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Ranitidine is a prescription-only medicine used in the treatment of excessive acid in the stomach. It is also used to treat other conditions in the stomach, intestine, and oesophagus.

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UK Meds asked our favorite doctor, Dr. Christian Jessen, to explain Acid Reflux. Below is what he has to say.

Acid reflux, also known as indigestion, heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a very common condition which is characterised by a burning or gnawing pain, usually felt around the middle of the lower chest area. It's caused by acid escaping up into the esophagus from your stomach. Doctors would consider you to have acid reflux if you feel the symptoms of heartburn more than twice in a week.

While the lining of your stomach is adapted to protect it from the strong stomach acid, your esophagus is not. If the muscle which prevents acid leaking up from the stomach into your esophagus fails, the acid can irritate it causing pain, which is often felt just after having a meal.

There are a number of over the counter prescription medications which can help with the discomfort of acid reflux by reducing the amount of acid made in the stomach, such as Esomeprazole, Lansoprazole and Omeprazole, and you can find them here at UK Meds.

- Dr. Christian Jessen

The video and article above is for information purposes only. They are not intended to diagnose a condition or prescribe a medicine. If you have any specific concerns about your health, please consult your GP or use our online doctor's service. You can follow Dr. Christian Jessen online on his Twitter account.

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What is Ranitidine?

Ranitidine is a medicine used to prevent excessive production of acid in the stomach. It is a histamine-2 blocker that belongs to the same class as famotidine and cimetidine. It is also available as branded medication under the names Zantac. It is a prescription drug used to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines and to prevent intestinal ulcers from coming back after they have healed.

It is also used to treat certain stomach and throat problems such as erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It works by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach makes. It relieves symptoms such as cough that doesn't go away, stomach pain, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. It belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers.

How does Ranitidine work?

Ranitidine is a histamine-2 blocker. It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Histamine is a chemical in the stomach that stimulates the production of acid. H-2 blockers like it inhibit the histamine on the stomach cells, which results in the reduction of acid produced in the stomach. Excessive acid can damage the stomach, oesophagus, and duodenum, leading to ulceration and inflammation. Reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach helps prevent inflammation and ulcers caused by excessive acid.

What are the benefits of taking Ranitidine?

Ranitidine is also used in the treatment of other throat and stomach problems such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is to be taken as directed by your doctor. Do not increase or reduce the dosage, or use it for longer than recommended by your doctor. It should be taken with a glass of water. The tablet must be swallowed whole without chewing or crushing. It can be taken with or without a meal.

You should stop taking Ranitidine and inform your doctor immediately if your symptoms continue after you started taking the medication or if the symptoms do not improve after taking the drug for 14 days.

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Take tablets as directed by your doctor.

The usual dose for treating ulcers and GERD is 150 mg taken twice daily or 300 mg taken as a single dose at bedtime. If there is a need to take a maintenance dose of the medication, it is taken at 150 mg daily.

Side Effects & Precautions

As with any other medication, Ranitidine may cause some side effects. Not everyone who uses the medication will experience side effects, they are typically mild, and they may improve as the body adjusts to the drug. The common side effects include a headache, diarrhoea, and constipation. Immediately call your doctor if the side effects worsen or if they persist. Inform your doctor immediately if you have any severe side effects such as severe stomach pain, vomiting, yellowing of the skin and eyes, or dark urine.

A severe allergic reaction to Ranitidine is rare, but if you experience any symptoms of an allergic reaction such as a rash, swelling of the face/throat/tongue, itching, trouble breathing, and severe dizziness, you should seek medical advice urgently. Before you start taking this medicine, inform your doctor of your medical histories such as any existing liver or kidney problems, stomach problems, or blood disorders.

Do not self-treat with this medication. It is always best to consult your doctor because your condition may require other medications.

Share with your doctor a list of medications that you are currently taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins supplements and herbal products. Your doctor shall determine if any of those medications can interact with Ranitidine. Children younger than 12 years old should not take this medication unless directed by a doctor.

Pregnant women must be cautious in using Ranitidine. It should be taken when necessary and according to the directive of a doctor. It passes into the breast milk. If you are breastfeeding, consult first with the doctor before taking this medication.

How do I buy Ranitidine online?

You can safely buy this medicine at UK Meds. You need to go through an online consultation with a medical doctor before your order will be supplied, subject to approval. The online consultation will ensure that it is the right medication for your medical condition.