Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Kidney function: Kidney disease or reduced kidney function may cause this medication to build up in the body, causing side effects. If you have reduced kidney function or kidney disease, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Pneumonia: People with lung disease, a weak immune system, or diabetes may be at an increased risk of developing pneumonia while taking ranitidine. If you have any of these conditions, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Porphyria: Ranitidine may cause attacks of a condition called acute porphyria (a disorder that affects the production of heme in the body). People with a history of acute porphyria should not take ranitidine.
Stomach Cancer: Using medications such as ranitidine may prevent symptoms of stomach cancer from being noticed. If you have recurrent vomiting, difficulty swallowing, blood in the stool, significant unintentional weight loss, fatigue (anemia), or are coughing up blood, check with your doctor right away.
Use with NSAIDs: If you are also taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs; e.g., diclofenac, ibuprofen, naproxen), your doctor should closely monitor your condition, especially if you are a senior or have a history of ulcers.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking ranitidine, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication have not been established for children under 8 years of age.
Seniors: Seniors may be more likely to experience interactions with other medications when taking ranitidine. If you are a senior, your doctor should closely monitor your condition.