What is ranitidine?

Ranitidineis a medicinal product intended to exert a pharmacologicalimmunological or metabolicaction in order to restore, correct or modify physiological functions, mainly in the gastrointestinal tracts. It is in a class of medications called H2 blockers.

Important: It is a medication thatis indicated to reduce the production of acid in the stomach, in situations such as gastric ulcer or gastroesophageal reflux. It is also prescribed to treat injuries to the alimentary tube and in conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, in which the stomach produces too much gastric acid.

The active substance of this medicine is ranitidine,combined with other chemical compounds such as sodium carmelose, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, hypromellose, titanium dioxide, talc, polyethylene glycol 6000, polymethacrylic acid copolymer.

Its commercial presentation is a 150 mg or 300 mg tablet, and it is usually administered 300 mg daily, twice daily in doses of 150 mg in the morning and 150 mg overnight orally. For hospital use, the presentation is in 10 mg/ml solution for injection.

Note: Before the advent of omeprazole, ranitidine was the most potent gastric protector.

What is ranitidine used for?

The use of ranitidine is indicated to relieve gastrointestinal discomfort, derived from excess production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Here we mention them:

1. Ulcers and bleeding

In patients with ulcers, whether duodenal ulcers, stress ulcers, or gastric ulcers, ranitidine is indicated to raise the pH of the contained hydrochloric acid and reduce bleeding from the lesions.

Gastric acid and the enzyme pepsin slow down the coagulant action in the ulcer, so bleeding is continuous. Ranitidine maintains a gastric pH value greater than 4 , thus allowing the formation of the platelet aggregate and the clot, mitigating bleeding.

Note: For the treatment of ulcers and bleeding with ranitidine, the primary dose is 150 mg twice daily, once in the morning and once in the evening.

2. Gastroesophageal reflux

Gastroesophageal reflux, or reflux esophagitis, is a condition in which acid produced by the stomach backs up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and/or acid regurgitation.

Ranitidine inhibits the stimulated and basal secretion of gastric acid and reduces the production of pepsin, an enzyme responsible for breaking down food proteins during digestion. This mitigates the irritating effects of gastroesophageal reflux.

To highlight: It is recommended to take ranitidine 150 mg tablets twice a day or a single 300 mg dose at night, however the doctor will give you the therapeutic indications.

3. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and Mendelson syndrome

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a condition caused by a tumor called a gastrinoma,which is generally located in areas such as the pancreas or duodenum and produces high levels of gastrin in the blood. Gastrin is a hormone that stimulates the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.(1)

Important: In both cases, ranitidine helps to decrease gastric acid secretiontag. It is common in Zollinger-Ellison syndrome to take 3 ranitidine tablets of 150 mg three times a day, and the dose can be increased according to the evolution of the patient. Up to 6 g per day have been administered in these cases.

Regarding Mendelson’s syndrome, its use is preventive, taking an oral dose of 150 mg two hours before general anesthesiaand, preferably, another 150 mg dose the previous evening. The doctor will indicate the successive doses to prevent chemical pneumonia.(3)

Ranitidine Contraindications

The use of this medicine should be restricted in certain circumstances of the patient’s health. Here are some contraindications:

1. Sensitivity to components

Ranitidine is contraindicated in patients with sensitivity to ranitidine or some of its excipients, in the prevention of the onset of anaphylactic shock caused by drugs. (4)

2. Porphyria

Acute porphyria is a disease characterized by the appearance of a series of gastrointestinal discomforts such as severe abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, among others.

Note: In these cases, the use of ranitidine is contraindicated, since its effects could generate porphyria attacks in patients with this condition. (5)

3. Kidney and liver failure

In patients suffering from renal and hepatic insufficiency, the consumption of ranitidine should be supervised by a doctor, since it can increase the plasmatic levels of ranitidine, since this medicine is excreted in the urine.

If the use of ranitidine is necessary in patients with this pathology, it is recommended to use 150 mg tablets at night, for 4 to 8 weeks and observe their evolution.

Note: Ranitidine is partially metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine, so these organs must function efficiently during treatment with this drug.

4. Pregnancy and lactation

Ranitidine in the form of 150 mg or 300 mg tablets should be avoided during the first 3 months of pregnancy , since its harmlessness to the fetus has not been proven.

Important: It has been described that ranitidine is excreted through breast milk, so the consumption of this drug should be avoided at this stage.

5. Interaction with other drugs

Ranitidine 150 mg or 300 mg may have some interaction with other medications. It is advisable to tell your doctor about the medications you are using if you require the use of ranitidine.

Note: Try to avoid self-medication of this medicine, consult your doctor and he will surely make the necessary recommendations.

What side effects does ranitidine have?

Ranitidine in presentation of 150 mg or 300 mg tablets, may cause adverse reactions in certain people, although they are rare. We mention some of them:

1. Gastrointestinal upsets

Cases of diarrhea or constipation, nausea and vomiting, and abdominal pain have been reported with the use of ranitidine tablets in 150 mg or 300 mg presentations.

Important: In these cases you should stop using it immediately and consult your doctor before continuing with the treatment.

2. Headache, muscle pain and fatigue

Ranitidine can cause various general discomforts in some patients,despite the fact that it is a well-tolerated drug. These bothersome reactions include headache, muscle pain, or general fatigue.

Key Findings

  • Ranitidine is a medicine indicated toreduce the production of gastric juices.
  • Ranitidine is also anactive substance.
  • Its administration is safe, but it must be indicated by a doctor.
  • It should not be administered to pregnant or lactating women.
  • Its presentation is in 150 mg or 300 mg tablets, and its route of administration is oral.

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