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What is ranitidine?

Ranitidine (also called Zantac®) blocks the release of stomach acid. It is used to treat stomach ulcers. It can relieve the pain and discomfort caused by ulcers and heartburn associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (also called GERD or acid reflux). Ranitidine is available in these forms:

  • 75-mg and 150-mg peach-colored, film-coated, five-sided tablets taken by mouth
  • A clear, peppermint-flavored liquid taken by mouth
  • A clear liquid given by vein (IV)

Possible side effects of ranitidine

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Rash
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Feeling drowsy
  • Temporary changes in liver function

These are the most common side effects, but there may be others. Please report all side effects to the doctor or nurse.

In case of a severe side effect or reaction, call the doctor, nurse, or pharmacist at 595-3300. If you are outside the Memphis area, dial toll-free 1-866-2STJUDE (1-866-278-5833), and press 0 once the call is connected.

Special instructions for ranitidine

  • You may receive this drug when you are taking a steroid medicine called dexamethasone or prednisone. Steroids can sometimes irritate the stomach. Ranitidine may protect your stomach from this side effect.
  • You may receive the IV form of ranitidine to add to your TPN fluid. Mix the dose that is ordered into the TPN fluid just before you use it. Discard the remaining rantidine in the vial each day. Ranitidine is stable for only 24 hours in the TPN fluid or in the vial. 
  • Ranitidine may affect the way other medicines work. These medicines include:
    • Warfarin
    • Phenytoin
    • Ampicillin
    • Iron
    • Diazepam
    • Ketoconazole
    • Itraconazole
  • Always tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medicines or if you start taking any new medicine while you are taking ranitidine.
  • You can buy medicines similar to ranitidine (cimetidine and famotidine) without a prescription. Do not take these medicines while you are taking ranitidine without telling your doctor or pharmacist.


This document is not intended to take the place of the care and attention of your personal physician or other professional medical services. Our aim is to promote active participation in your care and treatment by providing information and education. Questions about individual health concerns or specific treatment options should be discussed with your physician.

St. Jude complies with health care-related federal civil rights laws and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, or sex.

ATTENTION: If you speak another language, assistance services, free of charge, are available to you. Call 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

ATENCIÓN: si habla español, tiene a su disposición servicios gratuitos de asistencia lingüística. Llame al 1-866-278-5833 (TTY: 1-901-595-1040).

تنبيه: إذا كنت تتحدث باللغة العربية فيمكنك الاستعانة بخدمات المساعدة اللغوية المتوفرة لك مجانا. .يرجى الاتصال بالرقم. 5833-278-866-1  (الهاتف النصي: 1040-595-901-1).