Zantac for Infants
Zantac is licensed to treat ulcers, including duodenal and stomach ulcers, and to prevent the recurrence of ulcers. It is also approved for treating erosive esophagitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Generic name of Zantac is Ranitidine. Ranitidine inhibits production of acid in the stomach thereby this drug is an acid-suppressing mediction. It is an H2 antagonist because it blocks H2 receptors in stomach that lead to decreased amount of acid in the stomach.
This medication comes in two forms that can be easily given to infants:
- Zantac tablets- they are designed to be dissolved in water
- Zantac syrup
Zantac Dosage for Infants
For treatment of ulcers in infants, typical dose of Zantac is usually 2mg to 4mg per kg, twice a day. For treating erosive esophagitis or GERD in infants the usual Zantac dose is 5 mg to 10 mg per kg, total per day. This can be separated into two doses per day.
In case of any renal disorder, the dose should be decreased by 50%.
Side Effect of Zantac
Most babies tolerate Zantac pretty well. If side effects occur they are generally minor and easily treated. Some infants become sleepy after taking Zantac. Common side effects include headache, constipation or diarrhea, abdominal pain, rash, and nausea or vomiting. Less common side effects are muscle or joint pain, blurred vision and hair loss.
Signs of allergic reaction to Zantac include: unusual rash, hives, itching, wheezing, trouble breathing and swelling of the mouth or throat.
Zantac can rarely cause liver damage and generally it is a safe medication. If a baby becomes jaundiced or develops dark urine and pale stools while taking Ranitidine, you must visit your doctor.
Only infants suffering from GERD need medication like Zantac. On the other hand, gastroesophageal reflux which is characterized by simple vomiting and spilling doesn’t require treatment with Zantac.
The reflux represents movement of the milk from stomach to the mouth. Milk neutralizes the stomach acid therefore simple gastroesophageal reflux doesn’t need to be treated. Gastroesophageal reflux disease includes the acid that causes problems and in such cases Zantac is given to reduce this acid. Zantac acts by stopping the acid that causes the burning of the lower esophagus, which leads to the pain and discomfort.
Babies usually cry because of the reflux but “silent reflux” can be noticed in some infants. “Silent reflux” is called silent because infants have acid problem but don’t vomit. Zantac may be given to babies with “silent reflux” but if it doesn’t help within couple of weeks, the medication should be discontinued.