Overview of Ranitidine for Canines and Felines
- Ranitidine, commonly known as Zantac®, is used for dogs and cats to treat ulcers, stomach inflammation, acid reflux disease, and mast cell tumors.
- Ranitidine HCl belongs to a general class of drugs known as anti-ulcer drugs of the histamine receptor-2 (H-2) blocker class. Other related drugs in this class include famotidine (Pepcid®), nizatidine (Axid®) and cimetidine (Tagamet®).
- Ranitidine and other drugs of this class block the histamine H-2 receptor that stimulates stomach acid secretion. Thus, ranitidine blocks acid secretion in the stomach to provide a more favorable stomach pH (higher acidity).
- This drug is not approved for use in animals by the Food and Drug Administration but it is prescribed legally by veterinarians as an extra-label drug.
- Ranitidine is available over the counter but should not be administered unless under the supervision and guidance of a veterinarian.
Brand Names and Other Names of Ranitidine
- This drug is registered for use in humans only.
- Human formulations: Zantac® (Glaxo Wellcome)
- Veterinary formulations: None
Uses of Ranitidine for Dogs and Cats
- Ranitidine is used in the treatment and prevention of stomach and intestinal ulcers.
- Ranitidine may be useful in the treatment of gastritis (stomach inflammation) caused by kidney failure.
- Another use is in the management of acid reflux disease to reduce injury to the esophagus (food tube) caused by the upward movement of stomach acid.
- Dogs and cats with mast cell tumors may be treated with ranitidine or a related drug because these tumors can produce large amounts of histamine.
Precautions and Side Effects
- While generally safe and effective when prescribed by a veterinarian, ranitidine can cause side effects in some animals.
- Ranitidine should not be used in animals with known hypersensitivity or allergy to the drug.
- Ranitidine should be avoided in animals with liver or kidney disease.
- Ranitidine may interact with other medications. Consult with your veterinarian to determine if other drugs your pet is receiving could interact with ranitidine. Such drugs include theophylline, propranolol, and certain antacids.
How Ranitidine Is Supplied
- Ranitidine is supplied in 75 mg, 150 mg, and 300 mg tablets.
- Ranitidine is also available as a 150 mg effervescent tablet and 150 mg granules.
Dosing Information of Ranitidine for Dogs and Cats
- Medication should never be administered without first consulting your veterinarian.
- In dogs, the typical dose administered is 0.25 to 1 mg per pound (0.5 to 2 mg/kg), every 8 to 12 hours. It can be administered orally or by injection.
- In cats, the recommended dose is 1.5 to 1.75 mg per pound (3.5 mg//kg) every 12 hours.
- The duration of administration depends on the condition being treated, response to the medication and the development of any adverse effects. Be certain to complete the prescription unless specifically directed by your veterinarian. Even if your pet feels better, the entire treatment plan should be completed to prevent relapse.