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General Practice 2023

Ranitidine (Antak): what is it for and how to take it

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Ranitidine (Antak): what is it for and how to take it
Ranitidine (Antak): what is it for and how to take it

Ranitidine, or ranitidine hydrochloride, is a drug that inhibits the production of acid by the stomach, being indicated in the treatment of various problems caused by the presence of excess acid, such as stomach or intestinal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, or gastroesophageal reflux, for example.

This drug was definitively withdrawn from the market by ANVISA in 2020, as a potentially carcinogenic substance, called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), was detected in its composition, which originates from the degradation of the ranitidine molecule itself.

There is still no forecast for ranitidine to be available for sale again. Therefore, it is recommended to consult the doctor, so that the treatment is reassessed and another drug that can replace ranitidine is indicated, if necessary.


What is it for

Ranitidine works by decreasing the production of acid by the stomach, and is usually indicated for the treatment or prevention of some conditions, such as:

  • Stomach or intestinal ulcers;
  • Gastroesophageal reflux;
  • Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome;
  • Excessive gastric acidity;
  • Erosive esophagitis;
  • Heartburn;
  • Stress ulcer;
  • Mendelson's Syndrome.

Ranitidine can also be used to prevent damage to the lining of the stomach and the beginning of the intestine caused by the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

In addition, when associated with antibiotics, ranitidine may be indicated for the eradication of H. pylori bacteria and stomach ulcers. Learn how to identify the symptoms of stomach ulcer.

How to take it

The dose of ranitidine should always be indicated by a general practitioner or gastroenterologist, according to the condition to be treated, however, the general guidelines are:

  • Adults: the normally recommended dose is 150 to 300 mg, 2 to 3 times a day, for as long as your doctor recommends, and can be taken as tablets or syrup;
  • Children from 1 month: the normally recommended dose is 2 to 4 mg per kg of body weight, once or twice a day, as directed by the pediatrician, and the dose of 300 mg per day should not be exceeded. Typically, in children, ranitidine is given as a syrup.

If you miss a dose, take the medicine as soon as possible and take the following doses at the right time, never taking a double dose to make up for the missed dose.

Ranitidine can also be used as an injection, which must be administered by a he althcare professional, as directed by a physician.

Possible side effects

Ranitidine is generally well tolerated, however, although rare, side effects such as wheezing, chest pain or tightness, swelling of the eyelids, face, lips, mouth or tongue, fever, rashes skin rashes or cracks in the skin and a feeling of weakness, especially when standing.

In the event of these side effects, treatment should be discontinued and medical attention or the nearest emergency room sought immediately, as it may be a sign of a severe allergic or anaphylactic reaction. Know how to identify all the symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

Who should not take it

Ranitidine should not be used by people who are allergic to any of the components of the formula.

In addition, it is also contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women.

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