Zantac Side Effects
Zantac is a medication that is available over the counter and by prescription in larger doses that is used for the treatment of certain gastrointestinal problems. It is taken normally once or twice daily as directed by a health care provider. Unlike other treatments for stomach issues like everyday gas and indigestion, Zantac is for the treatment of specific gastrointestinal problems. These include ulcers in the intestines and stomach, problems arising from an abundance of stomach acid, and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). And, while effective at managing symptoms, there are some Zantac side effects to be aware of that are associated with the drug’s active ingredient, ranitidine.
Ranitidine, according to Wikipedia, is a histamine H2-receptor antagonist. Its primary function is to limit the amount of acid being produced in the stomach. Before being pushed aside in favor of proton pump inhibitors designed also to combat stomach acid related conditions, ranitidine was the best selling prescription medication in the world. And, it is still commonly used to treat many conditions including peptic ulcer disease. One of the reasons why ranitidine’s mass market use declined for use in acid reflux and ulcer treatment was because of adverse effects from the medication. And, concerns about Zantac side effects are still considered when it is passed over instead for other medications like proton pump inhibitors.
For peptic ulcers however, Zantac (ranitidine) is still a fairly common treatment method. Essentially, a peptic ulcer is an open sore that can occur at various points throughout the gastrointestinal system. Sometimes, these sores can appear on the lining of the esophagus. They can also be found on the lining of the small intestine and in the stomach. They can be caused by bacteria (H. Pylori) or medications most commonly. When Zantac is used for the treatment of peptic ulcers, it works by minimizing gastric acid which can prevent discomfort and allow for and promote healing of the sores.
There are some Zantac side effects that occur in most drugs that perform similar function and are also h2-receptor antagonists. Decreased absorption of medications is one of these common gastric medications side effects, and Wikipedia points out that this is because some medications, like anti fungals, require the stomach to be somewhat acidic (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ranitidine). And, because of the effect that acid suppressing medications have on protein breakdown, Zantac side effects, like other similar gastric medications, may include an increased risk of food allergies. Unfortunately, another well known problem with histamine h2-receptor antagonist gastric medications is a relationship between the medication and the body’s absorption of the very important vitamin, B12.
Side effects specific to Zantac range from mild to severe. Some of the most common Zantac side effects reported by users include feelings of nausea and dizziness, along with stomach cramps, vomiting and diarrhea. Stomach bloating and incomplete bowel evacuation are also considered less adverse effects of the medication. Less commonly, rare side effects such as depression, blurry vision, restlessness, and a slow or abnormal heartbeat have occurred. Even less commonly, pneumonia, interstitital nephritis and hallucinations have been encountered by users of Zantac. And, there are many other Zantac side effects that have been experienced by people taking the medication above and beyond those mentioned here.
Zantac dosage is not the same for everyone. In adults, the dose is commonly either two 150 mg doses each day or one 300 mg dose each day. In children however, particularly when Zantac for babies is prescribed, the dosage is typically calculated based on body weight. The medication should always be taken at the same time each day and be used for the length of time advised by a health care provider. Because of Zantac side effects and the way that stomach acid inhibition can relate to the way that vitamins and medications are absorbed, it is important that a doctor be involved with treatment plans that utilize Zantac.
All medications, even natural ones, carry either known side effects or the risk of potential side effects occurring at some point during treatment. Medicines are prescribed or recommended to individuals when the benefits of treatment outweigh the risk of side effects. While no longer a front runner in the battle against stomach acid production, and in spite of Zantac side effects, the medication still has its place amongst remedies for common and uncomfortable gastrointestinal ails like ulcers. And its acid ceasing mechanism of action may be just what the doctor ordered (literally) to help remedy certain stomach maladies.