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Zantac: Over the Counter, or Prescription?

What is Acid Reflux?

What does acid reflux feel like?—Painful. When that burning bile finds its way sneaking up into that delicate lining of your esophagus, relief needs to be easy and immediate. There are two main ways of treating acid reflux: the first approach is to introduce a basic material to an otherwise over-acidic environment, otherwise known as an antacid; the second approach involves reducing the body’s production of stomach acid, usually through the aid of a drug like Zantac (Ranitidine.) The following is some Zantac information intended to expedite that fiery indigestion.

Zantac Drug Interactions

Zantac is part of a family of drugs known as H2 blockers, also known as H2 receptor antagonists, which achieve their effect blocking the action of histamine on the parietal cells in the stomach, thereby decreasing the production of acid in these cells.

The Decision

Zantac prescription, or over the counter Zantac? If you find yourself wondering if you can purchase Zantac over the counter, or if you will need a prescription, you are not alone. The fact is, these acid-reflux medications come in both OTC and prescription forms depending on the severity the nature of the ailment. Zantac 75, and Zantac 150, for example, are both relatively weak variants of the drug and can be purchased over the counter; these would be used to extinguish a small brush fire in your gut. Zantac 300 contains twice the active ingredient as the 150 option, and is a prescription drug; best reserved for when you feel that raging inferno which threatens to burn a hole right through the lining in your stomach.

Though the same, (chemically) there are two possible routes to purchasing Zantac: Generic Zantac or the brand name Zantac drug. If you experiencing acid reflux in babies, there is also a Zantac syrup for infants which offers the same type of relief, but an in an easy-to-administer liquid dropper format.

Overdosing on Zantac?

It is very difficult to overdose on Zantac, as all it does it signal your stomach to stop producing acid; it is far more likely to simply lead to simply lead to physiological complications if abused—however, as with all medications, you should consult with your doctor before starting treatment.

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-BS Pharm, PharmD, RPh

Dr. Paul Zickler is a graduate of the University of Wester Ontario in 1972. After graduating from the faculty of medicine, Dr. Zickler practiced as an Emergency Physician for 18 years. He has then operated ambulatory medical and travel clinics for 12 years. Dr. Zickler has become an Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine at the University of British Columbia, a Director of Professional Programs for the Justice Institute of British Columbia (paramedic academy), a principal investigator for Phase 2 and 3 studies researching vaccines, and a founding member of the Canadian International Pharmacy Association. Dr. Zickler is passionate about combining western prescription medicine and natural medicines.

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