Zantac During Pregnancy

Heartburn is a common discomfort experienced in the early trimester which gets worse later on. Zantac is one of the safest over-the-counter medications which reduces the stomach acid and helps in lowering the heartburn. Also known as Acid reflux, it is a burning sensation in the chest which may develop due to several hormonal changes and the pressure put by the growing fetus. Making dynamic changes in the lifestyle and dietary habits can ease the condition.

How Pregnancy Causes Heartburn?

The high levels of Progesterone provide extra relief to the valve between the Esophagus and the stomach driving the acid into the throat which may cause irritations and indigestion. Due to expansion, the uterus can also send some stomach acid to the Esophagus.

Is It Safe?

Ranitidine or Zantac treats the Nausea, Acid reflux, Heartburn, and Indigestion during the trimesters. It is one of the members of histamine-2 blockers which also cures Mendelson’s Syndrome.  However, consulting a doctor before the usage is beneficial to avoid any future complications.


It is a drug under the B category as per the US FDA which means it is a safe OTC. However, doctors advise avoiding it to treat the mild heartburn, i.e., three times or less in a week. They instead suggest changing the lifestyle and the diet to prevent the medication.

The initial drug prescription for heartburn is an OTC antacid or sucralfate. Antacids have calcium which reflects safety whereas sucralfate absorbs a little calcium in the bloodstream posing no threat to the fetus. If they are non-effective, the doctor may suggest Zantac.

Zantac & Breastfeeding

Tell the doctor if breastfeeding because the active ingredient in Zantac excretes in human breast milk. However, the effects are unknown.


Zantac takes time to be effective therefore one needs to consume approximately 30-60 minutes before eating to prevent heartburn. One can take 75 mg once or twice a day if having light heartburn while on the other hand, Zantac (150 mg) is optimum for moderate heartburn. The dosage will depend on:

  • The age
  • Height
  • Weight
  • Nature of the condition
  • Gender
  • Other medical conditions if any
  • Response to the medication


  • IM (into the muscle) injection: 50 mg in 6-8 hours

Intravenous (IV) injections

  • Intermittent Bolus: 50 mg in 6-8 hours
  • Intermittent Infusion: 50 mg 6-8 hours
  • Continuous Infusion: 6.25 delivery rate  mg/hour
  • Treating Zollinger-Ellison: At 1 mg/kg per hour of rate

Note: Avoid taking consumption over 300 mg a day. If the problem remains for more than the second week of taking the dosage, tell the doctor immediately as it might be indicating some other risks.

Side Effects Of Zantac & Interactions

  • Drowsiness
  • A headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness which may cause a fall leading to complications
  • Fatigue
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Diarrhea

Some severe side-effects include low platelet counts which reduce the acid levels in the stomach. The interaction with these drugs can make the conditions worse:

  • Itraconazole
  • Atazanavir
  • Itraconazole
  • Procainamide
  • Gefitinib (Iressa)
  • Warfarin (Coumadin)
  • Triazolam (Halcion)
  • Midazolam
  • Indinavir
  • Delavirdine (Rescriptor)
  • Atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • Atazanavir
  • Iron Salts

How Does It Work?

It reduces acid levels which relieve heartburn resulting from indigestion due to poor eating habits or by drinking certain harmful beverages. It is handy as an OTC medication without a prescription. Zantac comes in the form of tablets containing ranitidine in two strengths of 75 mg and 15 mg. The drug belongs to the class of histamine medications also known as H2 blockers which help in reducing the amount of stomach acid preventing heartburn symptoms. Zantac that is available only when prescribed is for more gastrointestinal severe diseases including the Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and ulcers. It will not cure nausea until it is related to the heartburn.

When To Contact The Doctor?

Seek medical help soon on facing issues like:

  • Blood in the vomit
  • Trouble while swallowing
  • Black or bloody stools
  • Symptoms of heartburn for three months or longer
  • Rash
  • Swelling
  • Fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Porphyria attacks

Also, inform if suffering from:

  • Are allergic to Zantac
  • Any history of acute porphyria
  • History of liver or kidney disease
  • Are breastfeeding
  • Heartburn for more than three months which could be indicating a severe issue
  • Heartburn with sweating, dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Chest or shoulder pain
  • Constant chest pain
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Taking any vitamins or herbal supplements

Note: Seek the medical help immediately in case of an overdose of Zantac.

ICD-9 and ICD-10 Codes

ICD-9 code is 973.0

ICD-10 code is Z79.84

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