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Ranexa (Ranolazine) Medication Information
Ranexa (ranolazine) is a prescription medication used to treat angina that keeps coming back. Angina is chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle doesn’t get enough oxygen. Angina can occur when your heart is working hard or when you are under stress. This pain may go away when you rest but it can even happen while relaxing.
Angina pain can feel like pressure or squeezing in your chest. This pain can also spread to your stomach, shoulders, arms, neck, jaw, or back. Angina may be a warning sign that you’re at increased risk for a heart attack. If you have chest pain that does not go away, seek emergency medical care.
Ranexa contains the active ingredient ranolazine which helps to prevent and control chest pain.
Ranexa is an oral tablet that contains ranolazine, extended-release. Two strengths are available: 500 milligrams (mg) and 1,000 mg.
The usual dose of Ranexa is one tablet by mouth twice daily. Your doctor will prescribe the dosage that is right for you based on your medical conditions and other medications.
You should not take Ranexa if you have cirrhosis, a liver condition. Also, tell your doctor all the medicines you take, including all prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. This is very important because several medications can cause harmful reactions with Ranexa.
People with certain health conditions may have an increased risk for serious side effects with Ranexa. Before taking, let your doctor know if you have any of the following conditions:
- Heart problems or family history of QT prolongation (when the heart muscle takes longer than average to recharge between beats)
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
- Pregnant or planning to become pregnant
- Breastfeeding or planning to breastfeed
Like all medications, Ranexa may cause side effects. The most common side effects of Ranexa are usually mild, but severe side effects are possible.
The most common side effects of Ranexa include:
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Stomach upset
- Dry mouth
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
- Fatigue (lack of energy)
- Blurred vision
- Bloody urine
Serious side effects may occur with Ranexa including:
- QT prolongation (changes in the electrical activity of your heart)
- Kidney failure
- Very low blood pressure
- Heart palpitations (heart racing or skipping beats)
- Severe allergic reaction
If you have side effects that are severe or won’t go away, talk to your doctor right away.
Ranexa is not safe to take with certain medications, such as ketoconazole, clarithromycin, certain seizure medicines, or St. John’s wort.
Other medications can interact with Ranolazine, but they may be safe with careful monitoring and dose adjustments by your doctor. Some examples include:
- Some statins: lovastatin, simvastatin
Consult your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medications while taking Ranexa.
Store Ranexa tablets at room temperature, around 25°C (77°F).
- Ranexa may be taken with or without food. Do not crush, cut, or chew Ranexa tablets.
- If you miss a dose of Ranexa, wait to take the next dose at your regular time. Don’t double up your dose of Ranexa to make up for a missed dose.
- Avoid grapefruit and grapefruit juice because they can worsen side effects with Ranexa.
Can I continue taking my other medications and vitamins with Ranexa?
Ranexa can cause harmful drug interactions with many medications (too many to list them all in this article). Ranexa can have harmful reactions if taken with certain medications for fungus or bacterial infections, depression, HIV, tuberculosis, seizures, and more. You’ll need to discuss all of your medications with your doctor and pharmacist to ensure that it’s safe for you to take Ranexa.
How long does it take for Ranexa to work?
Your angina (chest pain) should improve within a few days. If chest pain gets worse or becomes severe, seek immediate medical attention. Do not take more Ranexa than prescribed without discussing with your doctor first.
- Ranexa Prescribing Information. Foster City, CA: Gilead Sciences, Inc; 2019. https://dailymed.nlm.nih.gov/dailymed/drugInfo.cfm?setid=f3c09979-a44a-4197-97d2-29a207b6fc73, Accessed February 19, 2021.
- National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Angina. National Institutes of Health. https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/angina, Accessed February 19, 2021.
Author: Dr. Patricia Weiser, PharmD
Patricia Weiser, PharmD, is a licensed pharmacist and medical writer. She has clinical experience in community and hospital pharmacy. Patricia is a 2007 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh. She resides in Pennsylvania with her husband and two daughters.
The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.