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In clinical studies of Zantac, sexual side effects (such as impotence) were reported in a few cases; however, these side effects were not more common in people taking Zantac than they were in the general population. Therefore, it does not appear that taking Zantac increases the risk of impotence or decreased sex drive. If you experience what may be Zantac sexual side effects, your healthcare provider may be able to suggest treatment that may help.

Zantac Sexual Side Effects: An Overview

As with all medicines, Zantac® (ranitidine hydrochloride) has possible side effects. In clinical studies of Zantac, a few cases of impotence (erectile dysfunction or ED) and decreased sex drive were reported. However, these side effects were not more common in people taking Zantac than in the general population, suggesting that Zantac does not increase the risk of impotence or decreased sex drive.

Understanding Clinical Trials

Before medicines are approved, they must go through several clinical studies where thousands of people are given a particular medicine and compared to a group of people not given the medicine. In these studies, side effects are always documented. This way, it is possible to see what side effects occur, how often they appear, and how they compare to the group not taking the medicine. Side effects are then usually separated into those that occur in more than 1 percent of people and those that occur in less than 1 percent of people.
Yet clinical trials are designed to factor out many possible variables in order to understand whether the medicine works and its possible side effects. This means that, once approved, it is possible that new side effects may occur since a wider range of people are now taking the medicine and for longer periods of time. However, once a medicine is approved, there are usually no more studies conducted on it, so certain side effects that occur very rarely may never be documented (especially if it is not a serious side effect). Bottom-line, in some people, it's possible that a medicine may cause a side effect that hasn't been reported before.
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Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
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