ZANTAC® works to provide fast relief of the burning and discomfort of heartburn, acid indigestion, upset stomach and sour stomach thanks to its active ingredient ranitidine, which decreases the acid your stomach makes to digest food.
Ranitidine in ZANTAC® belongs to a group of drugs called Histamine 2 (H2) Blockers, also known as Histamine 2 Receptor Antagonists (H2RAs). This group of drugs helps relieve heartburn symptoms by reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces in response to histamine. This is how they do it:
Your stomach produces excess acid – This acid is produced in response to histamine released in the stomach. Histamine interacts with the cells in your stomach, known as the parietal cells, stimulating the production of acid.
Your esophagus is irritated – You feel heartburn when acid from your stomach escapes your stomach and irritates your esophagus.
The H2 Blockers take effect – H2 Blockers such as ZANTAC® interrupt the process by which histamine interacts with the cells in your stomach that produce acid.
There is less acidity – Reducing the production of acid, in turn, decreases the amount of acid that can be regurgitated during reflux, bring excess stomach acid production under control for up to 12 hours.
The way that H2 Blockers such as ZANTAC® work means you can use them both in response to heartburn, or as a pre-emptive measure.
Their rapid onset of action means they can be used “on demand” or “ad hoc” by patients with non-chronic heartburn (i.e. symptoms less than 3 times per week).
H2RAs (H2 Blockers) can be taken with or without food. H2RAs taken before eating prevent heartburn by suppressing acid production before the body can secrete acid in the response to having a meal.