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What Is Ranitidine Used For?

How Ranitidine Works

Ranitidine is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. Ranitidine works by blocking a certain type histamine receptors (Type 2). Histamine is a chemical that has several different effects in the body. In the stomach, histamine causes the stomach to increase its production of stomach acid. By blocking histamine in the stomach, ranitidine decreases stomach acid production. In addition to decreasing the amount of stomach acid produced throughout the day, ranitidine also helps control the increase in stomach acid that usually occurs after meals.

Is Ranitidine Used for Children?

Ranitidine is approved for use in children and babies as young as one month old. Ranitidine is used for GERD in children and babies (see Infant GERD), as well as for ulcers and erosive esophagitis. However, do not use over-the-counter ranitidine to treat young children, and you should always check with a healthcare provider before giving medication to children.
(Click Infant Zantac for more information.)

Is Ranitidine Used Off-Label?

On occasion, your healthcare provider may recommend ranitidine for treating something other than the conditions discussed above. This is called an "off-label" use. At this time, there are a few off-label ranitidine uses, such as:
  • Preventing ulcers in people in an intensive care unit (ICU) of a hospital (this use is also known as "stress ulcer prophylaxis")
  • Preventing acid-related pneumonia during surgeries.

Ranitidine HCl

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