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Zantac EFFERdose (Generic Ranitidine)

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Why is this medication prescribed?

Ranitidine is a medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. It is commonly prescribed for the treatment of conditions related to excess stomach acid production. The main uses of ranitidine include:

  • Gastric and Duodenal Ulcers: Ranitidine is often prescribed to heal and prevent ulcers in the stomach and duodenum (the upper part of the small intestine).
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): It is used to treat GERD, a condition in which stomach acid regularly flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and heartburn.
  • Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome: This is a rare condition where the stomach produces too much acid. Ranitidine can help manage the excessive acid production associated with this syndrome.
  • Erosive Esophagitis: Ranitidine may be prescribed to treat erosive esophagitis, which is inflammation and damage to the esophagus caused by stomach acid.

Ranitidine works by blocking the action of histamine on certain cells in the stomach, reducing the production of acid.

How should this medicine be used?

As for how ranitidine should be used, it is typically taken orally, either with or without food. The dosage and frequency of administration depend on the specific condition being treated and the individual’s response to the medication. It’s important to follow the doctor’s instructions and the instructions on the prescription label.

Here are some general guidelines:

  • Tablets/Capsules: Swallow the tablet or capsule whole with a glass of water.
  • Effervescent Tablets: Dissolve the effervescent tablet in a glass of water before drinking.
  • Oral Solution: Measure the oral solution with a dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup.
  • Timing: It is often taken once or twice daily, with the evening dose taken before bedtime for conditions like GERD.
  • Consistency: Try to take ranitidine at the same time(s) each day to maintain a consistent level of medication in your system.

It’s important to complete the prescribed course even if symptoms improve, unless otherwise directed by the healthcare provider. If you have any concerns or questions about the use of ranitidine, it’s best to consult with your doctor or pharmacist for personalized advice based on your health condition. Additionally, please note that as of last update, there may have been developments or changes in medical guidelines, so it’s advisable to consult the latest sources for the most up-to-date information.

Other uses for this medicine

Some potential off-label uses of ranitidine may include:

  • Stress Ulcer Prophylaxis: Ranitidine may be used to prevent stress ulcers in critically ill patients, particularly those in intensive care units.
  • Eosinophilic Esophagitis: In some cases, ranitidine may be considered as part of the treatment for eosinophilic esophagitis, a chronic allergic disorder that affects the esophagus.
  • Allergic Reactions: Some physicians may prescribe ranitidine for its anti-histamine properties to alleviate symptoms of certain allergic reactions.

What special precautions should I follow?

Special precautions should be taken when using ranitidine, and it’s crucial to follow the healthcare provider’s recommendations. Here are some general precautions:

  • Allergies: Inform your healthcare provider if you are allergic to ranitidine or any other medications.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your doctor if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding, as the safety of ranitidine in these situations may need to be assessed.
  • Medical Conditions: Discuss your medical history with your healthcare provider, especially if you have kidney problems or a history of acute porphyria.
  • Interactions: Ranitidine may interact with other medications, so inform your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking.
  • Caution in Certain Populations: Ranitidine should be used with caution in the elderly and in individuals with impaired liver function.
  • Long-term Use: Long-term use of ranitidine may be associated with certain risks, and the benefits of continued use should be weighed against potential risks. It’s important to discuss the duration of treatment with your healthcare provider.
  • Follow-up: Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are important to monitor your response to the medication and address any potential side effects or changes in your health.

N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a chemical that may cause human cancer, was found in small amounts in several ranitidine products, raising concerns. As a result, some ranitidine products were recalled, and regulatory bodies issued alerts. It’s critical to stay up to date on any safety-related discoveries involving ranitidine and to seek the most recent advice from medical experts.

Always take medications as prescribed, and if you have any concerns or questions about ranitidine or its use, consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice based on your specific health condition.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

  • Meal Timing: Ranitidine is often taken with or without food. However, it may be more effective if taken before meals. Follow your healthcare provider’s instructions.
  • Avoid Certain Foods: If you are taking ranitidine for conditions like acid reflux or heartburn, your healthcare provider may suggest avoiding certain trigger foods such as spicy or acidic foods.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

  • Missed Dose: If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it’s almost time for your next scheduled dose, skip the missed one and continue with your regular schedule.
  • Double Dose: Do not double up on doses to make up for a missed one. Taking more than the prescribed amount can increase the risk of side effects.
  • Consult Your Doctor: If you consistently forget doses, or if you have any concerns, it’s essential to consult your healthcare provider. They can provide guidance based on your specific situation.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Ranitidine is generally well-tolerated, but like any medication, it may cause side effects in some individuals. Not everyone will experience these side effects, and they can vary in severity. Common side effects of ranitidine include:

  • Headache: Some people may experience headaches while taking ranitidine.
  • Dizziness or Lightheadedness: A feeling of dizziness or lightheadedness can occur in some individuals.
  • Constipation or Diarrhea: Changes in bowel habits, such as constipation or diarrhea, may occur.
  • Nausea or Vomiting: Some individuals may experience nausea or vomiting.
  • Stomach Pain: Abdominal discomfort or stomach pain can occur as a side effect.
  • Muscle Pain: Some individuals may experience muscle pain or discomfort.

These side effects are often mild and may go away as your body adjusts to the medication. However, if any of these side effects persist or worsen, it’s important to inform your healthcare provider.

In rare cases, more serious side effects may occur. Contact your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Allergic Reactions: Symptoms of an allergic reaction may include rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness, or difficulty breathing.
  • Irregular Heartbeat: Ranitidine may rarely cause a slow or irregular heartbeat.
  • Severe Stomach or Abdominal Pain: This could be a sign of a more serious condition.
  • Yellowing of Eyes or Skin (Jaundice): This could indicate a problem with the liver.

If you are taking ranitidine or considering it, it’s essential to discuss potential risks and benefits with your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized advice based on your health history and the latest information available.

It’s important to note that in 2020, concerns were raised about ranitidine products containing low levels of a probable human carcinogen called N-nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA). As a result, several ranitidine products were recalled, and regulatory agencies issued warnings. Due to these concerns, healthcare providers may have transitioned patients to alternative medications.

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Storage and Disposal of Ranitidine:


  • Store ranitidine at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.
  • Keep the medication in its original packaging to protect it from moisture.
  • Do not store ranitidine in the bathroom.


  • Check with your pharmacist or local waste disposal company for guidelines on how to dispose of unused or expired medications.
  • Do not flush medications down the toilet unless explicitly instructed to do so.
  • Follow any specific disposal instructions provided by your healthcare provider or pharmacist.

In case of emergency/overdose

If you suspect an overdose or experience severe symptoms, seek emergency medical attention. Symptoms of overdose may include:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Rapid or irregular heartbeat
  • Severe dizziness or fainting
  • Unexplained tiredness or weakness
  • Confusion
  • Seizures

What other information should I know?

  • Regular Follow-up: Attend regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider to monitor your response to ranitidine and address any concerns or changes in health.
  • Interactions: Inform your healthcare provider about all medications, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, vitamins, and herbal supplements you are taking. Ranitidine may interact with certain medications.
  • Recall Information (as of my last update): Due to concerns about impurities, some ranitidine products were recalled in 2020. Keep informed about any updates or recalls related to ranitidine.
  • Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Inform your healthcare provider if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or breastfeeding. The use of ranitidine during pregnancy should be discussed with a healthcare professional.
  • Allergies: If you are allergic to ranitidine or any similar medications, inform your healthcare provider.
  • Medical History: Provide your healthcare provider with your complete medical history, especially if you have kidney problems or a history of acute porphyria.
  • Special Populations: Use ranitidine with caution in the elderly and individuals with impaired liver function.
  • Long-Term Use: Discuss with your healthcare provider the duration of treatment and potential risks associated with prolonged use.

Always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions for the use of ranitidine, and consult them if you have any questions or concerns. Additionally, given the evolving nature of medical information, it’s important to stay informed about any developments related to ranitidine and to consult healthcare professionals for the latest guidance.

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