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Ranitidine is more commonly known as Zantac, and belongs to the class of histamine-2 blockers. Ranitidine reduces the amount of stomach acid found in people with acid reflux. It is used to treat and prevent ulcers found in the intestines and stomach. It has also been used in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome in which the stomach produces excessive amounts of acid.
Patients must follow instructions carefully when taking this medication. Do not take more than was prescribed for you by your doctor.
If you experience chest pain, fever, shortness of breath, or coughing up yellow/green mucus, stop taking this medication and consult your doctor immediately. Other serious symptoms you need to report to your doctor are unusual weakness, easy bruising or bleeding, unusual heart rate, problems with your vision, or a sore throat. Some patients have reported a headache
accompanied by blistering, peeling or red rashes on the skin. This medication can also cause nausea, loss of appetite, dark urine, clay colored stools, stomach pain and jaundice. It is important that your doctor knows of these side effects because these can be signs of a more serious medical condition or pneumonia. Other less serious but more common side effects include drowsiness, and dizziness, trouble sleeping, changes in sex drive, breast tenderness in men, diarrhea or constipation. Inform your doctor of these symptoms especially if you feel that they are unusual or become a bother to you. It may be necessary to change your dosage.
Ranitidine is available by prescription or over the counter as Zantac 75. Make sure to inform your doctor of other medications you are taking. Some prescription and over the counter medications may not be taken while taking Ranitidine. Some vitamins and herbal remedies may affect the way Ranitidine works so make sure your doctor knows you are taking these.
An overdose of this medication is possible. Call your doctor if you feel you have symptoms of overdose, which include bad coordination, lightheadedness, or