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Erosive Esophagitis
When ranitidine was studied for erosive esophagitis (damage to the lining of the esophagus, often due to stomach acid), healing was seen in 84 percent of people taking the drug, compared to 58 percent of people not taking it. Ranitidine was also shown to be effective for preventing erosive esophagitis from returning once it had healed.
Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions
Ranitidine has been studied in several pathological hypersecretory conditions (where too much stomach acid is produced), including Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, systemic mastocytosis, and "short-gut" syndrome. These studies showed that the medication is effective in decreasing stomach acid production and relieving symptoms, including diarrhea, pain, and loss of appetite.

When and How to Take Ranitidine

Some general considerations for when and how to take ranitidine include the following:
  • The medication comes in tablet form. Depending on the condition, it is usually taken by mouth one to four times a day.
  • Ranitidine is also available as peppermint-flavored Zantac syrup (which is available only with a prescription).
  • Brand-name ranitidine (Zantac) also comes in an EFFERdose® tablet form that has a light citrus taste. EFFERdose tablets are meant to be dissolved in water before being taken. Zantac EFFERdose is especially effective for use in children. These tablets are available only with a prescription.
  • Do not chew EFFERdose tablets or swallow them whole. Also, they should not be dissolved on the tongue. Instead, the tablets must be dissolved in a certain amount of water before they are taken.
  • You may take ranitidine with or without food. If you are using the over-the-counter form to prevent heartburn, you should take it 30 to 60 minutes before eating or drinking foods that cause heartburn (up to twice a day).
  • Take ranitidine at the same time(s) each day to maintain an even level in your blood. If you take the drug just once a day, it is usually best to take it in the evening or before bedtime.
  • For ranitidine to work properly, you must take it as prescribed. The medication will not work if you stop taking it.

Ranitidine HCl

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