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Updated June 09, 2014

Doctor talking with patient in office
Terry Vine/Blend Images/Getty Images

Generic Name:

  • Ranitidine
Brand Name:
  • Zantac
  • Zantac 75
  • Zantac EFFERdose
  • Zantac Premixed
  • Zantac Syrup
  • Tritec
Zantac is available in both prescription and over-the-counter forms.

Why is Zantac Prescribed?

Zantac is in a class of medications called H2 Blockers. It decreases the amount of acid made in the stomach. It has been prescribed in the treatment of peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophagitis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter Zantac has been prescribed by doctors for the treatment and prevention of of acid indigestion-related heartburn and sour stomach. Many doctors only prescribe prescription-strength H2 Blockers for the treatment of ulcer and esophagitis symptoms, and have their patients use over-the-counter forms for relief of symptoms of GERD, acid indigestion and sour stomach.

Precautions to Follow when Taking Zantac

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Zantac or any other drugs.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Zantac, call your doctor.

  • Tell your doctor if you have or have ever had porphyria, phenylketonuria, kidney disease or liver disease.

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications or vitamins you are taking.

What If You Forget a Dose?

Consult your physician before taking a missed dose. Your doctor will be able to determine if it is safe to do so, or if you should wait until your next scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Side Effects of Zantac

Zantac may cause some side effects. For most people experiencing side effects, they usually disappear after a few doses. If, however, any of the following symptoms are severe or do not go away, call your doctor:
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
Call your doctor at any time if you experience any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Storage Conditions for Zantac

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.


"Understanding Some of the Medications Often Prescribed for GERD & Ulcers." Common GI Problems: Volume 1. American College of Gastroenterology. 24 Apr 2007

Kenneth R. DeVault M.D., F.A.C.G., and Donald O. Castell M.D., M.A.C.G., "Updated Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease." doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.41217.x. American College of Gastroenterology. 24 Apr 2007

"Effectiveness of Therapies for GERD" American College of Gastroenterology. 24 Apr 2007

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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Heartburn/GERD
  4. Meds / Remedies
  5. H2 Blockers
  6. Zantac - H2 Blocker - Treatment for Acid Reflux

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