Ranitidine Hydrochloride

Ranitidine Hydrochloride is in the class of medications called histamine-2 (H2) blockers. This is used to prevent gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcers. 

Histamine is a naturally occurring chemical that stimulates cells in the stomach to produce acid. The cells are called parietal cells. H2 blockers prevent the action of histamine on the cells. Therefore, it lessens the production of acid by the stomach. Since too much stomach acid can damage the stomach or esophagus and lead to inflammation and ulceration, decreasing stomach acid prevents and heals acid-induced ulcers and inflammation. 

Ranitidine Hydrochloride is a prescription already approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This comes as a tablet with a dosage strength of 150 mg for oral use. 

Gastroesophageal reflux disease occurs when contents from your stomach persistently and regularly flow up into your esophagus. The esophagus may be referred to as the food pipe and is the tube that transports food from the mouth to the stomach. The acid and the esophagus cause heartburn and other symptoms, also possible tissue damage. Many people experience acid reflux from time to time. GERD is mild acid reflux that happens at least twice a week. Common signs and symptoms of this condition are chest pain, difficulty swallowing, or sensation of a lump in your throat. 

Peptic ulcers develop on the inside lining of your stomach and the upper portion of your small intestine. This condition is an open sore that has the most common symptom which is a stomach pain. There are two types of peptic ulcers;

  • Duodenal ulcers – occurs on the inside of the upper portion of your small intestine 
  • Gastric ulcers – occurs on the inside of the stomach 

How It Works

Ranitidine Hydrochloride blocks H2 receptors that stop the cells from producing too much stomach acid. H2 receptors are to be found on the cells inside the stomach lining. Natural body chemical called histamine usually acts on these receptors that cause them to produce stomach acid to help digest food. This drug also lessens the backflow of acid into the food pipe that can cause heartburn symptoms and damage to the food pipe. By lessening the amount of acid in the stomach and duodenum, this medicine allows peptic ulcers to heal. 

Your indigestion and heartburn should start to feel better within an hour or 2 hours. The effects will usually last for around 12 hours. It may take a few weeks for this medication to work properly. Depending on your problems, you may still have some acid symptoms during this time. 

How To Use

This prescription is taken as directed by your doctor. Each dose is taken either with or without a meal. The tablet is taken by mouth with a full glass of water. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Drink plenty of fluids while having this treatment. 

The dosage is based on your medical condition, age, weight, and response to the treatment. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. Take it regularly for the best benefit of this product. Take each dose exactly as it is given by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than the prescription. Your doctor may give you a lower dose to start and gradually increase it. Do not suddenly stop this treatment without the consent of your doctor. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. 

Side Effects

Common side effects:

  • Constipation
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain or discomfort 
  • Muscle pain
  • Sleep problems or nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Fatigue

If these side effects occur, call your doctor right away and stop taking a dose of the drug;

  • Jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes)
  • Dark urine
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fast or slow heart rate
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Problems with your skin or hair
  • Chills or fever
  • Cough with mucus
  • Chest pain 
  • Feeling short of breath 

If you have signs of an allergic reaction, call for medical help right away:

  • Hives or itching
  • Trouble breathing 
  • Swelling of your lips, face, throat, or tongue


  • Before taking Ranitidine Hydrochloride, inform your doctor if you have any medical history especially kidney or liver problems. 
  • Let your doctor know if you ever had an allergic reaction to this drug. Tell as well if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • This is not for use in children younger than 12 unless it is directed by your doctor. Older adults may also be more sensitive to the side effects of this medicine. 
  • Using this drug may increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms may be fever, chest pain, or coughing up green or yellow mucus. Talk to your doctor about your specific risk of developing pneumonia. 
  • Do not share this with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours. 
  • Let your doctor know about all the medication you are taking including the vitamins or herbal supplements. You should not start a new medication without telling your doctor. 
  • If you are breastfeeding women, consult your doctor first. If you get pregnant or planning to become pregnant while having this medication, call your doctor right away. 
  • If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose, and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not double the dose to make up for the missed dose.
  • During pregnancy, this should only be used if needed. Discuss the risks and benefits with your doctor. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant before using Ranitidine Hydrochloride.
  • This should be used with caution in people who have difficulty or pain swallowing, have blood in their poo, who’ve had a peptic ulcer, or who are taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug. 
  • People who’ve had peptic ulcer in the past, with persistent vomiting, who’ve needed to use heartburn remedies continuously for 2 or more weeks, Ranitidine Hydrochloride should also be used with caution.