Precautions and Warnings With Ranitidine
Some precautions and warnings with ranitidine concern the problems the drug may cause for people with acute porphyria. Other warnings involving ranitidine have to with taking a lower dose of the medication if you have certain kidney problems (such as kidney disease or kidney failure). Ranitidine passes through breast milk, so if you are nursing or planning to start nursing, it's important to discuss this with your healthcare provider before starting the medication.
Before you start taking ranitidine hydrochloride (Zantac®), let your healthcare provider know if you have:
- Kidney disease or kidney failure
- Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
- Acute porphyria
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Are breastfeeding.
It's also important to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Some warnings and precautions with Ranitidine to be aware of include the following:
- Ranitidine can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Ranitidine).
- Ranitidine is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that ranitidine is probably safe for use during pregnancy. However, because it has not been studied in pregnant women, the full risks of using ranitidine during pregnancy are not known. Women who are pregnant should take ranitidine only if the benefits outweigh the risks to the developing baby. Be sure to discuss ranitidine's possible risks and benefits with your healthcare provider before using ranitidine during pregnancy (see Taking Zantac While Pregnant for more information).
- Ranitidine is passed through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this. He or she can decide whether taking ranitidine while nursing would be okay for your particular situation.
- Because the kidneys clear ranitidine from the body, the dose of ranitidine must be reduced in people with poor kidney function, including kidney failure (renal failure).
- The liver also helps to clear ranitidine from the body. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking ranitidine if you have liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis.
- Some of the symptoms of GERD, heartburn, or ulcers are similar to stomach cancer symptoms. Just because ranitidine provides relief from your symptoms does not rule out the possibility of stomach cancer.
- For people with acute porphyria, ranitidine may cause porphyria attacks. Acute porphyria is a condition involving a problem with certain liver enzymes. Ranitidine is not the best choice for people with acute porphyria.
- Zantac EFFERdose® tablets contain phenylalanine (2.81 mg per 25 mg tablet or 16.84 mg per 150 mg tablet). This is important for people with phenylketonuria, as they must limit their intake of phenylalanine. Regular ranitidine tablets do not contain phenylalanine.