Newest Review: ... remedies I find come in this form (Rennies or Gaviscon). So for me, the Zantac 75 tablets, which must be swallowed with water are th... more
Member Name: Meggysmum
Advantages: Work quickly, long-acting
Zantac 75 Relief are sold OTC in various sizes bur the 48 pack costs about £12. This is very expensive but I find the packet last us for ages as you don't need to use many at a time and the shelf life of the packs I buy are usually at least 3 or 4 years.
The tablets are supplied in foil strips inside a predominantly white box with blue writing and a blue and red picture. I have never found the box very striking and even when I am working I have trouble spotting them on a shelf as they are not very eye-catching at all. They are available in smaller sizes than the one that I buy; I think there are 12s and 24s.
These tablets are marketed for relieving heartburn and indigestion. Ranitidine is a H2-receptor antagonist which means that it stops excessive acid production by the stomach. It is also very selective so does not produce many side-effects. Many indigestion and heartburn symptoms are caused by acid in the stomach and also acid from the stomach pushing up, past the sphincter at the top of the stomach causing pain known as reflux. When reflux is very severe or occurring a lot at night it can cause a nasty taste in the mouth as well as the pain.
These tablets are not suitable for people under the age of 16 without a prescription. The dose for adults is one tablet taken with water as soon as symptoms appear. If there is little or no relief after one dose then another tablet can be taken after at least an hour. The maximum dose in 24 hours is two tablets.
I never suffered from indigestion until I became pregnant and then I suffered dreadful reflux and indigestion. I gulped my way through bottles of Gaviscon at the time but I have been left with a tendency to suffer odd bouts of indigestion ever since. (To save any confusion I will point out that Zantac are not suitable to be taken during pregnancy except on a Drs Advice.) I tend to suffer when I have eaten a richer diet than normal and my husband tends to suffer if he has drunk alcohol several times during a week.
The tablets are a pretty pale pink in colour and are shaped rather like a shield which makes them very distinctive. They are film coated so have no flavour and are small enough that they can be swallowed easily with water. My daughter, who is 17, tends to suffer heartburn when stressed about exams and she is the worlds worst at taking tablets but she even manages to swallow these without too much trouble.
I usually find that I can start to feel the effects within about half an hour. The manufacturers state that they start to work within 20 minutes but I think that is rather hopeful. If I managed to catch the symptoms early, that is when they are just starting to niggle then I find one tablet is adequate but if I have left it longer I will often take the double dose. This normally stops all of the symptoms and I don't have to take any the following day as my symptoms do not reappear. Whilst my daughter is doing her exams I tend to give her one tablet twice a day for a couple of days to make sure that the distressing symptoms don't come back. If you know that a meal or alcohol intake will start your symptoms then it is recommended that you take one about 20 minutes before you start o indulge to help- prevent the symptoms developing. I must say that when I was a pharmacy student (many years ago) I used to take one of these along with a couple of paracetamol and a pint of water as soon as I got home from a heavy drinking session and I never suffered hang-overs or queasiness in the mornings so they obviously did me some good!
My husband has always suffered more than me and he will often end up taking them for a couple of days, especially over the Christmas period or when we are on holiday. The manufacturers state that you can take them for up to 6 days if required but if symptoms persist for longer than this then you should visit a Dr as the effectiveness of these can mask the beginning of serious conditions such as gastric ulcers which may need stronger treatment.
We are a basically healthy family so these tablets are suitable for us but there are quite a range of people who should not use them without a Drs advice. Diabetics, people with liver or kidney problems, older people who suddenly start getting new symptoms or any patient with sudden weight loss or chronic stomach pain. These can be indicators of more serious problems that general indigestion and should be investigated. If you are taking warfarin or other anticoagulants or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatories you should speak to the pharmacist first too.
Zantac is like any other drug in that it has a list of side-effects but it is generally well-tolerated and none of us have ever had any problem taking it but you should always read the leaflet in the box just in case.
I would recommend these to anyone who suffers from annoying indigestion. I have tried things like Rennies and although they do offer some relief I find that it is the long-acting nature of Zantac that makes it a much better treatment. Once I have taken my dose I can forget about it and I can be confident that the symptoms won't come back. Although expensive to buy I find I may only take a couple of tablets a month whereas I used to take far more of the ordinary indigestion relief tablets so I am sure it is probably quite cost effective for me.
Summary: Great for relieving heartburn