GERD Home > Zantac Warnings and Precautions

For people taking Zantac, warnings and precautions to be aware of include its potential effect on those with kidney or liver disease. If you have acute porphyria, your healthcare provider may suggest alternatives to Zantac. Other Zantac warnings and precautions involve not taking the medication at all if you are allergic to Zantac, ranitidine hydrochloride, or any inactive component used to make the medication.

Zantac Warnings and Precautions: An Introduction

Before starting Zantac® (ranitidine hydrochloride), let your healthcare provider know if you have:
  • Kidney disease or kidney failure
  • Liver disease, including liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Acute porphyria
  • Phenylketonuria.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
It's also important to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you may be taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Some Zantac Warnings and Precautions

Some Zantac warnings and precautions to be aware of include the following:
  • Zantac can interact with certain medications (see Zantac Drug Interactions).
  • Zantac is considered a pregnancy Category B medication. This means that Zantac is probably safe for use during pregnancy. However, because Zantac has not been studied in pregnant women, the full risks of using Zantac during pregnancy are not known. Women who are pregnant should take Zantac only if its benefits outweigh the risks it may present to the developing baby. Be sure to discuss Zantac's possible risks and benefits with your healthcare provider before using Zantac during pregnancy (see Taking Zantac While Pregnant for more information).
  • Zantac is passed through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start breastfeeding, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about this. He or she can decide whether taking Zantac while nursing would be okay for your particular situation.
  • Because the kidneys clear Zantac from the body, the usual dose of Zantac must be reduced in people with poor kidney function, including kidney failure (renal failure).
  • The liver also helps to clear Zantac from the body. Talk to your healthcare provider before taking Zantac if you have liver problems, including liver failure or cirrhosis.
  • Some of the symptoms of GERD, heartburn, or ulcers are similar to stomach cancer symptoms. Just because Zantac helps to relieve these symptoms does not rule out the possibility of stomach cancer.
  • For people with acute porphyria, Zantac may cause porphyria attacks. Acute porphyria is a condition involving a problem with certain liver enzymes. Zantac is not the best choice for people with acute porphyria.
  • Zantac EFFERdose® tablets contain phenylalanine (2.81 mg per 25 mg tablet or 16.84 mg per 150 mg tablet). This is important for people with phenylketonuria, as they must limit their intake of phenylalanine. Regular Zantac tablets do not contain phenylalanine.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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