Zantac During Pregnancy - Anyone Taken It?

Updated on July 01, 2008
H.B. asks from Edmonds, WA
51 answers

Hi, I suffer terrible heartburn during the final few months of my pregnancies. I've gotten by in my first two with lots of chewable antacids, and Gaviscon at night, although sometimes I'd have to get up multiple times during the night to take more, and still might have breakthrough discomfort.

I'm now pregnant with my third and in my 7th month and having horrible heartburn again, and my doctor told me Zantac was safe to take. I've always been hesitant about any meds while pregnant, if not absolutely necessary, so haven't done it with my other babies. This time I decided to give it a shot, and bought the generic brand (Ramitidine, I think?) at Bartells yesterday. I took one pill around lunchtime, and haven't suffered ANY heartburn since. Even went to bed without taking antacids and slept SOUNDLY! That is saying something for me at almost 30 weeks along. My hub is not comfortable with me taking a med, however, and would prefer that I find other solutions, saying that there are probably not long-term risk studies in place. Ugh, I see his point, but he doesn't have to live with the discomfort and sleep disturbances like I do...

Has anyone else used Zantac during pregnancy? What are your thoughts, feelings, and how are your kids that you were pregnant with when taking it? Sorry if this sounds dumb and overly paranoid, I'm just ultra careful with my pregnancies.

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Y.B.

answers from Seattle on

I have been taking Betaine HCL. It is a supplement that has pepsin in it. It really helps me. You can find it at vitamin supplement stores.

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C.G.

answers from Seattle on

Hi H.,
I was so sick with my daughter that I threw up all day, every day through my entire pregnancy. I took Zantac & it was such a relief! She's 15months & perfect! I don't know about the generic, I only took what my doctor would take herself when she was pregnant... We had no side effects!

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B.R.

answers from Seattle on

I've lived with reflux since a teenager. I used papaya enzyme tablets when preggers and they helped a ton. Pineapple is also an aid to digestion.

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J.O.

answers from Corvallis on

I had terrible heartburn throughout most of my pregnancy. It got so bad one night that I actually had stomach juices that came up the back of my throat, through my nose and I woke up choking and gasping for air. It was terrible. I started taking Zantac at night before going to bed and it was great. My daughter was born normally and she's perfect. You have to weigh the discomfort you are feeling physically by not taking the med which will also raise your stress hormones (also not good for baby) vs taking the med and your fear it may do something to your unborn child. It is an individual decision. You are so far now in your pregnancy the organs are formed and now the baby is just growing so the risk of some big malformation is slim to none if that is your husband's concern. I decided for me it was better for my baby not to be swimming in stress hormones because I was feeling terrible all the time and not sleeping well than the little risk I felt I was taking by taking zantac. Hope that helps. Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.G.

answers from Portland on

i would give chewable plant enzymes such a papaya enzyme a try rather then medication. acid blocking drugs prohibit your body from absorbing minerals, which are so important for your bones during pregnancy and your growing little one as well. they worked well for me during my pregnancy. i kept them by the bed and occasionally would need to chew a couple in the middle of the night.

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A.H.

answers from Seattle on

Hi there! I too had heartburn when I was pregnant with my son, however, it wasn't just during pregnancy. I have suffered with it for a few years. It runs in my family. I also was on and am on ranitidine. It is generic for Zantac. My son hasn't had any problems that we can associate with me taking the meds. He however does have reflux now. and has had since birth. So, I would reccommend it... if it helps, Take it. My doctor is the one who prescribed the zantac after the second trimester i believe, and because of insurance they give me the generic ranitidine. Good luck, and good comfort!
God Bless.
A.

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L.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi H.,
I suffer from reflux when I'm not pregnant, so when I was pregnant, both times, I had tremendously painful reflux. The only thing that helped for me was the zantac (I took the generic version). I even had to take a double dose! My doc, who has be an OB for over 20 years, said it would have no adverse affects on me or the baby (actually, they discouraged over doing the antacids, if possible). I, too, am very careful with my pregnancies, but, also, needed to be able to cope (I couldn't sleep for the pain from the refluxing). I took the zantac throughout my entire pregnancies without any trouble, but with increased comfort!
The only other thing I would say is to make sure you are taking a good, reputable, organic multivitamin; one that you absolutely know has in it what it says it does (most don't).
=0)
Hope this helps and may the rest of your pregnancy go extremely smoothly and pain-free! =0)
L.

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K.V.

answers from Portland on

i took zantac or pepcid chewables (they had instant relief) during my pregnancy and 15mos later my twins still seem absolutely normal. i had heartburn with all 3 of my pregnancies and it was such a relief to know there was something stronger than tums that was safe to take. do some research about the main drugs and show your hubby. there might be some info out there to put his mind at ease.

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T.H.

answers from Eugene on

Sorry, I don't have any advice on the Zantac. When I was preggers, I would drink the Aloe drink (from Trader Joe's) often and not have any heartburn problems. It's worth a try...

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J.A.

answers from Seattle on

Its a life Saver! I took the lowest dose available and it gave me back the desire to eat food, made my nausea go away, and helped me fall asleep. Normally I eat organic food and take as little man made drugs as possible (my husband doesn't like me taking anything either!).... but there really is a place for them.

And for gods sake, Its YOUR Body! Why does hubby have so much power over your comfort? The experience of being pregnant is Discomfort... Why torture yourself. Get some sleep while you can.

I took Zantac for the last two months of my pregnancy and I now have a very healthy little girl. NO worries about her progress.

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A.L.

answers from Anchorage on

Hello H.,

I never took zantac so can't help you there but do know what you are going through. The dr's all recommended rolaids during pregnancy but that was like candy for all my body cared cause it didn't work. I have always used tums before,during and after my pregnancies and all my babies came out fine.

God Bless and take care and good luck.
A.

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C.J.

answers from Seattle on

Hi H. -
I never had heartburn until I was pregnant. It was horrible, non stop from the first trimester to the last.
I tried the rolaids, tums, etc didn't help.
It was so bad, I would wake up in the middle of the night and throw up stomach acid (I know probably TMI..lol)
I took otc Zantac, and then midway through switched to the prescription strength.
Same thing with my second pregnancy 2 years later.
Both of my girls (4yo/2yo) are perfect, no health problems, the are actually very rarely sick at all.
My mom tried to get me to go the 'natural' way, and take enzymes from the health food store, but once I was taking the Zantac, and it was working there was NO WAY I was gonna start experimenting. lol
My mom had the same opinion as your husband, but I just took her with me to my next dr appt and let her interrogate my OB/GYN. After that mom left me alone, and let me get relief from heartburn in peace. lol
- C.

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H.G.

answers from Richland on

I took it and then eventually took Prilosec, which worked beautifully. My OB prescribed it, and said it's totally safe. My kids are fine (they're still little) but I was a better person after a good night's sleep and less discomfort. I stopped taking it the day I delivered! It's a real short-term problem, so the meds don't have to be taken for very long. Good luck!

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D.L.

answers from Portland on

I understand your hesitation, and it's for good reason. I worked for a pharmaceutical company and am very familiar with the process of testing medications. The meds have to pass certain criteria to be called "safe", but we never really know what effect they have in our bodies. I always try to steer women away from meds when they are preg especially if possible, but I do know that babies are resilient and women who take zantac seem to have healthy babies. I did not take it during my first pregnancy, but did take it in my second with my twins (I had heartburn so badly that I couldn't take care of my older son and it was damaging my stomach). My twins are just as healthy as my older son (with whom I did not even take one tylenol). A couple of things that I considered are whether or not I would blame myself if something went wrong with my baby - I would always wonder to myself if I hadn't taken the zantac maybe my baby would have been just fine, etc even if it's likely unrelated and probably would have happened anyway and I considered whether I could be ok with that. Then there's the other extreme that shows just how tough babies can be - my friend fosters drug babies who had mothers who took very bad things like meth, and these babies are really quite normal! Hitting milestones normally and doing just fine - so that gave me some peice of mind that if zantac turns out to be a horrible drug for pregnancy then my baby will probably still be just fine just because babies are so resilient! Also consider how it affects you being a mom to your other children, how it affects your marriage (whether your hubby will blame you if something goes wrong, etc), and whether you are getting proper nutrition if you live with the heartburn, and if it's damaging your esophagus because it's so frequent (this to me was worth the small risk). This is a difficult decision to make but I hope this helps you:) Congratulations on your baby - having three is fun:) D.

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L.W.

answers from Anchorage on

Hi H.!

My children are now 9 and 12 and I took Zantac with both of my pregnancies, with no ill effects. As you well know, heartburn aside, sleep doesn't come easy the further along you are in your pregnancy and a good night's sleep is important too, well at least as good at you can get in your third trimester. If the medication is helping you that much I wouldn't not take it especially with the potential damage it can have on your esophagus. That's my two cents worth anyway.

Good Luck!
Lisa W

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K.J.

answers from Portland on

Hi H.,

I had horrible heartburn with my daughter (she is now 17 months) and my midwife did not hesitate to suggest that I take Zantac. I took it and it provided the best relief. I know a lot of other ladies that took heartburn medication comparable to Zantac while pregnant.

I have used a couple of natural remedies which include: rice milk, pepermint tea, and ginger tea (mix about a tea spoon of ginger, a tea spoon of sugar, and warm/hot water.....this also works to settle an upset stomach). Good Luck!

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L.M.

answers from Seattle on

Hello, I had horrible heartburn during my pregnancy also. I took Pepcid AC just after my first tri-mester. Both baby and I were all good. I know it is hard to imagine taking any medicine while you are pregnant but I would trust your doctor on this one. Especially since it is important that you eat well for you and the baby's sake. Just keep yourself propped up when you sleep and avoid acidic foods, pizza, spaghetti, orange juice, you get the idea.

Good luck

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K.W.

answers from Bellingham on

I experienced horrible heartburn during my pregnancy as well. I was very cautious about what kinds of medicine I took. I lived off of tums. The further I got the worse my symptoms got. I ended up drinking a teaspoon of baking soda in water a few times a day. That helped for a little while the night time was still horrible. I ended up caving in the last few months and took Zantac when my symptoms were unbearable. It worked great and my baby hasn't had any side effects from it. She's a healthy and beautiful baby. Good luck. It's not a fun side effect of pregnancy that's for sure!

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J.C.

answers from Spokane on

I hear you on the safety thing. I wouldn't take tylenol unless I couldn't take it anymore! I too suffered severe heartburn and took zantac for my second pregnancy and I took prilosec during my third. Prilosec worked much better and my little boy is as healthy as a horse! He was almost 9 pds and had or has NO problem from the meds. It helps believe me! No more sleeping sitting up. =]
Good luck =]

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C.F.

answers from Portland on

I am currently pregnant, due any day. During the 3rd trimester, I have taken Zantac nearly every day. It works very, very well. I started taking it because I had a really hacking, horrible cough that lasted for about 2.5 months. Turns out all it was was reflux. It worked immediately. Obviously, I am still pregnant, so I can't say anything about how this little one will be. But, my doctor has been in practice for over 30 years, and I trust that he knows what he is talking about.

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D.D.

answers from Seattle on

I had terrible heart burn during my first pregnancy. The Tums just didn't do the job. Then I had repeated heartburn a couple of years ago - not just heartburn, but naseau and pain as well. Then, I found out that most heartburn is actually due to too LITTLE stomach acid, not too much. If lemon juice and/or vinegar alleviate heartburn - guess what - you have to LITTLE acid. Try doing that. My sister had the same problem. Doctors trying to prescribe antacids and it turned out her problem was due to too little stomach acid as well. She took a spoon full of vinegar (I know it sounds gross) and her symptoms went away in 2 hours. Now she takes digestive enzymes, as I do, and problem is gone!

The problem with these medications is that they stop your body from absorbing the vitamins from your food. So you become nutritionall deficient.

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W.L.

answers from Seattle on

My midwife actually gave me a perscription for zantac this pregnancy (i'm almost 18 weeks along) because my heartburn got so bad with my other two I was constantly eating tums. I have to tell you it's been a lifesaver. I havn't had to take it everyday so far, but for the days I need it I have it and it's wonderful. At this point do whatever makes you comfortable as long as it's not harmful to the baby! And I can't imagine my midwife would give it to me if it wasn't safe. Good Luck and Congratulations!
W.

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D.B.

answers from Richland on

I can totally relate!! I am 35 weeks prego with number 2 and I was suffering from horrible heartburn before I even knew I was pregnant! My doctor said that there is a lot of research showing that Zantac is totally safe during pregnancy and he recommend I take it and it has helped tremendously! He said a last resort was Prilosec, but there is not much research on that, so to stay away from it, unless the Zantac did not do the job! So tell your hubby to rest assured, there is lots of research and it has been proven safe to take during pregnancy! Good Luck!

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J.W.

answers from Richland on

Hi,
I used prescription Protonix for heartburn during pregnancy. I also used promethazine because I was nauseous for the whole 9 months. I was afraid to use drugs as well. I was so careful with my first baby- I never had caffeine or any type of drug. But with my second I was so miserable that I had to use medications. My daughter is now 14 months and she turned out great- no health problems whatsoever. I know mine is just one account and not the same as a controled study, but I say if you really are miserable you should take the meds under the supervision of your OB. By taking good care of yourself you are also taking care of your baby.

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J.B.

answers from Seattle on

Hello H.,

I also had to take Ranitidine. I woke up at 3am one morning while I was 15 weeks pregnant and had to go to the ER. I had never experienced heartburn before. They then put me on Ranitidine. My daughter is almost 2 and is perfectly fine. My first also had reflux as a baby and had to be put on Ranitidine as a baby. My second also had to be put on it for a while. I think it is perfectly safe otherwise why would your doctor recommend it. I am now on protonix b/c the heartburn is still there. Good luck and I hope this helps

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M.P.

answers from Seattle on

I took it when I was pregnant with my son, who is now 8 months old. It was the only thing that helped. I am a scientist by training, and rely heavily on peer-reviewed literature to help inform me about the safety of drugs. I felt very comfortable taking it during pregnancy. I also have the benefit of a husband who a) also does a lot of research about what's safe, and b) trusts that I'm not going to do anything to harm our baby, either now or before he was born. He was always very good about acknowledging whatever aches/pains I was having, and helped me to figure out how to alleviate the symptoms as much as possible--he had no idea what I was going through, but helped to find relief nonetheless. Hope this helps-

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J.O.

answers from Bellingham on

I had horrible heartburn during all four of my pregnancies. After taking Tums almost non-stop with my first I ended up with kidney stones a few months after giving birth. My urologist had them analyzed and determined they were calcium based, most likey contributed by the high levels in the Tums and my pregnant body not processing it properly. With my following pregnancies I was told by the urologist and OB/GYN to AVOID Tums for that reason, and Zantac was the suggested cure for my heartburn. It worked great for my second and third pregnancies, but wasn't as effective the fourth time around and I was prescribed Prilosec tablets (they worked wonders!). Unfortunately, the kidney stones returned with each pregnacy, so I must just have calcium processing issues brought on by pregnancy, but I felt better knowing I wasn't overdoing it with the Tums.
I too am very reluctant to take any medicines, pregnant or not, but had no difficulties or concerns with these heartburn medications, given the level of discomfort I was experiencing and the reccommendations of my knowledgable doctors. All four of my children are incredibly healthy, and I luckily do not experience heartburn outside of pregnancy. Every body processes things differently, but I have great confidence in the safety and effectiveness of Zantac during pregnancy. Good luck!
J.

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B.L.

answers from Spokane on

Hi H.,
I had horrible heartburn (everyday) starting right around 6 months. It got to the point I wouldn't want to eat or drink anything cause I knew the outcome! And it seemed everything flared it up. My Doc told me to take Zantac 75 (he said if the 75 didn't work to let him know before moving to the 150) and that it was totally safe for the baby. One Zantac a day and I was heartburn free...what a relief!! My son is 8 months old happy & very healthy. Good luck & Congratulations!!

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J.W.

answers from Seattle on

You've spoken with your doctor, you've read the labels. You've taken other over the counter remedies in past preganancies, got some relieft and now this is available and it works, yeah!!!!! I have used the Zantac and it's prescribed form prior to that. No problems. A lack of sleep, acid irritation of your esophagus probably are a bigger risk to your pregnancy and overall health than taking this one tablet once day for the six weeks or so would ever be. You might have your husband talk with your ob-gyn and have him ask the questions that he needs the answers to, it sounds as he's more concerned about possibly drug side effects than you are and that in itself is a stressor for you.

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T.C.

answers from Portland on

Gosh, I would take it if I were you. If Mom is not ok and the med is ok.... take it. I took it with both my children, as I had it so bad and the pain so bad I would wake up crying. My DR took it with her two and she said there is nothing wrong with the medication and no harm to your child.

Hope this helped. And good luck.
T.

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C.S.

answers from Seattle on

I had mild heartburn during pregnancy and my midwife told me to take papaya supplements, they worked well for me. I recommended them to a friend who had heartburn issues before she was pregnant and taking medication for it, she tried the papaya and it worked fine.
There is so worrisome side effects, I found the best way to take it was throughout the day with meals and whenever I thought of it, making sure to have a couple before bed.

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S.M.

answers from Eugene on

Yes, I believe that is what I took. I started with Tums and needed something stronger. I too was very careful about what I took (cut out caffiene entirely, hardly any medicine, etc.). I would put a call into my doctor to make sure that is the heartburn medicine you can take and if so, feel comfortable taking it.

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D.J.

answers from Seattle on

H.,

It sounds like your heartburn is pretty uncomfotable. I recently switched my prenatal to a superior dietary nutrition my doctor recommended and was amazed when my heartburn, digestion, and leg cramps all went away. Plus my my recovery went twice as fast compared to my fist child. After talking to several other women I learned that they too had similar results with their pregnancy. I highly recommend this nutrition and as a distributor can help you find out if it is for you or not. If you want more information, feel free to email or give me a call. Best of luck!

D.
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[email protected]____.com

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A.B.

answers from Portland on

I don't know about Zantac...but I had this problem very severely when pregnant but also often before...my doctor recomended pepcid AC wow! I was skeptical but it seems to solve any stomach related problem! Try it...no problem now when I have terrible hearburn, upset stomach, or gas...it works for all...good luck!

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K.M.

answers from Seattle on

I also suffered HORRIBLE heartburn with my last two babies and took Zantac to start, then my doctor moved me to Prilosec and Nexium. I am also very careful about meds in general, but particularly with my pregnancies, but when I couldn't sleep at night, and I was uncomfortable all day I decided it was worth it. Both my babies are just fine, and I went from a super grouch to quite happy due to the relief. It is great that your husband is so concerned for his children, but ultimately you are the one who has to deal with the discomfort of pregnancy. Having mom under stress and in pain that can be avoided isn't good for the baby in the womb, nor the little ones outside of it.

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

I took Zantac for four months everyday of my pregnancy and he is perfect!
Take it and get some rest:)

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T.C.

answers from Eugene on

Hi - First, I completely relate to not wanting to take anything during pregnancy I was the same way. I too suffered way to much in the beginning. I took Zantac because one, my midwife recommended it and two, because I ultimately decided that sleep was too important for my body to function and three, figured one pill was better than suffering and taking a ton of tums by the handful and not wanting too eat was the best solution for me and my baby. I figured it wasn't good for my baby to have me be uncomfortable and releasing stress hormones constantly either. Not long term study, but my baby girl is a month and a half and is happy go lucky kid. My husband has suffered from painful heartburn and I have to admit that until i had it, I was not very sympathetic so maybe that is where your husband is at as well. Hope that helps! T.

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D.C.

answers from Portland on

I took Zantac when I was pregnant with my twins. They are 2 1/2 yrs old now and perfectly fine.

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P.G.

answers from Seattle on

Buy some chewable papaya.n It's safe, it's cheap, and you can chew down as many tablets as it takes to stop the pain. I used it (finally) with my 3rd child, and I still use it as an older lady who gets heartburn at times. Chew two -- wait 5 min; if heartburn is not gone chew 2 more -- keep this up until it's gone. It's not a drug, it doesn't interfere with your digestion. It's a natural digestive enzyme which neutralizes acid, and which occurs naturally in papaya. Eating papaya fruit would help, too. Believe me, it works; AND more importantly, it's completely safe.

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J.P.

answers from Seattle on

I took during the last part of my pregnancy. I attempted to sleep upright, tried other solutions, etc. but I was miserable and my husband begged me to take it! I totally understand how you feel about taking meds but it was worth it to me to sleep again. Good luck in your decision!

Oh and my son will be three in September and he's doing just fine.

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K.V.

answers from Seattle on

Hi H.
I had to take Zantac with my 4th pregnancy. I never had heart burn before with any of my other 3 pregnancies. It was a life saver. My heartburn was very severe. I could barely eat anything. Anyway.... it is perfectly safe at the recommend doses, my baby is almost 2 years only and she could not be healthier or smarter!!!

Stephanie

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M.B.

answers from Portland on

try cream of wheat! I did and it worked. Also I understand your husband but the doctor would not give you something that is harmful

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S.S.

answers from Portland on

Hi H.,

I would encourage you to go look at www.hazelaid.com
Hazelwood necklaces have the natural property of absorbing excess acid in the body when in contact with skin. I have a friend who is currently pregnant and I gave her my necklace to try and help aleviate her heartburn. She told me that when she takes it off she gets her heartburn back and she burps up a lot of acid but when she puts it back on, she doesn't have it anymore.
It might be a really good alternative to meds since you're pregnant.

Take care!

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S.M.

answers from Seattle on

I had horrible heartburn with my daughter who just had her first birthday. My heartburn was so bad that I was taking Zantac 300mg twice a day. It was the only thing that made my heartburn go away and she is fine. Actually she is the only one out of the bunch that has zero health problems.

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L.M.

answers from Seattle on

I took it during the second half of my pregnancy. It helped a TON! My son is 10 months old and totally healthy.

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N.O.

answers from Seattle on

Hi H.,

I was taking Zantac starting my 20th week of pregnancy. And my baby girl was born on Feb 10th 08. She is beautiful happy and healthy. I was told do not exceed over 2 150mg dosages a day. Good luck and God bless

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T.J.

answers from Seattle on

I took ranitidine during my second pregnancy, but only at night and only when symptoms were present. This was a dosage much less than recommended but it worked. My baby iis and was just fine. I looked up the drug (see the drug tables for safety at www.kellymom.com or www.babycenter.com) for more information. I don't like to take any drug, even when I'm not pregnant or nursing, but it's hard to function and grow a healthy family when mom doesn't feel good!

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S.J.

answers from Seattle on

Hi, I'm a pediatric nurse, so I too was worried about taking meds during my pregnancy. I also had horrible heartburn and took Zantac; my little guy is almost 6 months old and absolutely fine; you should have no problem and don't worry (that just causes more heartburn!) Good luck! S.

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J.G.

answers from Portland on

Hi, I took Zantac through both my pregnancies. I did not notice any effects on my babies but it did help control my acid reflux- which I have whether I am pregnant or not. For me if I do not control the acid reflux/heartburn it makes me incredibly naseous and I stop eating so for me it would be far worse to not medicate the heartburn. I understand wanting to take as little as possible when pregnant however having your body stressed will not benefit the baby either! Best of Luck. J.

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J.A.

answers from Seattle on

I've had very bad heartburn with all three of my pregnancies. My doctor recommended Zantac with my last pregnancy (with my daughter who's now 3) and with this pregnancy (I'm 38 weeks pregnant currently). I haven't had any problems with my 3 year old and Zantac was the only thing that worked for me then and now. I tried the natural appoaches first. Papaya, different kinds of herbal teas, exercise, eating small frequent meals. Nothing really helped. Zantac is different from other antacids. It inhibits the production of acid in your stomach. It doesn't just block it. That's why it works so well. I talked with my doctor about it, because my heartburn was so bad, it would make me vomit. That isn't good for the baby, either. Good luck to you and don't feel bad about taking it.

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N.S.

answers from Seattle on

Hi H.,

Congrads on your upcoming baby. I am pregnant with my second little guy im 38 weeks today. I took Zantac the whole time with my first son and the whole time wiht this pregnancy. Zantac is the only thing i can take. its actually not strong enough for hte heart burn i have but it kinda breaks down the walls. I have not found any side effect that effected my son or my next one to come. Also a dr is not going to send you downthe wrong path about a safe med to take. Its to risky for them to do that. If it helps you and you are at 30 weeks already i say go with it. I never had any fear taking it. It is the only med i have put in my body this intire preg.

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