Ranitidine hydrochloride, or as it is more commonly known, Zantac, is a pharmaceutical drug most often used in the treatment and prevention of duodenum and stomach ulcers, though it has other uses that we will expand upon later. The drug was subject to extreme media controversy after it was linked to a rise in cancer cases; many people have since taken the company who manufactured and distributed the drug to court or are in the process of doing so. The drug has since been recalled and the dangerous elements removed, or so the manufacturers say.
In this article, we are going to tell you a few things about Zantac, so that you can make the decision as to whether you should stay away from it, or whether you should use it. We hope that you will take the time to read this entire page so that you can make an informed decision as to whether you should take the drug or not.
Should you stay away from Zantac? Here is what you need to know about this drug.
What is Zantac?
Zantac is classified as an H2 – which means ‘histamine-2’ and is a receptor blocker. The drug is still used and is still prescribed, though doctors are careful after the scandal and the issues developed by patients who were using the drug. The drug is most often used to treat ulcers, though can also be used, quite effectively I might add, for treating heartburn, erosive esophagitis, and Zollinger Ellison syndrome, all of which can be very debilitating conditions and can significantly impact the quality of a person’s life.
If you intend on taking the drug, then it is important that you are well aware of the potential side-effects that you might experience – remember, however, virtually all drugs have side-effects, even some of the most commonly taken drugs, such as paracetamol, ibuprofen, and codeine.
- Constipation is one of the most oft-reported side-effects associated with Zantac use, it is a very irritating side-effect, and one that deters many from using the drug;
- Diarrhea and constipation often go hand in hand with Zantac usage, it is generally one or the other that people experience, if you have a strong stomach you may be constipated, if weak, you may experience diarrhea;
- Fatigue is a side-effect that, while less common, can be very annoying and hinder the quality of a patient’s life. Fatigue is overwhelming tiredness that can leave you having to lie down or sleep;
- Severe migraine-like headaches are also very common among patients who are using Zantac, with some patients going as far as to say that the headaches are the worst that they have ever had in their entire lives;
- Drowsiness is also very common among users of the drug, though is usually accompanied by insomnia, which worsens the situation, being that the patient becomes incredibly drowsy but is unable to sleep, which makes them more tired and can lead to manic states.
Other commonly reported side-effects are impotence, muscular pain; nausea; vomiting; stomach cramps; swollen and tender breasts, in both men and women, and an inability to orgasm during sex.
Appropriate Dosages for Taking Zantac
When a person is starting a trial of Zantac, they will likely be administering the drug through tablets, though others take the drug as syrup, and some even inject the drug intravenously. Whichever your method of administration and use is, be sure to use only the recommended dosage as set out by your doctor, or your care provider. Do not exceed or abuse the drug, for side-effects can worsen, and there are no ‘highs’ one can experience with the drug. Adhere to the dosage recommendation and do not exceed it.
Zantac is well known for interacting negatively with other drugs, notorious in fact. Zantac can interact with warfarin, triazolam, glipizide, triazolam, midazolam, ketoconazole, delavirdine, gefitinib, and procainamide. If you are already taking any of these drugs, it is imperative that you tell your doctor and do not take the drug until they have cleared you and given you the green light to go ahead.
When it comes to pregnant women, it is important that they contact their doctor before taking the drug. Zantac can feed into breast milk if you are breastfeeding, and while no negative reactions with pregnant women have been reported, the drug is dangerous at times and should definitely be checked through by a GP.
Zantac is a drug that can do a lot of good, despite the negative media coverage. Even so, you should do thorough research before taking the drug so that you can ensure that you do not fall sick, take ill, or take the drug unnecessarily. Thank you for reading people, be safe.