Ranitidine is an H2 blocker popularly sold under the brand name “Zantac.” It is a medication that helps in reducing the acid production level in the stomach. The drug is mostly prescribed to patients with heartburn, Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer, and Zollinger Ellison Syndrome.
The active ingredient contained in Zantac is ranitidine chloride. Each tablet contains 75mg, 150mg 0r 300mg of ranitidine. Ranitidine has a bitter taste and a Sulphur-like odour. Patients need to ensure that they take the drug in the right doses. Otherwise, there may be serious side effects.
The Ranitidine drug is not suitable for-
- People with kidney problems
- People with some sugar intolerance, e.g., fructose
- People who cannot have alcohol
- People with the rare inherited illness of phenylketonuria
- People on low calcium or low salt diet
- People with an allergy to Ranitidine or other medications, etc.
However, the drug is safe to take at any time during pregnancy, and it comes in the form of; pill, oral solution, oral syrup, injection. Unfortunately, the medication is being recalled because it may contain unacceptable amounts of nitrosodinethylamine (NDMA). The acceptable daily intake, as prescribed by the FDA, is 96 nanograms per day. This guides us to the question, “what is the substitute for Ranitidine?“
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Uses of Ranitidine
Ranitidine is generally used as an antacid. The following are some of the uses of Ranitidine;
Ranitidine for Heartburn
Excess acid produced by the stomach causes heartburn. As an H2blocker, Ranitidine treats heartburn by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach. It can generally be taken before or after a meal, but it is usually taken 30-60minutes before having dinner for maximum effect. Not more than two tablets are taken in 24hrs, except otherwise prescribed by your doctor.
Ranitidine for Acid Reflux
When the acidity level in the stomach is high, it tends to result in reflux. To treat this, Ranitidine is usually prescribed. Just like in the case of heartburn, Ranitidine is best taken before eating for maximum effect. To be safe, it is best to receive a prescription from authorized medical personnel.
Ranitidine for GERD
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is caused by frequent acid reflux from the stomach. It is an extreme acid reflux case when acid frequently flows back into the oesophagus, thereby irritating. Ranitidine heals the irritation in the lining of your oesophagus and also reduces the amount of acid your stomach produces.
Ranitidine for Ulcer
The drug helps heal ulcers of the stomach and intestines and prevents them from reoccurring after healing.
Ranitidine for Zollinger Ellison Syndrome
Ranitidine has proven to be an effective therapy for patients with Zollinger Ellison Syndrome. However, the dosage could be as high as 3000 mg/day. It acts as an acid suppressant in such patients as the syndrome is caused by stomach or gastric acid.
Substitutes for Ranitidine
Now that we know the functions of Ranitidine, we can safely say that the following are good alternatives to Ranitidine.
Prilosec, popularly known as omeprazole, has been given credit for giving long-lasting relief from heartburn and excess release of stomach acid secretion, GERD, Duodenal ulcer, and esophagitis. It lasts longer than other classes of acid reducers, including Zantac and Pepcid. Omeprazole is also safe for consumption by children aged 1year and above. It comes in the form of a tablet or powder.
Prevacid medication is used to treat a wide range of acid-related illnesses. They include; GERD, intestinal ulcer, Barrette’s oesophagus, Zollinger Ellison Syndrome, stomach bacteria infection (helicobacterphyloril), etc.
It comes in the form of liquid, extended-release, or dissolving tablet extended-release. This may not be the best choice for patients aged 65years and above due to bone fractures’ risk.
This particular drug is an over -the –counter (OTC) medicine rather than prescription medicine. It takes an extended time to see the effects than antacid other medication. Nexium is majorly used to treat NSAID- induced gastric ulcers, bacteria infection, and GERD. It comes in the form of pills, injections, or packets. Just like Prevacid, Nexium is not advised for aged patients due to the risk of bone fractures and severe diarrhoea.
Protonix is usually taken once a day. It lasts longer than most antacids. Unlike other proton pumps, it can be taken before or after a meal, and it will still have the same effect. Unlike its counterparts, this drug is only available as prescription medicine, unlike prescription and OTC medicines. It can lower the magnesium level in a patient’s body. Hence the need to take a supplement simultaneously.
Protonix treats GERD, esophagitis, Zollinger Ellison Syndrome, prevents stress ulcer stomach re-bleeding and reduces stomach acid. It comes in the frame of a pill or packet.
Pepcid helps in treating a vast array of acid illnesses. They include; indigestion, excessive stomach acid secretion, duodenal ulcer, Gastritis, Gastrointestinal bleeding, and stress ulcer prevention.
It is available in pills, chewable tablets, and liquid. This medication can, however, cause serious side effects for people with kidney disease. It is advised to ask authorized medical personnel for the appropriate prescription.
A lot of these medications have various risk factors. In any case, a doctor’s advice should be sought before advancing to take any such medication. Lifestyle habits also need to be changed to reduce over-reliance on or entirely stop medication used to treat these acid illnesses. Some natural substitutes for Ranitidine include;
- Smaller, more frequent feedings babies are less likely to have refluxes if their tummies are not full.
- Upright position after feeding at least for 30 minutes.
- Changing your diet(for breastfeeding mothers).
- Changing your baby’s formula after identifying the cause of reflux, e.g., food allergies.
- Using thickening agents in baby meals to keep milk in the baby’s stomach.
- Identify and avoid foods that trigger reflux or heartburn symptoms.
- Lose weight around the abdomen to reduce pressure on internal organs
- Improve digestion; this can be achieved by taking a high-quality digestive enzyme supplement and not passing our digestive abilities.
- Heal inflamed gastric tissues by removing irritants (like tobacco, alcohol, strong pain relievers), followed by soothing natural therapies like Dyglycerize liquorice (DGL), aloe, Zinc carnosine, and glutamine.
- Minimize stress: Our bodies best digest food in a rested and relaxed state.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why has Ranitidine been banned?
It was recently removed because it was discovered to contain unacceptable levels of nitrosodinemethylanime (NDMA), which are cancer-causing substances
What is the safest Acid reflux medicine?
For mild reflux symptoms that occur less than twice a week, you can start with a small dose of Pepcid (famotidine). Otherwise, it is best to ask a doctor for expert advice.
Can breastfeeding mothers take Ranitidine or its substitute?
Generally, it is safe. Only small quantities will pass through breast milk, which is harmless to the baby. But in the case of premature babies or babies with help problems, consult your doctor for assistance.
Before taking any substitute for Ranitidine or any other medications, it is best advised to talk to a doctor. It would be best to consider possible risk factors, allergies, dosage, and other factors. Hopefully, this article will help you identify suitable alternatives to Ranitidine as it is no longer being administered.