Ranitide and delirium
Type of Spiritual Experience
A description of the experience
Side effects of ranitidine - Vial T, Goubier C, Bergeret A, Cabrera F, Evreux JC, Descotes J. Service de Pharmaco-Toxicovigilance, Hôpital Edouard Herriot, Lyon, France [edited for brevity]
Ranitidine was first marketed in 1981; since then many patients have been treated such that much experience has been accumulated on the safety of this histamine H2-receptor antagonist in the treatment of gastroduodenal disease. A wide array of ranitidine-associated side effects has been described, but infrequently. As so much information is now available, the aim of this review is to assess the weight of evidence for a causal link between ranitidine and the reported side effects.
Headaches, tiredness, dizziness and mild gastrointestinal disturbance (e.g. diarrhoea, constipation and nausea) are among the most frequent complaints, but have very seldom resulted in stopping treatment.
Cardiovascular side effects are extremely rare and unpredictable with the usual doses of oral ranitidine. They mostly comprise sinusal bradycardia and atrioventricular blockade, especially after rapid intravenous administration, receding after cessation of the drug.
Several cases of mixed hepatitis have been reported, but very few were fully documented.
Neuropsychiatric complications may be less common and clinically quite similar to those reported with cimetidine, i.e. confusion, disorientation, hallucinations, delirium. These side effects have occurred especially in critically ill and multiple-therapy patients, or patients with chronic renal or hepatic failure, so that the direct causal link with ranitidine treatment was often difficult to ascertain. Even though an H2-receptor-mediated effect is an attractive hypothesis (since similar complications were noted with other H2-receptor antagonists), other mechanisms may play a role.