Ranitidine is an acid reducer available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that relieve or prevent heartburn symptoms associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. It may be written as ranitidine or ranitidine hydrochloride, but it is the same active ingredient. Ranitidine is part of a group of acid reducers called histamine-2 antagonists, or H2 blockers.

Ranitidine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label directions. If you have kidney disease, you should not use an OTC containing ranitidine, unless you are under the advice and supervision of a healthcare provider.

  • You have had heartburn for more than three months.
  • You have frequent chest pain, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, nausea or vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • Your heartburn is accompanied by lightheadedness, sweating, or dizziness.
  • You are experiencing chest or shoulder pain with shortness of breath; sweating; pain spreading to your arms, neck, or shoulders; or lightheadedness.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • You have kidney disease, unless your healthcare provider tells you to.
  • You are allergic to ranitidine or other acid reducers.
  • You have trouble or pain swallowing food, you are vomiting with blood, or you have bloody or black stools.
  • You are currently using another acid reducer.
  • Your heartburn continues or gets worse.
  • You need to take the medicine for more than 14 days.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.
  • Talk to a healthcare provider before giving an OTC medicine containing ranitidine to a child under the age of 12.
  • Click here for more information on giving OTCs to children.