Ranitidine (Zinetac, Zantac) is used in prevention and treatment of ulcers inthe stomach and intestines, in overproduction of stomach acid in gastroesophagealreflux disease (GERD) and other stomach acid problems that might causeheartburn. The medication belongs to the group of antihistamine medications(histamine-2 blockers) and it work by increasing the production of acid in thestomach.
Side effects of Ranitidine
Ranitidine has few side effects. Gastrointestinal problemsare present at some patients including nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominalpain and rarely pancreas problems.
This medication rarely seriously affects the liver, causingmild elevation of liver enzymes, sometimes affecting the liver cells. Liver toxicityis followed with fever, chills, nausea, rash and eosihophilia.
Some Ranitidine patients may be allergic to the drug,showing signs of rash, urticaria, fever, bronchospasm, edema, eosinophilia and acuteeosinophilic pneumonia, and anaphylaxis.
The blood conditions related to the use of Ranitidine areusually reversible. There were cases of leukopenia, granulocytopenia,thrombocytopenia and rarely, agranulocytosis and anemias. There is greater riskof hematologic issues in patients with kidney dysfunctions.
The drug affects the hormones, and might lead togynecomastia, impotence and decrease of libido in male patients. Some patientsmay suffer from increased levels of prolactin and gastrin, amenorrhea, and decreaseof levothyroxine in the blood.
High concentrations of Ranitidine in the blood areresponsible for changes in mental status of the patients. Sleepiness,dizziness, headache, malaise, vertigo and rarely confusion, agitationand hallucinations have been reported. Patients with kidney problems, elderlyand patients suffering from other serious illnesses are at greater risk ofbrain side effects.
Dermatologic adverse effects of Ranitidine include: hairloss, rash, pruritus, contact dermatitis, erythema multiforme, vasculitis andtoxic epidermal necrolysis.
Kidney conditions are rarely recorded. Patients withglaucoma problems may have blurred vision or high intraocular pressure whenusing Ranitidine. Some of the patients may experience joint or muscle pain. Ranitidinerarely affects the heart mostly causing arrhythmias.
Application of Ranitidine
Make sure to inform your doctor if you are allergic to anykind of medication. Liver and kidney problems or porhyria should also bereported to the doctor.
Use the medication exactly as doctor has prescribed it. Ranitidinetablets and effervescent tablets are meant to be dissolved in water and thentaken. The medication needs time to heal the ulcers sometimes up to twomonths. After 6 weeks of treatment if your condition stays the same youshould consult the doctor.
Avoid alcohol, because it may increase the risk of stomachproblems.
In rare cases use of Ranitidine might increase the risk of pneumonia.
Sometimes early symptoms of a heart attack are mistaken forheartburn. Immediately call for medical attention if you happen to experiencechest pain, dizziness, pain spreading to your left arm, shoulder or neck,sweating, nausea and vomiting, because these symptoms may be related to the heartattack.