Ranitidine and Fertility

Black and white photo of pregnant belly

When you consider having children, many questions about your health enter your mind, so thinking about ranitidine and fertility is normal. You will want to know if your prescribed medication will hinder your ability to conceive or keep you from having a healthy pregnancy.


Ranitidine is sold under GlaxcoSmithKline's popular brand name of Zantac. This medication reduces the amount of acid in your stomach and helps aid a sour stomach while curbing heartburn and indigestion. For more serious symptoms, Zantac is prescribed to treat certain types of stomach ulcers, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD), and esophagitis. Ranitidine is often used to prevent heartburn from specific foods and beverages.

A Breakdown of Ranitidine

There are four types of Zantac that can be prescribed: Zantac 300 Tablet, Zantac 25 EFFERdose Tablets, Zantac 150 Efferdose Tablets and the Zantac Syrup. Zantac sold in capsules is also available. In some circumstances, Zantac can be administered through injection. To learn more about the composition of the medication, check out the Health Square website.

Pregnancy and Ranitidine

Studies have been performed in lab animals using ranitidine doses of 160 times the normal human dosage. The results have shown no indication of damage to the reproductive organs or to the fetuses of these lab animals. There are, however, no adequate studies that have been performed among pregnant women, so precautions should be taken with this drug once a pregnancy is confirmed.

Many women stop taking previously prescribed medications during pregnancy, especially during the first and second trimesters due to fear of harming the healthy growth of the fetus. Be sure to consult your physician with your concerns about raniditine or any other drug.

On another note, ranitidine should not be taken if you have a history of liver or kidney problems. Some doctors have linked the risk of pneumonia with taking ranitidine.

Male Fertility and Ranitidine

Studies have been conducted on the effects of ranitidine and fertility in men. The conclusion of each study has been that there are not any significant changes in sperm concentration.

On the other hand, drugs like Tagamet, also used to reduce acid in the stomach, have been known to change sperm count. Pepcid, Axid, and Zantac are safer bets in getting rid of heartburn without causing any fertility issues in males, but always check with your doctor before changing medications.

Side Effects in Pregnant Women

If you have been taking ranitidine prior to conception, you may or may not have experienced side effects. However, after conception, you may notice some of the side effects become bothersome. Notify your doctor if you experience nausea, diarrhea, headaches, drowsiness, restlessness, dizziness, any type of skin rash, or if you have trouble sleeping.

Nursing Mothers

Zantac is secreted in human milk. Most doctors recommend that you don't take Zantac when you are breastfeeding.

Controlling Heartburn Through Diet

Exercise, avoiding certain foods, concentrating on good eating habits, and other healthy pregnancy practices can help to reduce your need for ranitidine should you not want to take it while pregnant. Consult your doctor to guide you with your questions. He or she may suggest you take one of the following antacids for your acid indigestion:

  • Gaviscon
  • Maalox
  • Mylanta
  • Rolaids
  • Tums

Although having stomach acid and indigestion can be a part of pregnancy, particularly in the third trimester, this doesn't mean these uncomfortable symptoms will continue for the rest of your life. Many women who never experienced heartburn before pregnancy go back to being heartburn-free once they deliver their baby.

Other Sources on Ranitidine and Fertility

Having lots of questions about fertility and pregnancy is typical. Hopefully you will have plenty of wise counsel along the way.

The National Women's Health Information Center will help you with your search on understanding more about ranitidine and fertility. This is a good source to determine the effects of other medications as well.

The US Department of Health and Human Services will also help to educate you as you become more aware of your health needs during pregnancy.

To read more on male fertility, the Georgia Reproductive Specialists website may answer many of your questions.

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Ranitidine and Fertility