Easy-to-read medicine information about ranitidine – what it is, how to take ranitidine safely and possible side effects.
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What is ranitidine?
Ranitidine is used to lower high levels of acid in your stomach which can cause conditions such as indigestion, reflux, and ulcers. It can also prevent ulcers from forming, or help the healing process where damage has already occurred.
Ranitidine may also be used to prevent ulcers caused by medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples of NSAIDs are diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen.
In New Zealand, ranitidine is available as tablets (150 mg and 300 mg) and liquid, on prescription from your doctor. The tablets can also be bought from your pharmacy without a prescription for symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion.
- The usual dose of ranitidine is 150 mg twice a day or 300 mg once a day, at night.
- For some people, 150 mg once a day is enough; others may need a higher dose of 600 mg a day.
- It is best to take the lowest effective dose, for the shortest possible time.
- Your doctor will advise you how long to take ranitidine for (usually for 4 to 8 weeks). Some people may need to take it for longer and some people may be advised to take it only as required when they have symptoms of indigestion.
- The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much ranitidine to take, how often to take it, and any special instructions.
How to take ranitidine
- Swallow your tablets with a full glass of water.
- Ranitidine is usually taken once a day, but some people may need to take it twice a day. Your doctor will tell you how often to take it.
- Take ranitidine at the same times each day.
- Ranitidine can be taken before or after food.
- If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But, if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Do not take double the dose.
Precautions – before starting ranitidine
- Are you pregnant, planning a pregnancy or breastfeeding?
- Do you have problems with your kidneys?
- Are taking any other medicines? This includes any medicines you are taking which you can buy without a prescription, as well as herbal and complementary medicines.
If so, it’s important that you tell your doctor or pharmacist before you start ranitidine. Sometimes a medicine isn’t suitable for a person with certain conditions, or it can only be used with extra care.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, ranitidine can cause side effects, although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body gets used to the new medicine.
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Ranitidine may interact with a few medications and herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting ranitidine or before starting any new medicines.
Medsafe Consumer Information Sheet Ranitidine Relief
New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: ranitidine
- Ranitidine New Zealand Formulary