The Wonders of Zantac

If you have arrived at this post via search or Wikipedia, please leave a comment or your story about using Zantac and drinking!

I had only had two beers before I went to college…each beer at separate times. Each time, my face immediately felt flush and hot afterwards. It wasn’t until at college when I rediscovered this feeling of my face getting splotchy red and hot while drinking. Then people had told me I had “Asian Man’s Disease” when I drank. The combination of not drinking in high school and not having many Asian friends prevented me from ever being exposed to this “phenomenon”.

Throughout college, I went through phases of caring about this seemingly unpreventable reaction…on one hand, it was uncomfortable, and on the other hand…who cared? For me, it was hit or miss. Some nights my face would turn red, and other nights I would be “in the zone”. It was the inability to predict how my body was going to react that sparked some anxiety. I was constantly running to a mirror to see if my face was red. I quickly learned that, for me, the color of the palms of my hands was a good barometer for how my face was doing. If they were red, I was in trouble. If they were normal, I was good to go…

I started to mentally keep track of my habits leading up to a night of normal college drinking. What did I eat? Did I drink a lot of water during the day? How much sleep did I get? How much did I drink last night? What was I drinking? How fast was I drinking? There were many variables to eliminate and, unfortunately, was never organized enough to systematically eliminate many of them. One night, I thought I had the secret ingredient to success. A McDonald’s #6 combo meal (a wonderful Crispy Chicken Meal at the time, RIP) about an hour or two before drinking. The second night – I got the ol’ #6 again, and a different (unwanted) result. I was more disappointed about not cracking the code than getting flush in the face. Thankfully it wasn’t the answer to my question, because I would end up weighing 300 lbs. I ended up going with a solution that worked about 90% of the time…Drink until my face turned red, and then chill out for about 30-45 minutes. Let the reaction subside, and then continue as usual.

Fast forward a full 2 years after college. I was having a last hurrah party at my townhouse in Arlington, when I was approached by an (Asian) acquaintance, “Hey – noticed your face is pretty red…didn’t you take a Zantac?” he said.

Zantac. A heartburn pill? It was like someone had pulled a blanket from over my head. At first I felt a little betrayed when he said that’s what most Asians do to prevent the reaction to alcohol. Why hadn’t anyone told me? I had gone through countless combinations of different pre-game meals and rituals trying to discover a solution that turned out to be an easily accessible, inexpensive, over-the-counter antacid pill.

A few quick Google searches later, and I discover that there is something missing in many Asians that prevents our bodies from breaking down the acetaldehyde left over from the breaking down of the alcohol. And although there are a few sites that have anecdotally mentioned the benefits of taking Zantac, no one site has come out and said it outright. I’ll add more anecdotal evidence: Zantac works for me. I rarely have reactions to alcohol anymore, just as long as I don’t start with shots of Cuervo. As a result, I have stashes of Zantac 75 (generic store brands w/ Ranitidine as the active ingredient work just as well) everywhere. It’s almost like a placebo, in that I start to feel uncomfortable if I drink without popping a Zantac. So far, no ill side effects. Amanda’s friend from school also has adverse reactions to alcohol, and she just tried it last week, and it worked like a charm. So, there…2 data points. I try to take one about an hour before I think I might drink, and pack another one just in case it goes late night. Just look here at my pictures, I don’t think you’ll see any bad reactions (at least when a camera is around) for the past few years.

Even some of my close friends don’t really know that I take a Zantac every time before drinking. I decided to write this because it has come up quite a few times in the past month where people don’t understand why I say I need a Zantac before drinking. It allows me to feel comfortable in casual situations and happy hours, in which I would otherwise feel uncomfortable with even having one drink. Hopefully this spreads the news about Zantac faster than just letting friend’s of a friend in on the secret. If you have more anecdotal stories, leave one in the comments!

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106 thoughts on “The Wonders of Zantac

  1. Yeah i heard from fds that zantac works and i’ve been meaning to try it. But before heading down to the drug store to buy it, i thought i’ll google it just to make sure its zantac….then i read someone that it increases blood alcohol level! now im not to sure if its safe to take it…unless u intend to get smashed then it doesnt matter. But tonite im just gonna have a few beers with some mates and thought i’ll pop a zantac to test…but i’ll be driving to and if zantac increases blood alco level (as much as 38%, that ive read) then im a bit worried.

    Has anyone felt more intoxicated once combining zantac and alcohol?

    1. I used them before drinking to prevent wicked heartburn for like a week, then forgot one day when at a party/shindig at a mates house and popped one about an hour in, last thing i remember was sitting on a couch at 8:30 and at 10:30 my mate was waking me up in the bathroom with vomit all around me. I totally blacked out, and i’d only drank maybe a half a mickey of vodka, normally i can do a full one plus random drinks and not throw up, and certainly not black out.

  2. So – I have read about the heightened level of intoxication, but I don’t think I’ve never had that experience. I think it’s because since you’re not uncomfortable (with being red and hot) that you can drink more, sooner and faster. So you get drunk faster. Testing it in a controlled environment is definitely the way to start. Let me know how it goes if you come back…

  3. I have to agree that Zantac works quite well. Although, sometimes it doesn’t work as well for reasons unknown to me. I’ve noticed if you drink too fast or like you said, slam back something like cuervo in the beginning of the night you’ll probably still turn red after taking a Zantac. I take the 150’s now and I don’t notice any side effects at all. I’ve always taken it right before or at the sametime I drink and it still works for me. But ya, thankfully we discovered something to lessen our faces from looking like it’s going to explode in public. I used to avoid drinking just because of the embarrassment I felt with a red face. Also, I’ve never seen any warnings about mixing with alcohol so I think it’s ok.

  4. im a teenage girl and going red when drinking was always soo embarassing and id think of stupid reasons to get out of going to parties because of it. zantac one hour before the first drink and theres hardly any redness, its a social life saver

  5. Hey, I was just wondering for how long you’ve used Zantac and whether you’ve find its ability to stop the redness is losing its effect at all? I haven’t tried it yet – experimented a few times with Pepcid ac which seems to work for me so far but am really interested to know your experience!!!

  6. Hi Jade,

    I’ve been using Zantac for about 5 or so years now. I haven’t found that the effectiveness has dropped off at all. Sometimes I do forget to take it in time, so I’ll be red at the beginning of the night but after the first couple I’m good for the rest of the night. I haven’t tried Pepcid AC before, but, that’s good to know it works for you too! Sometimes when I run into a 7/11 they only carry Pepcid AC…(although I thought that the magic ingredient was the Ranitidine?)

  7. Thanks for answering – the main ingredient in pepcid ac is famotodine which is also meant to work. Usually you’re meant to take the pepcid about a half hour before you’re drinking – how long do you need to wait before drinking with zantac? I’m in college atm and having this asian flush has really put a damper on my social life and made me a lot more self conscious so it’d be nice to see something that works 🙂

  8. Hey, thanks for comin’ back – I try to take it an hour before drinking, but I usually end up taking it with the first drink. I know how you feel, I didn’t know about this when I was in college!

  9. No probs, I’m a fan of your blog! Sorry to keep badgering you but do you only take one zantac and do you find that that’s sufficient? Also, roughly, how many times do you drink a week? I’ve been going crazy looking up this asian flush on the internet and it’s so refreshing to actually have someone answer with their own personal experience!

  10. Sweet!

    I usually take one, but if it’s going to be a long night, I’ll pop one later. I’ve found that the red face can come back late night or when you start to eat a late night slice of pizza. I always pack 2, and I’ve moved up to Zantac 150’s also (instead of 75’s)

  11. Hi!
    I’m asian and surprise surprise, after one drink i go bright red. Eurgh. I’ve heard about Zantac and I want to try it, but im a little hesitant because pills and alcohol doesnt sound like a great combination. So i just wanted to ask you, have you ever had any bad experiences? Especially when you first started trying it? Also, what do you do when you plan on drinking night after night for several days? Cos popping 1 or 2 every niht for lets say 10 night seems a little over-the-top.
    Thanks in advance!

    1. Again, kind of long but please ansewr. Giving up Alcohol?? Thanks.?I asked a question earlier on about my GP refering me to a specialist doctor who deals with substance abuse. Also a kind of therapy apparently.This is after i’ve been seeing my GP for about 2-3 months about self harm and some other issues (including feeling down all the time and excessive alcohol intake).Someone said this doctor will want me to stop drinking alcohol completly. I do understand that but i usually binge drink’ drinking about an average of 14-17 units a time. I only do this twice a week.I don’t know if i’ll beable to do that infact i know i wont. I’m 18 and in a city which has a binge drinking culture. It’s 100% normal for 18-25 year olds to go out and get completly smashed on a regular basis (im 18). I think it would be hard for anyone to not drink but seeing as apparently i use it as a coping mechanism’, mask’ feelings with alcohol and drink waay more than the average person here then i just don’t know if it’s possible.I REALLY want to stop because my doctor says there’s not all that much they can do for the self harm and other feelings due to 1-they can’t give me anti depressants 2-alcohol is masking everything so getting to the root of the problem would be almost impossible.Also on numerous occasions i’ve got my self in dangerous situations. So basically i DO really want to stop drinking but can’t imagine a life without being drunk atall. I admit i do ony drink to get drunk (very drunk). I prefer being drunk than sober if it was socially acceptable i’d be drunk 24/7.Despite this i’m willing to put in effort but i just don’t know if its actually possible. I can’t even imagine my life without alcohol. I think i rely on alcohol more than i do most things such as friends, family etc.I think things are just going to get a whole load worse and i dont know if can affort for that to happen. I’m scared i really dont think stopping is possible and i do dread a life without being drunk..ever.Please don’t suggest to me to go to AA.IS this even possible?How will i ever manage it?What can i do?!Thanks

  12. Hey Jan, you should definitely be careful when combining pills and alcohol (see http://www.drugs.com/zantac.html), but from my own personal anecdotal evidence, I haven’t had a bad experience yet that I can attribute to Zantac.

    Popping 1 or 2 a night for 10 nights in a row seems a little over the top, yes, but so does drinking 10 nights in a row! I’d say, be careful, but try it a few times to see if it works. If it does, then you’re good to go! Let me know how it goes.

  13. Tried it for the first time last night and it worked for me! Yay I’m so happy I found something to take away or at least lessen the Asian Flush!

  14. I have used it a few times and it works for me. but the question is if it is safe to use regularly?
    have you spoken to your doctor about it? if yes, what did he say?

  15. I’ve used it regularly, but only about 1-2x per week. I mentioned it to my doctor at one point, and he said, “hmm…that’s interesting, never heard of that.” But didn’t advise me against continuing to use it. I would check with your doctor if you’re worried about misuse of course.

  16. I had a really trippy experience last night. I took one 75mg zantac one hour before going out drinking (This has been my 6th time doing it). As always, my bright red tomato face was replaced with just a pink blush, so I went ahead and took 5 more shots (my limit with soju is about 9 before I start to feel like vomitting, I counted before). I left the place with a nice buzz and then all of a sudden it started to hit me. I felt dizzy and I started seeing purple and black everywhere. My friends were all around me but I couldn’t see their faces! Voices also seemed pretty far away and I just laid my head down for 5 minutes. When I held my head up, everything was normal again. I never had that experience before and started to google it but I can’t seem to find anything. I can’t tell if it’s from the alcohol or the zantac with alcohol. Any ideas?

    1. exactly what happen to me, i took a zantax 75 and just took one shot of vodka, then about 30 minutes i started to get dizzy, my friends were around me also then suddenly all i saw was red purple and black, i can barely hear myself and my friends even though they were next to me, i felt like i was going to black out or something, it was crazy man i dont think i’ll mix zantac and alcohol again! although it has worked before but that scare the crap out of me

      1. OMG thats EXACTLY what happened to me last night!! I had 5 drinks (thats nothing for me before taking zantac), but last night i experienced this effect and then apparently i fell and i couldnt remember anything!! That really scared me too. I was so happy to have found this cure for Asian flush…but sad to know that it xan cause such an effect to people?? Im trying to search online why its so?

  17. Hi Cindy, sounds like the 5 shots alone would have that effect and probably not have anything to do with Zantac. It just sounds like you were just pretty drunk! Thanks for sharing

  18. LOL I figured… but I can’t help but think one of these days, research will find negative effects for prolonged zantac + alcohol use. TY

  19. I am only 1/8 chinese, if that even counts. Of course I don’t even look Asian, but when I drink I do. I get the whole red affect and people always ask if I got a sunburn that day. I feel hot and uncomfortable.

    I asked my doctor if there was a cure and he just said don’t drink. (like the joke: Doc it hurts when I do this, well don’t do that). Thanks doc. So mostly I don’t drink but once in a while I want to have a glass of wine with friends and join in the banter.

    Finally, the answer. I tried the Zantac on New Year’s Eve and was able to drink champagne without getting totally flushed, a light pink glow, not unpleasant, was all.

    Now I can drink with my friend Fred at work who is always offering me red wine. Thanks a lot! I’ll probably get fired or end up on skid row. jk.

    Jeanne

  20. I have a weird reaction when I drink alcohol. My best friend is Chinese, and I’ve seen him turn red when he drinks, but his symptoms seem different from my own. That doesn’t stop everyone who’s seen it happen to me from laughing about how I’m, like, the one non-Asian who gets the “Asian flush.” Thaaaanks…

    It doesn’t happen when I drink beer — only when I drink wine or hard liquor, and it happens after only a sip or two. You said that you could check your hands to see if your face would be discolored, but only my face gets pink, and not even my entire face. It starts with my eyes getting itchy and dry, and a bright pink color spreads down my nose and sometimes partway down my cheeks. I look like Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer rather than someone with a flush.

    From what I’ve seen from my friend (however, I haven’t really asked him about it), mine is a different reaction. I was wondering if any of you could respond about whether your eyes start burning, too, so I can figure out if I really do have something different. Thanks so much!

  21. hi jeff, thank you for your story.
    i’ve been drinking regularly for about 10 years.
    not untill about a year ago did i experience the red face, and that was after an evening with jim beam.
    so i broke up with him, and all seemed well. now, even after 1 beer, i start to feel the warmth of the flushed face. hadn’t heard of the zantac solution, but i’m going to try it. thanks for the info!

  22. Hi again!

    I tried the zantac a few times, sometimes it seems to work really well, and sometimes im pinker than usual. I was wondering does it make a difference as to when you take the zantac? Like, whether i take it half n hr before, or an hr before. Once i took a zantac and i didnt end up drinking til an hr and a half later, and i noticed it didnt work as well. Has this happened to anyone else, or is it just me?

    1. Hi Jan, welcome back!

      I have found that sometimes I react differently, but I think most of it has to do with factors outside of the Zantac and when I take it. Mostly with how tired I am, last time since I drank, how much water I’ve drank that day, what I ate, etc.

      If you start the night with some liquor drinks then you’re more apt to get red…the less you eat, the faster you can react to the alcohol, etc…let me know how it goes!

    2. I am on Zantac for erosive Gasritis and have found that drinking just 3 or 4 beers on Zantac has left me very drunk, after looking this up I found out that after a few drinks Zantac increases the level of alcohol in your blood by up to 38%, so please everyone be careful and consult your Doctor before using this method to ease asian flush, it may help in the short term but used regularly with alcohol this could damage your liver in the long term.

  23. i just wanted to leave a note, that it might not safe to take zantac for prevention of a flush. but i read that you already leave a comment about that. zantac may have adverse effects on liver and kidney function as well as rise alcohol blood level as someone already noticed. i would rather consult a doctor before trying it out. also it is noted that one should be careful about zantac if lactose intolerance is present, which is often in asians! so be careful!

  24. Hey Jeff, thanks for the informative article. I found your site through a Wikipedia article on Asian Flush, which I read after reading this article: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/21/health/research/21alcohol.html?em. I’m still not sure if the Zantac thing is for me, because I have a very strong reaction to alcohol (and I’m only half Asian!) that includes rapid heart rate, getting hot and inability to catch my breath. Plus I get sick to my stomach really fast and then have a really awful headache – all before catching a buzz! I was wondering if you had the other symptoms or just the red face. Since the Zantac folks aren’t even sure how this works, I’m not sure I want that accumulation of acetaldehyde in my body, as it’s a carcinogen and all. Oh, and in response to what your doctor said – none of mine have even heard of this condition! I guess I need to move to a bigger town with a more diverse population. Thanks again for the great article!

    1. Kristina, thanks so much for letting me know how you got to my site! To answer your question – I do get hot, but just in my face, but not the rapid heart rate or loss of breath. Sounds like you have it worse than I do.

      I had a spike in my stats and didn’t know why (also just found this site today: http://wikirank.com/en/Asian_flush ), which coincides with the spike. Thanks for checking out my site!

  25. Hi Jeff, thanks for your site. When I was about 49 at a work lunch, a friend asked me why I was suddenly had a bright red face! I was very surprised and I also realised that my face felt hot. I had never noticed that happening before. I had just finished a glass of red wine (just one). Since then, I figured the problem was the high level of histamines in many red wines, so I cut back my alcohol intake a lot after that, but still an occasional problem. I see that Zantac contains anti-histamines so I guess that’s why they work. Maybe more than a coincidence is that I used to take Zantac (or Zantax?) for relief of hayfever some years before that? I also found other things on Google about anti histamines, like this one http://www.healthy-skincare.com/natural-antihistamines.html which may be of some help to others? Cheers

  26. hey jeff,

    thought i’d leave a comment as requested (found the post by googling ‘zantac’ & ‘asian’ fyi)

    getting so frustrated by this asian flush nonsense- was at a bar earlier, had my first vodkatonic after an unusually dry spell of not drinking for almost 6 weeks (deathly finals/essays) – and had the whole flush/heat/pulsating effect about halfway into my drink!

    i’m hoping that perhaps the amplified effect due to not drinking in a while?? the glow is very sporadic for me, i can drink say 8 cocktails in a night, get fairly drunk without getting any glow effect yet other times barely finish a drink and get it happening.

    interesting that eating “always makes it worse” (as i read somewhere else in research) – i always stupidly ate thinking i could ‘soak up’ some of the alcohol’s effect.

    anything else you or anyone can recommend as either things that exacerbate the effect or dampen the effect (also read about this ‘pre-gaming’ shot 2 hours before heading out?)

    ANYWAY will try the zantac next wk for a big bender of birthday drinks.. fingers crossed!

    – charli [hopefully another anecdotal “yes it works”].

    1. Charli – thanks for leaving a comment!

      I get flush every once in a while, and it’s somewhat unpredictable. I think some of it does have to do with if you haven’t drank in a long time, but also sometimes if you’re drinking frequently.

      Before Zantac, I used to get my face red (with drinking fast – not necessarily a “pre-game shot”), let it go away and be good for the rest of the night. Then I found that eating late night after heavy drinking also brings the red back out if you haven’t gotten red yet.

      Hope it works, let me know if it does/doesn’t!
      -jeff

  27. This is VERY interesting.

    My stomach hurts because I’ve been drinking wine a lot lately so I was googling the effects of Zantac and alcohol……..because I want to take a Zantac right now (my tummy kinda hurts) but am scared of all the “precautions” with taking it and drinking.

    I’m not asian, BUT I have Raynauds disease, which causes flushing ALL THE TIME…from drinking, stress, heat, cold…whatever! So if Zantac works for this asian drinking thing, maybe it could help with the Raynauds?

    Very interesting, I sooo appreciate this blog and am so happy I found it.

      1. Wow…the “cure” I’ve been looking for that last 20yrs (I’m 36). I don’t know what’s worse…the embarrassment of having a red face and people always commenting on it or the uncomfortableness of feeling hot. So many great point are brought up on this blog and I cannot wait to try it out…tonite! I’ll let you know how it goes!

        Thanks Jeff!

  28. I have tried this method before, not because i get the ‘asian flush’ but because i had an ulcer. It is now healing, however I take zantac 150 anyway (without drinking) to help my stomach. Recently I thought it would be a good idea to take zantac so i could drink:

    -the first time, I took zantac an hour before drinking and it worked out great! i was able to drink ALOT without my stomach hurting..

    -the second time, I took zantac after i had drank two drinks because my stomach was bothering me. i blacked out the second after I took the zantac and my boyfriend said i was uncontrollable. about an hour and a half later i was fine. i do not remember ANYTHING from the hour and a half and i only drank about 1/5 of what i drank the first time

    if you take zantac i would advise you to take it only BEFORE you drink, not while your drinking. I’ve read that zantac raises the alcohol level in your blood. BE CAREFUL!

  29. It worked for me! Hardly any pink-ish-ness at all. I was amazed. the only side-effect I could possibly link to this method is that the next day I kind of had a headache. Not really a “hang-over” headache, but just a wierd spacey headache. I cannot positively link it to the Zantac/alcohol combination so I’m gonna try it a few more time to see what happens. I can normally drink 7-8 beers a night with no real effects the next day, but my first try I only had 2 beers..so I know it wasn’t a hang-over, per-se.

  30. I’m half chinese and alcohol affects me just the same – my sister met a fellow Asian at Uni and he suggested Zantac and my sister swears by it. So last night, i decided to give it a go – works like a dream!!

  31. I’ve done the ZANTAC program a few times now…and works GREAT. This is the ANSWER I wish I had since the day I started drinking!! Thanks Jeff

  32. I’ve tried Zantac on and off after an American friend of mine who was very amused by how red I turned no matter what I drank suggested I give it a go. The first time I tried it was for a champagne brunch, and it worked… kind of ! I didn’t turn red, but my face still felt pretty hot. Also, I didn’t get the alcohol buzz at all, which, to me, defeats the point of drinking!

    I take it if I’m going to be drinking at a company function (one of which will be tonight) but I’ll cop to having had some bad experiences before. I distinctly remember throwing up after one litre of beer despite having taken it before drinking, and there are some occasions when I don’t feel great. Still, I’d prefer to take it as opposed to not, as the benefits have so far outweighed the bad experiences.

    I’m told the ingredient in Zantac (ranitidine) is the one which works wonders, so if you’re stuck without Zantac, perhaps another ingestion pill with that ingredient might work?

  33. Hey guys, just wanted to warn against using Zantac and drinking alcohol consistently. Have had a side effect of Gynecomastia, (increase in breast tissue in males). It is not visible, but the area is very sore. (Went to the Docs and the whole lot)

    That being said, obviously Zantac works for me. Just use it once in awhile when it is really necessary for me to drink.

    1. What makes you think the Zantac is the contributor of your Gynecomastia? Havent had any soreness or breast tissue increase from taking it myself…

  34. Hey guys..good to hear that all you fellow asians found out about Zantac. I have been using Zantac aswell 150MG and it works like a charm. I was wondering if anyone else hear has tried anything else that can counteract the Asian Flush.

  35. What doses is everyone taking? I think 150MG is the norm, anyone tried extra strength 300MG? Not sure what side effects taking a stronger dosage will have…

  36. Hi everyone!

    I dont usually make posts on the internet but this issue is close to the heart to me as a half-asian. The Asian flush can be an extremely embarrasing thing (especially if you dont hang around with other asians) and can be mistakenly taken as being a “cadbury” by others which can make all drinkin occasions awkward and humiliating. After a year of drinking (im only young) and half a year of discovering Zantac, there is no denying (atleast with my body) that the drug works wonders to eliminate 95% of the dreaded Asian Flush.

    I ensure I take two to three 150MG Zantac ATLEAST half an hour before I start drinking. Sometimes I have to bum around and just talk for awhile without drinking to wait for the 30mins (if unplanned drinking is happening), people ask me why I havent started drinking, my minute hand on my watch hits the half hour mark and I straight away skull several beers with no fear and a shit eating grin on my face.

    I have felt alittle dizzy on occasions but not too any concern, sometimes it makes the buzz feel even better! Dont know about this passing out situation some people are describing above but that hasn’t happened to me in the past 20-30 or so times I’ve taken alcohol with Zantac.

    To Jeff, I applaud you sir. To make an open post to the internet like this shows you care about your fellow asian-flusher which tells me you’re a good natured person 🙂

    As for the 300mg tablets, I bought some today (they come in packs of 14) and I’ll guinea pig them for all of you this weekend while im in Sydney for a drinking binge with my mates and report back with the results/differences from the 150mg.

    ps. Dave, taking 2 Zantacs half an hour before a big night of drinking has an effect duration on me till the next day (Zantac’s where i live are labled with 12 hour or 24 hour texts).

    1. Hey Fest –

      Thanks for commenting, and glad to hear that it’s working so well for you. If only I had this knowledge during college :). Report back on your 300mg tablet experiment!

  37. Noticed that a 300mg tablet works just as well as taking 2-3 150mg tablets. There was no flush visable.

    Just make sure it is taken atleast half an hour before drinking.

    1. Greetings Fest,

      I live in Sydney aswell and was just curious on the going price of 150 & 300mg Zantacs individually!

      Cheers mate!

  38. i’ve been drinking for almost 6 years and i’m still in college.. asian flush is been my worst problem in my social life.. i hardly can’t enjoy due to facial effects and rapidly heartburn. my friends also make fond of me when i started to turn red and it completely ruined my moment. i only started googling about asian flush just few months ago and i’m not sure of this z pill can realy save my entire drinking prob.. so maybe ill take shot this night and if i can still remember perhaps ill put my personal results here.. thanks for giving me such confidence

  39. wow! works like magic! i’ve never been this good in drinking and the party was great i never passed out.. thanks to zantac.. i took zantac 150 around 3 hours before the first shot, i was a bit of worried because i thought that the pill will dissolve faster and will not work when i took it several hours ago.. but i took your advice better took it before the party, not on and middle of the party… thank you all guys

  40. I’m a former Pepcid AC Max user (usually 20mgx2 before drinking). For me, even after as little as one beer I’ll start getting blotchy red patches on my face and get really hot…in extreme cases a racing heartbeat followed by one hell of a headache and nausea(vomiting). The first few times using Pepcid AC Max were successful, then its effectiveness gradually wore off. Since then I’ve been staying away from alcohol for the most part, cause I get really self-conscious while drinking cause I know I’ll turn red. Now that I’ve read this article I might just have to give Zantac 150’s a try. One thing I’ve noticed is that eating anything before/during/after drinking will usually bring on the redness when using pepcid ac, so I’m assuming Zantac will be more or less the same, but I’ll give it a try and see how it goes.

  41. As much as possible I really avoid taking medications. I always go for natural and organic methods of treating our bodies but your story on Zantac is very interesting. I will send this post to my friend because he also has the same symptoms that you’re experiencing. Hopefully this would help him. Thanks for sharing your findings.

  42. Hey so even before encountering this love-sharing website, I had discovered of this fantastic pill long ago, about 6 years back. I had started off with Pepcid Ac but to no great avail.
    I actually accidentally found out about the wonders of this pill, Zantacs. It was when I was getting pretty bad heart burn, which i usually don:t get at all, that I went to the school’s health center (in college) and they had prescribed me 10mg zantacs….As i later drunk in the night, I had realized that I had absolutely no symptoms of the infamous asian flush. now i am half asian so i do not get the flush all the time. that being said, i hate it when i get them in socially formal occasions or at a date or something…it was a mysterious game for me, always, when i drank.
    now, i’m on the 150 mg zantacs and this is a dooruuug of my choice…it has saved me,, lifted me off the ground, and assured me my confidence when i drink.
    i usually pop half to one and a half pill 30 min to an hour before i drink. usually i get best outcomes by popping the pill before i eat, and later drink. this method def yields best results with the least amount of ranitidine needed.
    anyways, if yall got any similarities or sth you wanna share. shoot-

    i’m off to drink now. peace

  43. Hey I have also been using Zantac for about a 7months now and it does work like charm !

    But my friends have always cautioned me from mixing drugs and alcohol but nothing has happen to me.

    However though I dont get any short term problems, does anyone know anything about using long term with alcohol?

    1. Well it does clearly state on the directions not to mix zantac with any alcohol as it may increase blood alcohol level by 38%. I’m not going to lie, personally, considering asian flush involves a combination of and are not limited to rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, feeling uncomfortable, itchiness..etc, I believe that the costs of not taking Zantacs far exceeds the cost of taking it. From my experience, I have never felt more intoxicated from consuming Zantacs with alcohol, which I’ve been doing on a routine basis for over 2 years. If anything, I feel a little sleepless and some joint pains the following day, which goes away with time. I read that too much Zantacs, well continuous use, will lead to problems with the stomach, joints, back, and such stuff, but nothing too serious. However, not long ago, I had taken Zantacs, about 200 mg and went out binge drinking after a dinner. The drinking had begun while dining, and here is a fact. Whenever I drink and eat at the same time while taking Zantacs, it seems to raise my heart level either way but holds down the glow. I don’t feel half as good as I do when I just drink alone with Zantacs. Maybe its something with the whole food + alcohol + Zantacs combination. Anyways, two days after this night of heavy drinking which involved over 4 pitchers of beer for 3, 2 rum and coke mixes, and 2 more Heinekens in the course of about 4 hours….I was blushed red by the time I got back for I believe the Zantacs had worn off but I had kept on drinking and munching on appetizers and such. The next day, I was beat, but after having dinner, a horrifying and excruciating pain struck my entire stomach area from the lower abdomen all the way to the botton of my lungs. I got a severe fever as well and went to the hospital. The doctor believed it could have been an imbalance in acid in my stomach and questioned me if I had drunk recently in large quantity. But after having taken multiple ex-rays and UV scans, it turned out that it was somewhat related to my ingestion of unsanitary stuff which can be attributed to tap water, all the food I ate recently, and the excessive alcohol, PLUS ZANTACS. Of course, I hadn’t told the doc about my Zantacs use but to this day, it all remains a mytery. I haven’t taken Zantacs with alcohol since, which was barely 2 weeks ago, but tonight, I plan on binging with Zantacs and will hope for the best. I mean, it was weird all in all, since I’ve been practicing this combination of intake for long enough, and never have I experienced the like. Anyways, stay in the safe range and enjoy drinking always..Let Zantacs put a charm and smile to those who are saved- for those Asians intolerant to drinking with peace- 😉 peace

  44. Well it does clearly state on the directions not to mix zantac with any alcohol as it may increase blood alcohol level by 38%. I’m not going to lie, personally, considering asian flush involves a combination of and are not limited to rapid heartbeat, difficulty breathing, headaches, nausea, feeling uncomfortable, itchiness..etc, I believe that the costs of not taking Zantacs far exceeds the cost of taking it. From my experience, I have never felt more intoxicated from consuming Zantacs with alcohol, which I’ve been doing on a routine basis for over 2 years. If anything, I feel a little sleepless and some joint pains the following day, which goes away with time. I read that too much Zantacs, well continuous use, will lead to problems with the stomach, joints, back, and such stuff, but nothing too serious. However, not long ago, I had taken Zantacs, about 200 mg and went out binge drinking after a dinner. The drinking had begun while dining, and here is a fact. Whenever I drink and eat at the same time while taking Zantacs, it seems to raise my heart level either way but holds down the glow. I don’t feel half as good as I do when I just drink alone with Zantacs. Maybe its something with the whole food + alcohol + Zantacs combination. Anyways, two days after this night of heavy drinking which involved over 4 pitchers of beer for 3, 2 rum and coke mixes, and 2 more Heinekens in the course of about 4 hours….I was blushed red by the time I got back for I believe the Zantacs had worn off but I had kept on drinking and munching on appetizers and such. The next day, I was beat, but after having dinner, a horrifying and excruciating pain struck my entire stomach area from the lower abdomen all the way to the botton of my lungs. I got a severe fever as well and went to the hospital. The doctor believed it could have been an imbalance in acid in my stomach and questioned me if I had drunk recently in large quantity. But after having taken multiple ex-rays and UV scans, it turned out that it was somewhat related to my ingestion of unsanitary stuff which can be attributed to tap water, all the food I ate recently, and the excessive alcohol, PLUS ZANTACS. Of course, I hadn’t told the doc about my Zantacs use but to this day, it all remains a mytery. I haven’t taken Zantacs with alcohol since, which was barely 2 weeks ago, but tonight, I plan on binging with Zantacs and will hope for the best. I mean, it was weird all in all, since I’ve been practicing this combination of intake for long enough, and never have I experienced the like. Anyways, stay in the safe range and enjoy drinking always..Let Zantacs put a charm and smile to those who are saved- for those Asians intolerant to drinking with peace- 😉

  45. I took a total of 400 mg of Zantacs with a wine bottle and the next thing I knew, I was getting my stomach pumped in an ambulance and was hospitalized for 2 weeks…

    1. Well that there is probably your problem. You’re not supposed to take more than 2 75mg tablets in the space of 24 hours.

  46. K so i had a go with zantac last week and it didn’t really help me much for some reason? Although i did take it only 10 minutes before i started drinking…but i was still reddish an hour later. So i was wondering if anyone has had similar experiences or know some possible reasons as to why it didn’t work?

  47. Hey,

    I am Caucasian and have been getting alcohol flush sporadically for around 5 years. It happened very infrequently at first, maybe after a couple nights drinking in a row, but resurfaced at university. As I get older it seems to be getting more frequent, but maybe less severe as I am quick to notice the signs and stop drinking until it goes away. I tried Zantac and it worked really well for a while but it gradually became less effective. I came off it for a bit and drank moderately (1 or 2 beers a night) for a couple weeks. When I went out next I didn’t take Zantac, but didn’t get a red face. I have been out twice since and taken Zantac and it was more effective. However, I drank 2 beers tonight and started to get the familiar rash around my cheeks and eyes.

    My theory is that the effects of Zantac do wear off, BUT this can be mitigated by drinking moderately without taking it allowing your body to maintain its tolerance to alcohol without help from the ranitidine.

    I also noticed that before taking Zantac I was getting alcohol flush about 25% of the time. After starting taking Zantac I would get a hot face and some very faint signs of alcohol flush about 90% of the time. I reckon that relying on Zantac reduces your ability to fight of alcohol flush naturally.

    Essentially, what I’m suggesting is taking Zantac only when you really have to be on form. If you are just drinking at home, or having one or two with a friend (depending on your tolerance) don’t take it! It will reduce the effectiveness of it when it does matter.

    Hope by theory helps!

  48. Hey,

    I go very red and blotchy when I drink, my heart races, my head feels heavy.. after one drink!! When I started reading about the H2 antagonist drug, ranitidine, every blog was saying that it stops the redness, and I thought i’d test it out for myself! The first night I took one 150mg of ranitidine 15 minutes before my first drink and after my one drink, I still had the usual symptoms, heart racing, felt tipsy already, but I wasnt red! I was so excited! The next 2 weekends I did the same, except, I drunk like there was no tomorrow, and I wasnt red, once again! I wasnt even sick, whereas my friends who can usually handle a night out, were sick out of their brains, and yes, we were going one for one!
    It was not until I went to a Big Day Out festival recently, I had 2 bottles of water and had taken one 150mg of ranitidine and had half a can of extra dry, it may have been the heat as well (thats what I was hoping it was) but i’d only been there an hour and my vision was getting white spots, as I went to buy a bottle of water hoping I just needed a drink of water, my vision disappeared, and all I could see was a white cloud! My (very stressed) partner, was telling me that we’ll go to first aid, little did he know I couldnt see, and I ran into a wall apparently and passed out. He then picked me up and took me to first aid, where within 2 mintues, I was fine. Pulse fine, blood pressure fine, temperature fine, but when they went to take a blood sugar level test a little prick turned into a flow of blood! Due to the Ranitidine id taken (thinned the blood). After this ordeal I drunk close to probably 20 bottles of water for the rest of the day, partly due to my partner forcing me!

    I was too scared to take a ranitidine and drink for a while but I thought i’d try again on a night out a few weekends later. After 2 drinks, I got the same symptoms as at Big Day Out, and started to see white spots, I literally shit my pants then and there! My friend took me to sit down for nearly an hour whilst drinking a tonne of water, and the symptoms started to ease.

    I’ve now recently started UNI and I thought this would solve my problem of having a red, blotchy face, neck, arms and back. But after my last 2 experiences, im too scared to take ranitidine and alcohol together and im scared (and embarrassed) just to drink alcohol!

    Social. Life. Ruined.

    If anyone has any similar stories let me know! & more importanly if anyone has any other remedies to cure redness whilst drinking, please, LET ME KNOW!

    1. I know how you feel Jess!! The same thing happened to me, it worked fine the first time then the second time i had black outs. Ppl said we should take the pill at least half an hour before drinking. The first time i did but the second time i took one and started drinking within minutes. I think this was (or hope it was) the reason why i fainted. i will give this another try…this time i will take it and wont drink until 1 hr later…then see what happens. If i still experience the same effect, i will NEVER do it again!! I know its a reallly scary feeling

  49. Hi everyone,
    I posted previously promoting Zantac to help get rid of the asian flush. It had worked for me pretty much flawlessly and I never had the experienced people are describing above (especially white clouds in vision, sounds terrifying).

    BUT, i’m here now to warn everyone that Zantac can muck around with your hormonal balance. I’ve developed a small tissue lump under one of my breasts and my GP believes it is to do with the drugs (im a guy). Its not noticible and no, im not turning into a woman haha but it rose my concern of the side effects of Zantac with regular use.

    Please take it easy on this thing, it has NOT been properly tested for regular intake and I have experienced first had one of the side effects (hopefully my condition improves). It’s only fair to warn everyone.

    All the best

  50. Its funny now looking back at my old post, I was questioning ‘James’ if he thought the drug was attributable to his condition, im facing the exact same situation as him now.

  51. I hope that you all know that taking Zantac before drinking is NOT a cure for the Asian Flush. While it may inhibit or lessen the embarrassing red face/body it does not inhibit the chemical reaction that is taking place inside your body. The reason for the flushing is an accumulation of acetaldehyde, a carcinogen, and a faulty acetaldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH2) enzyme responsible for breaking down acetaldehyde. It has been said that a large number of the population that have Asian Flush convert alcohol to acetaldehyde up to 4 times as fast a normal person thus increasing the amount of accumulated acetaldehyde. Also many Asians are at a significantly higher risk for Esophageal cancer so drinking heavily should be avoided at all costs.

  52. Hey guys, been using zantac for a few years before drinking but for the past month or so it messed up every time, I always felt very nauseous after drinking and more recently fainted – after like two drinks! will not be using again

  53. Brian
    I’ve been taking zantac for heartburn for a few months anybody have any bad side effects with alcohol jus checking bc its my first night took 1 30 mins ago about to drink

  54. After reading all your posts I thought I’d share my experiences with Zantac 150.

    I’ve been taking different heartburn meds for a couple years now to prevent the Asian flush. I usually take one tablet before drinking (typically Pepcid or Zantac 75mg). Last six months or so I’ve taken taking Zantac 150 mint flavor (I bought these figuring the higher dosage would be more effective than the 75mg so why not?). I notice when i take these that my drinks taste minty throughout the entire night (not in a good way – like toothpaste in your drink) but more importantly, the 150 dose make it so that my buzz takes much longer to kick in. This has resulted in some undesired consequences over my last several outings. I basically end up drinking a lot more than I normally would and before I know it I’m completely wasted. It’s as if there is no gradual transition from being slightly buzzed to drunk. I’ve also blacked out several times in the past few months (not remembering what happened towards the end of the night or how I got home) something that rarely ever happens to me. Worse part about some of these nights is that I’ve behaved regrettably by stumbling, dropping drinks and causing general concern amongst my friends the next day – something I haven’t done since my teen years. I’ve been drinking regularly for the past twenty years and I’ve always been a controlled drinker keeping my behavior in relative check. Since these episodes, I’ve stopped taking the Zantac 150 and have gone down to the 75 mg which seems to work just as good without drunk teleporting and blackouts. I don’t mind being a little pink as long as i’m not walking around looking like a tomato. Would be curious to hear if anyone else has experienced anything like this taking the 150mg or heart burn meds in general.

  55. I don’t have this issue, but 2 asian friends came over last night both woth a propensity for the flush. Each popped a zantac on my suggestion, both were able to consume much more alcohol than they do regularly. Even I popped one 150. Just read the study regarding it increasing BAC…suggest that the amount asians typically drink shouldn’t preclude use of zantac. Benefits outweigh the negatives IMO.

  56. Be careful, you might…drink more with zantac. I was able to drink 10 cans of beer without getting drunk with Zantac. However, later it knocked me out cold, but I was already in bed.

  57. I have taken Zantac when drinking 30-60min prior for past 10 years and never been ill since, prior to this I would be physically sick eveytime I had more than 2 drinks. My hangovers are severly reduced and I can function the next day. I started taking them when it was mentioned to me after having children and I was always ill when drinking. I do not take them every weekend, and would not recommend drinking in excess or taking them every weekend to anyone. But yes they definately work for me, and at least half dozen of my friends.

  58. Just so you know, zentac heavily raises a persons blood alcohol content when drinking!! Read about it in a webmd article.
    though im glad you found something that works for those that have this problem 🙂 those that use it shouldnt drive no mather how little alcohol is consumed.

  59. Ive been take prevacid or pepcid ac for a while before drinking. Just wondering if this has any long term effects? Since I am in college and drinking 2 nights a week

  60. I know it’s been a long time but I’ll chime in:
    I’m half asian, and Zantac didn’t seem to do it for me. Pepcid 2x20mg, however, has cured most to all flushing. I have been now using this probably the past 4 years. Only ill side effect is a somewhat sour stomach the next day… but that might just be from the amount of alcohol I’ve had.
    I’ve never felt MORE drunk taking Pepcid. In fact, I’m sure I can hold my alcohol BETTER.

    AVOID spicy foods. Spicy foods seem to really mess things up for me and I’ll get red more easily.

    Certain alcohols seem to cause problems more than others… certain beers, certain liquors, brand or type… for example, Bud Light and Miller Light are REALLY bad for me, but Newcastle Stella and Coors products not so much… one friend theorized it might be the kinds of preservatives a company uses in their beer.

    Taking pepcid usually 15-30 minutes before I start is ideal, however I can take one when I start and just take my time with the first drink and I’m usually OK.

    Also, if I consume alcohol regularly (a drink a night or more for several consecutive nights) I find the flushing is reduced WITHOUT any Pepcid, but still not a good as w/ Pepcid.

    Good luck all!! Do NOT drink and drive!! Love LIFE and the people you meet!!

  61. Asians are not the only getting red. People of Jewish descent also do too, you know. But it’s the size of the population that makes Asians stick out.

  62. I’ve only recently heard this from a friend, and I’m really curious to try! But too scared at the same time :/ haha. Is it safe to mix the two?
    I don’t really know anyone that has tried it.
    I’ve also heard of Pepcid but don’t think we have that in AUS.

  63. Hi everyone. I just found out about this Asian flush and so glad to have found out about this. I really thought I was the only one in this world. I’m a 26 year old women and always wondered what the hell is wrong with me! Flushing after a couple of sips of any alcohol, heart race so I can feel it in my head, headache, extremely hot on entire body, nausea and vomiting. I rejected many invitations to parties and other social events just because of how uncomfortable and ill I get when I drink. I also try to go out later than everyone else to avoid the pre party drinking. So to my question where I don’t seem to find much answers about. (I’m going to try Zantac) I am wondering if Zantac helps the others issues that occurs other than the redness in the face? I don’t really feel that the redness is my main concern, the biggest problem I feel is the heart rate, heat and nausea(vomiting).
    Going to get it after work, so excited. Maybe I too will be able to socialize like “normal” people.

  64. Instead of Zantac, try popping 2 Zinc Carnosine before, and 2 after the drinking (“Dr’s Best” or “Swanson” brands). It is a much less “pharma” drug, it has no side-effects, and is widely used in Japan for stomach ailments. It was clinically proven in both U.S. and Japan to protect stomach lining and small intestine, regulate acid, and normalize stomach mucosa.

    There are “remixes” of it. There’s Ulcetrol, which mixes it with two other ingredients.

    And if you want a real nuke, try Gastromend HP instead. That is some serious protection for the stomach, however the mastic gum ingredient in it can cause constipation in some people.

  65. P.S. The only side-effect of Zinc Carnosine could be a zinc overdose but then you’d have to keep taking like 8 pills a day for weeks before noticing it.

    For episodic usage, large portions (2 before, 2 after drinks) should be fine.

  66. I’ve been looking around for some time about whether zantac is worth taking or not, so glad I’ve found this page! At college I grew a tolerance towards alochol, but now that I’ve finished,I drink once -twice every two weeks. Though I had half a beerthe other day and I started to get really red and my heart was racing like crazy! I’m going to an open bar stag do and I plan to get smashed. I’m tempted to try zantacs out but I’m not sure when I should take it, cause I’ll be having a big meal before I start drinking. Should I take before I eat or after I eat and wait 30 mins before I drink?

  67. Hey everyone,

    Has anyone tried tried AS’s suggestion of using Zinc Carnosine? Seems like a viable alternative for famotidine or ranitidine. BTW, I’ve used Pepcid with limited success, as well as NoGlo and AF Formula, which did not work for me at all. Running low on money at this point!! Thanks everyone, especially AS for the suggestion

  68. I’ve been using zantac for about 6 months. For me it has made a huge difference to my redness when drinking! Ideally I take it about half an hour before a drink. Then I experience only minimal to no redness. I’m guessing the level of redness varies depending on the type of drink, time passed before drinking and whether I’ve eaten.

    Before taking zantac I would go a very deep red, have the pulsating in my head, faster heart beat, glazed eyes. The whole package to make one look a mess. But everything is dialed back now and I feel like a normal person! It has also improved my capacity to drink. Before I would start to feel tipsy after one or two drinks. But I seem to be able to hold my drinks better now.

    I’m in Australia and I’ve tried zantac as well as the coles home brand and the priceline homebrand. The two generics work as well as the brand name version.

  69. I really rate Zantac (or the generic store ones – look out for the active ingredients ranitidine, which are often much cheaper), it’s saved my self confidence and allows me to enjoy alcohol like normal people again!

    I’m a 22 year old, white English guy (as opposed to Asian) 6 ft 2, 90kg, body fat of 11% (i.e. fairly healthy!) but have experienced facial flushing for as long as I can remember. I’m fairly sure I have undiagnosed Rosacea and would usually turn beetroot when I drink without Zantac. It’s not just the usual ‘rosy cheeks’ with alcohol either, it’s unsightly blotches, a pulsating forehead and searing temperatures. Zantac reduces all of these symptoms to some degree or another – enough for me to go out and drink!

    Before I’d tried all sorts of treatments, including foundation – pretty embarressing for a young guy! My female friends all think it’s quite funny and help out with the application if I get caught short or on the rare occasions the Zantac fails (it does happen from time to time – usually when you’ve been drinking too fast, too much or on a few occasions in a short period of time).

    I also use a cream called Mirvaso, which helps keep my face at a usual temperature. Coupled with the Zantac I’m almost a normal colour!

    One thing I would say to everyone who suffers is that you notice it yourself infinitely more than others. Some of my female friends even find my base colour (which is always at least a little bit red) endearing and in no way ugly or unsightly.

    It’s near impossible but just try not to think about it, doing so only makes it worse as you become conscious and embarrassed. In night clubs and some pubs it’s too dark or everyone’s too drunk to notice anyway!

    I’d ask other users – how much and how often do you take it? I’m a little concerned that some nights I end up taking an entire pack (12 75mg tablets) which I think is probably worse for me than the boozing!

  70. Upon further research, my previous suggestion of zinc carnosine would not work for this particular issue.

    Neither would Pepcid.

    Zantac is uniquely suited for the alcohol interaction problem, because it is a side-effect!

    Zantac is a 2nd-gen H2 blocker, and Pepcid is 3rd-gen. Pepcid is “cleaner” but this also means it won’t neutralize your flushing.

    ____________

    @Alex: 12 75mg tablets in 24 hours??

    I believe you should just take 2 tablets of 150mg each, 1 hour before drinking ensues. 300mg for one night is tremendous, I don’t see how it wouldn’t work.

    You’re taking 900mg, which is 1.5 times higher than the highest dose prescribed. This stuff isn’t candy.

  71. My fiancé has to take a Zantac every single time he drinks. He is not Asian , he is white. About 5 years ago- he started having abnormal reactions to alcohol. We drank a lot in highschool w/ normal hangovers but in his 20s he started vomiting excessively after a night of drinking. His stomach would cramp up and about 7am he would begin vomiting every half hour for about 6-7 hours. We found out he had this reaction to even 1 or 2 beers. He stopped drinking entirely until we found out about Asian flush syndrome and read about it on the internet( my mother flushes when she drinks at all).

    The Zantac cure changed everything! He takes one before he drinks and can basically drink as normal! If he drinks too much, he gets a hangover like anyone else – but not bi-hourly vomiting and dry heaving which is so intense it breaks all the blood vessels in his face! Best cute ever!

  72. I took a zantac about half an hour before i started drinking and worked like a charm! For reference, I didn’t eat much for dinner, just a few bites and I was still okay. Just wanted to write something to express how happy and surprised I am with it. I’ve always hated drinking because of how red i get and this absolutely prevented it. Yay to drinking!!

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