genetic enzyme disorder that causes symptoms affecting the skin or nervous system).

Ranitidine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Ranitidine passes into breast milk. Do not take this medicine without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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