GERD Home > Zantac

Zantac is a medicine that is used to treat various conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. By blocking a specific kind of histamine receptor in the body, the medication can help treat heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, gastric ulcers, and other conditions. Zantac is available over the counter or by prescription and comes in a number of different strengths. Common side effects of the drug include headache, constipation, and diarrhea.

What Is Zantac?

Zantac® (ranitidine hydrochloride) is a medication that is available as both a prescription medicine and an over-the-counter drug. It is used to treat several conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Zantac belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers.

Who Makes Zantac?

GlaxoSmithKline manufactures prescription Zantac. Over-the-counter Zantac is made by Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. Generic Zantac (both prescription and over-the-counter) is made by several manufacturers.

What Is It Used For?

Uses of prescription Zantac include the treatment of:
  • Duodenal ulcers (ulcers in the very first part of the intestine after the stomach) -- It can be used to treat a duodenal ulcer and also to prevent ulcers from coming back.
  • Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers) -- Zantac helps to heal a stomach ulcer and to keep ulcers from returning.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
  • Erosive esophagitis (damage to the esophagus, usually due to stomach acid) -- It can be used to heal erosive esophagitis and to prevent it from returning.
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions (in which too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome or systemic mastocytosis.
Over-the-counter Zantac is approved for the following conditions:
  • Heartburn
  • Acid indigestion
  • Sour stomach.
Over-the-counter Zantac can be used to treat these problems once they have started. Also, it can be used to prevent these problems if taken before eating or drinking foods or beverages that may cause heartburn.
(Click Zantac Uses for more information on what the drug is used for, including possible off-label uses of the medication.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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