Ranitidine

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Ranitidine is an H2 blocker, a type of pharmaceutical that decreases the amount of acid produced by the stomach [1] It is sold under the brand names Zantac and Tritec.

Why It's Prescribed

"Ranitidine is used to treat ulcers; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the food pipe (esophagus); and conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter ranitidine is used to prevent and treat symptoms of heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach."[2]

Labeled uses include:[3] Duodenal Ulcer, Dyspepsia, Erosive Esophagitis, Gastric Ulcer, Gastroesophageal Reflux, Heartburn, Maintenance of Healing Duodenal Ulcer, Maintenance of Healing Erosive Esophagitis, Maintenance of Healing Gastric Ulcer, Multiple Endocrine Neoplasia, Systemic Mastocytosis, and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

Additionally, unlabeled uses include:[4] NSAID-Induced Gastric Ulcer, Prevention of Stress Ulcer, and Upper GI Bleed.

Form, Route, and Dosage

As a prescription, Ranitidine is available as a tablet, an effervescent tablet, effervescent granules, and a syrup to take orally. Over-the-counter ranitidine is only available as a tablet.[5] Both prescription and over the counter ranitidine is available in either 75mg or 150mg.[6][7] In the over the counter version, both strengths direct patients to take 1 tablet to treat or prevent heartburn and no more than 2 tablets per day. Typically, patients are prescribed no more than 300mg of ranitidine per day.[8]

Risks

Side Effects

Some patients taking this medication might experience side effects, including:[9]

  • headache
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • stomach pain

As a Pollutant

Because humans and animals often do not fully metabolize pharmaceuticals in their body, they can excrete drugs or their breakdown products, which may the enter the environment.[10]

In Sewage Sludge

Ranitidine has been found in sewage sludge. In the Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey, a 2009 test of 84 samples of sewage sludge from around the U.S., the EPA found ranitidine in 46 samples (55%) in concentrations ranging from 3.83 to 2,250 parts per billion.[11] There are no federal regulations governing how much of this drug may be present in sewage sludge applied to land as fertilizer.

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

References

  1. Ranitidine: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed August 31, 2010.
  2. Ranitidine: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed August 31, 2010.
  3. Ranitidine: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  4. Ranitidine: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  5. Ranitidine: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed August 31, 2010.
  6. Drugstore.com, Accessed August 31, 2010.
  7. Ranitidine: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  8. Ranitidine: Dosage, Uses, and Warnings, Accessed September 2, 2010.
  9. Ranitidine: MedlinePlus Drug Information, Accessed August 31, 2010.
  10. O.A.H. Jones, N. Voulvoulis, and J.N. Lester, Human Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Treatment Processes, Environmental Science and Technology, 2005.
  11. Targeted National Sewage Sludge Survey Report, US EPA website, Accessed August 28, 2010.

External resources

External articles