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What Are the Uses of a Ranitidine Injection?

By H. Lo
Updated May 17, 2024
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A ranitidine injection provides short-term treatment for ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and problems in the stomach and throat due to excess acid. Ranitidine itself is an H2 histamine blocker that a patient usually takes in tablet, granule, or syrup form. When a patient is unable to take an oral form of the medication, a doctor might prescribe the ranitidine injection instead. If at all possible, the patient should switch over from the ranitidine injection to an oral form of the medication when he or she is able.

The patient will receive the ranitidine injection from a trained health care professional, who will inject the medication into the patient’s vein or muscle. Prior to receiving the medication, the site of the injected is sterilized with rubbing alcohol. The medication itself is a mixture of fluids that is colorless, yellow, or in between the two in color. In addition, the medication does not contain any particles. For safety reasons, if the medication is discolored or has particles in it, the patient should avoid using that particular mixture.

The prescription depends on the patient’s specific medical condition, as well as how well he or she responds to treatment. Dosage for a child might rely on how much he or she weighs. In addition, pregnant women or women who plan to breastfeed should talk to a doctor before using ranitidine. The doctor will assess the woman’s health to ascertain whether or not she needs to take the medication. For the elderly, dosage varies as well, since they are at higher risk of experiencing side effects of ranitidine.

Less serious side effects of ranitidine include diarrhea and constipation, as well as headache and upset stomach. While these less serious side effects do not require immediate medical attention, they can become persistent or severe, in which case the patient should speak to his or her doctor. More serious side effects include allergic reaction and changes in mood or vision. Abdominal pain, dark urine, and extreme tiredness are additional serious side effects, as well as infection, irregular heartbeat, and unusual bleeding or bruising. In addition, the site of the ranitidine injection might exhibit some pain, redness, or stinging.

Some patients might experience symptoms while using ranitidine that are not necessarily side effects of the medication, but symptoms of other, more serious medical conditions. For example, a patient might suffer chest pain, jaw pain, or shoulder pain. These and other symptoms might indicate problems of the heart, kidney, or liver. As such, it is important for a patient to let a doctor know about any other medical conditions before taking ranitidine.

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