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Histamine H2 Receptor Antagonist and Prokinetic
Dogs, Cats, Horses
May Be Prescribed by Vets for:
Treatment or prophylaxis of ulcers
Search for Available Dosage Forms
Ranitidine is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist which is used to treat and prevent ulcers of the gastrointestinal tract. Other drugs in this family include cimetidine and famotidine. These drugs prevent the stomach from producing acid by competitively inhibiting the binding of histamine at the receptor on the parietal cells of the stomach. They are effective in treating the symptoms of ulcers, and in preventing ulcers from occurring in those at risk. These drugs are metabolized in the liver and excreted in the urine.
Ranitidine is used in dogs and cats to treat or prevent ulcers of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and esophagus. Possible causes of GI ulceration include renal failure, drugs such as NSAIDs or corticosteroids, and stress. Ranitidine is used to protect against hyperhistaminemia in animals with mast cell tumors, and hypersecretion of gastric acids in animals with gastrinoma.
Ranitidine also has prokinetic properties and may be used to stimulate gastric and colonic emptying. The mechanism of action is through the inhibition of acetylcholinesterase. Because of its promotile effects, ranitidine may be helpful in patients in vomiting animals, particularly if delayed gastric emptying is suspected.
Ranitidine is used in horses to treat and prevent the recurrence of gastric ulcers. Omeprazole is the more commonly used drug for equine gastric ulcer disease (EGUD), but some clinicians feel that there is also a role for the histamine H2 receptor antagonists. Studies indicate that there is some individual variability in uptake and bioavailablity of H2 receptor antagonists in both adult horses and foals. This may partially explain why some animals appear to respond well, and others do not. Foals and racehorses are two populations with a higher risk for gastric ulcers. Histamine H2 receptor antagonist drugs are sometimes prescribed as a precaution or preventative when an animal is prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), corticosteroids, or other drugs that can cause stomach ulcers. Histamine H2 receptor antagonists are frequently used with other drugs such as sucralfate.
Dr. Barbara Forney is a veterinary practitioner in Chester County, Pennsylvania. She has a master's degree in animal science from the University of Delaware and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine in 1982.
She began to develop her interest in client education and medical writing in 1997. Recent publications include portions of The Pill Book Guide to Medication for Your Dog and Cat, and most recently Understanding Equine Medications published by the Bloodhorse.
Dr. Forney is an FEI veterinarian and an active member of the AAEP, AVMA, and AMWA.
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