Ranitidine is used to prevent and treat stomach conditions related to acid, like ulcers and GERD. This medication is available over the counter or by prescription and reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach. Lower acid levels decrease the pain of heartburn and related conditions and allow the stomach and intestinal tract time to heal. Some ranitidine interactions and side effects can include allergies, an increased pneumonia risk, and potential interactions with food and other medications.
Patients taking this medication should avoid consuming alcohol; drinking can damage the stomach and stomach lining. Other food-related ranitidine interactions involve smoking and products that contain nicotine. Tobacco or nicotine-related ranitidine interactions, considered minor, can cause patients to feel an increased effect from nicotine products. Cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and nicotine-based medications can all interact with ranitidine.
Individuals who are allergic to ranitidine should not take the medication. Minor to moderate ranitidine interactions can occur due to an allergic reaction, including facial swelling, hives, and breathing difficulties. Some medical tests can interact with this medication as well; patients should advise a doctor or the person administering the test of their ranitidine use.
There are several hundred medication-related ranitidine interactions. Some medications have ranitidine interactions considered to be minor, while others have moderate interactions. Vitamins, over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription antidepressants, and cholesterol medications may trigger ranitidine interactions. Patients prescribed ranitidine should check with a doctor and pharmacist for interactions with other prescribed or commonly taken medications.
Some of the most common medications that can cause ranitidine interactions can bring about a reduction in effectiveness of either the ranitidine or the other medication in question. Some vitamins, including Vitamin B12, won't be readily absorbed by the stomach when ranitidine is used. Drugs with an enteric coating can be affected by ranitidine use; the coating may break down too early, causing the drug to be released in the stomach instead of in the intestines. Pain killers, antidepressants, and time-release medications may have this type of interaction with ranitidine.
Disease interactions occur when a medication is known or suspected to cause problems with certain medical conditions. Ranitidine can cause a disease interaction in patients suffering from some kidney and liver problems and may cause problems with dialysis. Consulting a doctor about a disease and ranitidine use is one of the best ways to avoid an unwanted reaction.