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Supportive Care

Brand names:


Other names:

Ranitidine HCL

Often used for:

treating stomach ulcers, heartburn, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

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About Ranitidine

Ranitidine blocks the release of stomach acid. It is used to:

  • Treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); also known as acid reflux
  • Treat or prevent gastrointestinal (GI) ulcers
  • Treat heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach
  • Treat gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding

This medicine may be prescribed when receiving steroid medicines including dexamethasone and prednisone, which can irritate the stomach.

This medicine is available in prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) forms. 

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May be given as a liquid injected into a muscle

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May be given as a liquid into a vein by IV or injection

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May be taken as a tablet or capsule by mouth

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May be taken as a liquid by mouth

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Possible Side Effects

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Feeling tired
  • Rash
  • Liver problems
  • Irritation at the injection site (injection form)

Not all patients who take ranitidine will experience these side effects. Common side effects are in bold, but there may be others. Please report all suspected side effects to your doctor or pharmacist.

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Tips for Families

Be sure to discuss these and other recommendations with your doctor or pharmacist.

  • When taken by mouth, this medicine is usually taken once or twice a day.
  • This medication may affect how other medications work. Before starting ranitidine it is important to discuss all medications with your doctor or pharmacist.
  • Do not take antacids or other acid reducer medicines without talking to a doctor or pharmacist.

Ranitidine at home:

  • Give a missed dose as soon as possible. If it is near the time for the next dose, skip the dose. Do not give 2 doses at the same time.
  • For liquid ranitidine, use the measuring device that comes with the medicine.
  • Store tablets, capsules, and liquid ranitidine at room temperature. Store the liquid suspension in the refrigerator.
  • Do not use the medicine past the expiration date.
  • Follow instructions for safe handling and disposal.