The main uses of ranitidine tablets include treating stomach and intestinal ulcers, as well gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This is because it is an H2 histamine blocker, which means that it can decrease the amount of stomach acid in the body, relieving heartburn and healing ulcers. It is not only known for treating ulcers, but also for preventing them, and keeping them at bay once a patient has been treated for one or more. Erosive esophagitis and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can also be treated with these tablets. In general, the job of this medication is to control stomach acid so that it does not cause discomfort or erosion of the esophagus.
One of the most common uses of ranitidine tablets is treatment of ulcers in the stomach. For example, this pill is often used to treat active duodenal ulcers, which tend to heal within about four weeks due to this medication. Active gastric ulcers can also be treated with ranitidine tablets, though these frequently take up to six weeks to heal. Once the ulcer has healed, this type of tablet can also be taken to ensure that it does not return, though the dosage is usually decreased. Most patients with ulcers take the tablets at night before bed, and they typically continue the treatment for as long as their doctor recommends.
Patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease often take ranitidine tablets about a half hour before meals to relieve heartburn. This medication helps treat GERD by blocking histamine, which is a chemical that promotes the production of acid. Histamine usually begins stimulating the body to create stomach acid just after meals, so taking ranitidine tablets before eating can provide some balance in the stomach. Additionally, taking this medication right before bedtime can ensure that the body does not produce excess stomach acid overnight.
Those with other conditions that involve heartburn and erosion in the esophagus can usually benefit from ranitidine tablets, as well. For instance, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is characterized by tumors in the duodenum and pancreas, resulting in the stomach producing too much acid. This often leads to peptic ulcers located in the duodenum, which can usually be prevented by reducing acid secretion in the first place. Additionally, erosive esophagitis is the term for swelling and inflammation in the esophagus due to refluxed stomach contents, often caused by GERD, pregnancy, obesity, caffeine, or spicy foods. Fortunately, this issue can typically be treated with ranitidine tablets since they can reduce the acid that usually comes up with the contents of the stomach during reflux.