What is vizerul?

Vizerul is a drug used to treat symptoms caused by an overproduction of gastric acid, which injures the walls of the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, esophagus, duodenum, etc.).

Note: Ranitidine, the main compound in vizerul, decreases gastric acid production by acting on the acid-producing cells (the parietal cells of the stomach). It is part of the so-called histamine H2 receptor antagonists.


Vizerul is composed of ranitidine 150 mg, its active ingredient, together with excipients, including tartrazine that acts as a colorant. The active substance is nothing more than the component responsible for the pharmacological action of the drug.

Presentations and dosage

Vizerul has different therapeutic forms, i.e. presentations, which are, coated tablets of 150 mg, solution for injection of 10 mg / ml, syrup or oral solution of 15 mg / ml and effervescent tabletsof 150 mg.

As for the dose, it varies according to age and the disease to be treated tag. In children between 3 and 12 years of age, the presentation of syrup from 4-5 mg/kg/day to 8-10 mg/kg/day, divided into two doses, is more common in acute cases of peptic ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux.

twice in the treatment of active gastric and duodenal ulcers, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and, in the case of gastroesophageal reflux disease, the dose may be up to 300 mg at bedtime.

Important: The compressed presentations of vizerul were discontinued and removed from the market, by decision of the Food and Drug Association (FDA), the Spanish Agency for Medicines and Health Products (AEMPS), and other medical entities, due to the presence of nitrosamines in ranitidine . (1)

Nitrosaminesare compounds with carcinogenic capacities in animals. Its long-term effect in humans is still unknown, so the medical agencies opted for its withdrawal to continue its study and assess potential risks.

What is vizerul used for?

It was used to alleviate symptoms and increase the quality of life of patients with symptoms related to gastrointestinal disorders, linked to gastric acid. Next, we will mention its most relevant clinical uses.


To prevent the stomach walls themselves from being corroded by gastric acid, there are a series of defenses, such as the production of a thick layer of mucus.

To highlight: An ulcer is a detachment of this layer of mucus and the superficial portions of the stomach walls, exposing the most vulnerable portions of the wall. To alleviate symptoms,Vizerul inhibits the production of gastric acid.

Zollinger-Ellinson Syndrome

It is a rare disease that affects one in a million people, characterized by an overproduction of gastric acid, in turn produced by tumors (called gastrinomas), located in the pancreas and duodenum.

Important: This syndrome can cause complications such as inflammation of the esophagus ( esophagitis ), Barrett’s esophagus and gastric ulcers.

Histamine H2 antagonists were the treatments of choice, especially vizerul, but since the advent of proton pump inhibitors (such as omeprazole), Vizerul has been superseded.

Mendelson syndrome

It is a type of chemical pneumonitis (inflammation of the lungs), produced by the aspiration of gastric acid, blood, bile or other substances. Patients under general anesthesia are at some risk of aspirating gastric acid, especially pregnant women.

But why does it happen? During anesthesia, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes and gastric emptying time (ie, the time it takes for the bolus of food from the stomach to the small intestine) to decrease.

Vizerul was considered useful as a treatment, since it decreases the production of gastric acid and increases its pH.

Curious fact: Due to the risk of aspirating gastric acid during surgical operations, the American Society of Anesthesiology formulated guidelines that prohibit the intake of meals hours before the operation. (two)


It is an inflammation of the walls of the esophagus , caused by gastroesophageal reflux, allergic reactions (eosinophilic esophagitis), viral or bacterial infections, and prolonged use of medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, antibiotics and bisphosphonates.

In this sense, drugs that suppress the production of gastric acid, such as vizerul (prior to its withdrawal), antacids and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are all used to reduce symptoms of discomfort and pain.

Important: Taking tablets with little or no water should be avoided , as this increases the risk that the tablets will dissolve in the mucosa of the esophagus and may cause a long-term adverse reaction.

Gastroesophageal reflux

It is a chronic condition caused by the passage of gastric acid into the esophagus , which does not have walls designed to protect against the corrosive effects of acid. In North America alone, the disease affects up to 27.8% of the population. (3)

Important: Although vizerul was used prior to its withdrawal from the market, PPIs demonstrated a longer-lasting soothing effect , facilitating the regeneration of inflamed tissue, according to comparative studies published in the World Journal of Gastroenterology. (4)

Vizerul contraindications

Despite its historical utility, Vizerul could not be used without caution in certain cases, such as certain organ failures.

We recommend going to your doctor of preference and answering your questions, before taking medications to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux or possible ulcers. Next, we will mention some of its contraindications.

Allergy to components

If you have recently taken vizerul and you have the following symptoms: hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, we recommend stopping the use of this medicine and seeing a doctor.

Kidney and liver failure

All drugs must be excreted over time, once they have served their purpose. The main means of excretion arethe liver and the kidneytag. Doctors establish doses according to the rate ofdrugdegradation and patient characteristics.

Note: An inefficient liver causes accumulation of the drug in the body , so the doses administered must be adjusted to the degree of dysfunction. The same goes for the kidney.

Acute porphyria

The porphyrias are a group of metabolic diseases , caused by a pathological accumulation of heme precursor substances, called porphyrins.

They are due to a deficiency of a liver enzymetag. Without it, the heme group of hemoglobin is not produced. In turn, heme is responsible for producing cytochrome P450, one of the main drug-metabolizing enzymes.

Important: The use of medications such as vizerul and famotidine are completely contraindicated , since they exacerbate the accumulation of porphyrins, generating hepatotoxic and neuropathic effects.

Vizerul Side Effects

Since its Main effects occur at the gastrointestinal level, it is not surprising that the main side effects occur there as well. Below we will mention some of the most common unwanted effects.

Abdominal pain

Caused by stomach pain, usually accompanied by a loss of appetitetag. However, these symptoms are rare, generally occurring in only 1% of patients.

gastrointestinal upset

Constipation, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. They may be accompanied by non-gastrointestinal symptoms, such as skin rashes, insomnia, drowsiness, weakness, and headaches.

Key Conclusions

  • Vizerul (known as Zantac in other regions) was a drug used to treatgastrointestinal diseases.
  • Due to thepresence of nitrosamines, international medical associations have called for the withdrawal of this product.
  • It belongs to the group of histamine H2 antagonists , which reduce the production of gastric acid.
  • It was contraindicated in case of allergies , liver or kidney failure, and porphyrias (diseases caused by liver deficiency).

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