It works by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces.
This medicine belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers (or H2-antagonists) and acts by blocking the H2 receptors, that stops the cells from producing excessive stomach acid.
Acid is produced naturally in the stomach to help you digest food. However, excessive amounts of acid (due to various reasons) can irritate the lining of your stomach, ultimately leading to ulcers, inflammation, and other conditions.
This medicine is available as both a generic and brand-name drug and is available in an over-the-counter form and a prescription form.
The prescription form (found as a table, tablet, oral syrup, or oral capsule) is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and other conditions. The over-the-counter form is used to treat acid indigestion, heartburn, and upset stomach.
In October 1984, the Food and Drug Administration approved this medicine. It is on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines, that is a list of the safest and effective meds required in a health system.
Take this H2 blocker by mouth without or with food, typically once or twice a day or as directed by your healthcare provider.
Also, this medicine may be prescribed 4 times per day for some disorders.
It is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition in which the muscle at the end of your esophagus does not close properly and leads to a backward flow of acid from the stomach which causes injury of the food pipe or heartburn.
Furthermore, it is used in conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, like – Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a disorder in which the human body produces too much of the hormone gastrin). Also, this medicine is used to prevent and treat ulcers in the intestines and stomach.
More importantly, it is used to prevent bleeding from stress ulceration in the gut in patients who are critically ill.
Side Effects And Precautious of Zantac
- tender breasts and impotence (in men);
- constipation or diarrhea;
- fatigue, vomiting, or nausea;
- stomach pain;
- muscle pain;
- difficulty having an orgasm;
- decreased sex drive;
- sleep problems;
Notes – using this medicine to decrease acid reflux may also help mask signs and symptoms of heart disease that may mimic acid reflux symptoms.
It may also increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Signs and symptoms of pneumonia include:
- chest pain;
- coughing up yellow or green mucus;
- shortness of breath.
Symptoms of B12 deficiency include:
- nerve problems;
- low mood;
According to a 2019 study from Austria, individuals who use H2 blockers have a 100 percent increased risk to need drugs to control allergy symptoms.
Study senior author Dr. Erika Jensen-Jarolim said:
“Many people have gastric [stomach] complaints and many people take anti-acid medicine.”
Dr. Erika Jensen-Jarolim later added:
”The longer the treatment with these medicines, the higher the risk of allergies.”
There are not enough studies to determine if it’s safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women. Hence, it is recommended to avoid if possible.
Omeprazole, usually sold as Zegerid or Prilosec, belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors that work by decreasing considerably the amount of stomach acid produced.
This medicine can be injected into a vein or taken by mouth. It is found both as a prescription or over-the-counter medication.
The prescription form is used to treat certain ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and infections caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacteria.
The over-the-counter form is used to treat heartburn (commonly due to regurgitation of gastric acid into the esophagus).
This drug is on the WHO’s List of Essential Medicines. It was discovered in 1979 and was approved by the FDA in 1989.
It is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease, duodenal or gastric ulcers, hypersecretory conditions (where your stomach makes too much acid), and erosive esophagitis.
Moreover, it is used to prevent acid aspiration (inhalation of acid from the stomach) while under general anesthetic. Also, it is used (in combination with antibiotics) to eradicate Helicobacter pylori bacteria in the gut which cause peptic ulcers.
It may be taken for Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare condition caused by a tumor in the gut or pancreas.
Frequent side effects include:
- cold symptoms (sneezing, stuffy nose, and sore throat);
- gas and constipation;
- stomach pain;
- nausea and vomiting;
Very rare side effects include:
- loss of appetite;
- joint pain;
- a general feeling of illness;
- burning urination;
- a frequent urge to urinate;
- sores in the mouth;
- chills or fever;
- bloody urine;
- crusting sores on the lips;
- back pain.
Do not intake alcoholic drinks while using this proton pump inhibitor. It may increase your risk of side effects.
Do not use the medicine more often than once every 120 days without first talking to your healthcare professional or take the nonprescription form for longer than two weeks.
Do not take this drug if you are allergic to any benzimidazole medication, like – mebendazole or albendazole.
Ranitidine vs Omeprazole – Which Is Better To Reduce Stomach Acid?
Both medicines are available over-the-counter, and according to research, both are effective to relieve gastroesophageal reflux disease heartburn symptoms.
However, both medicines work in different methods to reduce stomach acid – one is an H2 blocker and the other is a proton-pump inhibitor.
Ranitidine starts working within 24 hours after ingesting, and Omeprazole also starts working within 24 hours, but it may take up to 96 hours for the full effect.