December 17, 2018

Zantac Side Effects

Zantac is a part of a class of drugs known as histamine-2 blockers. This group of drugs stops histamine from damaging the lining of the stomach, duodenum and the esophagus. Too much acid can cause ulcers and inflammation. By blocking the acid that causes the inflammation, Zantac can heal individuals who suffer from ulcers or stomach acid related problems. Known by the generic name of ranitidine, Zantac is available in 25, 75, 150 and 300 milligram doses.

Benefits of Zantac

Doctors normally prescribe Zantac for patients who suffer from acid reflux, Zollinger Ellison syndrome, ulcers and heartburn. For heartburn sufferers, Zantac is generally taken an hour before a meal or beverage that induces heartburn. Although it is available over-the-counter, patients should never take Zantac for a period longer than two weeks unless their doctor prescribes it.

Zantac Side Effects

Stomach acid is used by the body to break down nutrients and prepare them to be absorbed by the body. By preventing stomach acid, Zantac can make it more difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Individuals who are taking vitamins or iron salts may find it difficult to absorb the entire amount. Drugs that are absorbed in the stomach may also have problems being taken in by the body. These drugs include itraconazole and ketoconazole.

zantac side effectsCommon side effects of Zantac include insomnia, vomiting, constipation, nausea, dizziness, muscle pain, fatigue and headaches. In rare cases, patients may suffer from hair loss, hallucinations, easy bruising, agitation, anemia, irregular heartbeat, jaundice, confusion or depression. Many of these side effects are related to the way Zantac inhibits stomach acid. If the body cannot absorb all of the nutrients it needs, side effects like anemia (iron deficiency) may result. In these instances, the symptoms may disappear if Zantac is no longer used. Patients should always consult their doctor if they experience any of these side effects.

The overall side effects of using Zantac include:

  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Hair loss
  • Insomnia
  • Vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle pain
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Easy bruising
  • Anemia
  • Jaundice
  • Feelings of confusion
  • Feelings of agitation
  • Headaches
  • Constipation
  • Rash
  • Changes to vision
  • Dark urine
  • Mood changes

pregnant womanWomen and Zantac

Women who are taking Zantac should discontinue use if they become pregnant. There are no clinical studies done on the risk of taking Zantac during pregnancy. Unless told to do so by a doctor, women should avoid taking Zantac while they are nursing or pregnant. On rare occasions, people may have an allergy to Zantac. If individuals are allergic to the medication, they should stop using it and consult with their doctor.

Additional Warnings

Patients who are going to take Zantac should tell their doctor if they are allergic to any other medications. Individuals who have lung diseases, kidney disorders, immune system issues or other stomach issues should alert their medical practitioner before taking Zantac. Zantac is not intended for children under the age of 12 unless a doctor specifically recommends it.

Elderly patients are also at a greater risk for side effects. Zantac is processed by the kidneys as it is removed from the body. As individuals age their kidney function declines. When elderly patients take Zantac, their kidneys will remove the drug at a slower rate from the body. This puts them at an overall higher risk of side effects and complications. Older patients should discuss any concerns or risk factors with their doctor before taking the medication.

The average patient should have no issue taking Zantac. If individuals take large doses or are on the medication for extended periods of time, they are more likely to suffer negative side effects. Although Zantac carries few major risks, patients should always talk to their doctor before they start taking Zantac. If patients experience any side effects, they should immediately seek medical care. The symptoms on this list include many of the known side effects of Zantac, but other side effects are possible. If the patient is suffering from a different side effect after taking Zantac, they should visit a medical practitioner and report their symptoms to the FDA.