This leaflet is about the use of ranitidine for acid reflux.
This leaflet has been written specifically about the use of this medicine in children. The information may differ from that provided by the manufacturer. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
Brand names: Ranitic®, Zantac®
In acid reflux, the contents of the stomach come back up (reflux) into the food pipe, which is painful and can damage the food pipe. Ranitidine reduces the amount of acid in the stomach, which reduces the symptoms of acid reflux.
Ranitidine may be given once, twice or three times each day. Your doctor will tell you how often to give it.
Give the medicine at about the same time(s) each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.
Your doctor will work out the amount of ranitidine (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
Tablets should be swallowed with a glass of water, milk or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet.
Dispersible tablets should be dissolved in 10 mL of water (two medicine spoons). Gently stir this mixture into a small amount of fruit (such as apple, orange or pineapple), or into apple sauce or yoghurt. Do not use milk, fizzy water or other fizzy drinks. Your child should eat/drink all the mixture straight away.
Liquid medicine: Measure out the right amount using a medicine spoon or oral syringe. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount.
The medicine will give some relief from acid reflux after about 2 hours. However, it works best when given regularly. It is therefore important that you continue to give ranitidine every day, as prescribed by your doctor, even if your child feels well.
If you usually give it once a day: Give the missed dose when you remember, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due.
If you usually give it twice each day: If you remember up to 4 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose. For example, if you usually give a dose at about 7 am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 11 am. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Wait until the next normal dose.
If you usually give it three times each day: Do not give the missed dose. Wait until the next normal dose.
Ranitidine is normally a safe drug and is unlikely to cause any problems if you give an extra dose by mistake. If you worried that you may have given your child too much ranitidine, contact your doctor or NHS Direct (0845 46 47 in England and Wales; 08454 24 24 24 in Scotland). Have the medicine or packaging with you if you telephone for advice.
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Your child may get the following side-effects when they first start taking ranitidine but they should wear off. If they are still a problem after a week or so, contact your doctor.
If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.
Your doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about ranitidine and about other medicines used to treat acid reflux.
Version 1.2, June 2011 (November 2011). © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: June 2013.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.