CLL Support Association

Does anyone know the latest advice re taking Ranitidine tablets alongside pneumonia vaccinations, to increase their effectiveness?

I’m booked to have Prevnar 13 (conjugated pneumonia vac) next week, and Pneumovax 23 (non-conjugated vac) some time later. However, before then, I want to find out the latest recommendations on taking Ranitidine to help vacs be more effective. I need to have some scientific evidence to show my GP – who does listen to me, but understandably wants to check things out first

When I did a search, I found that a year ago, Hairbear posted the following:

This is an exceprt from an article he (Prof Hamblin) wrote in Professor’s posts in ACOR .

“All patients with CLL have a diminished immune response which means that they have difficulty making antibodies to bacteria, even after vaccination. This is particularly so against bacteria with polysaccharide cell walls where the re- sponse is "T-independent". Examples of such bacteria are Pnemococcus and Haemophilus, so vaccines such as pneumovax don't work. Vaccines that contain protein are a bit better with an average response rate of about 40%. There are so-called "conjugated vaccines" where protein is conjugated to the polysaccharide, and response to these is better.

There is a further trick to help the immune response, which involves raising the level of blood histamine, which in turn enhances the response to IL-2, one of the "cytokines" that stimulates T

cells in the immune response. This is done by blocking the H2 receptors for histamine so there is a compensatory increased secretion of histamine. The way this is done is to take ranitidine 300 mg twice daily with the first vaccination, to have a boost of vaccine at 45 days and to continue the ranitidine for 90 days. This increases the response rate to 90%.”

Can someone explain if this is relevant today and which vaccinations it may improve response to?

The immunodeficiency of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia

A. D. Hamblin and T. J. Hamblin 2008

“Vaccination against infections is generally ineffective, but various manoeuvres can improve performance.”

So, that is very helpful, but have ideas changed since then? I’m not sure how to find Prof Hamblin’s original article (or other relevant articles), to show my GP. I have till next Wednesday, to collect my evidence and present my case...

I feel that anything that would help us gain a bit of extra immunity, before our disease progresses any further and vaccinations become less effective, is worth the effort.


7 Replies

This was looked at 5 or 6 years ago, but never was widely accepted... here is the study I posted back then...

I just scanned PubMed and there is nothing after 2009...


Thank you so much, Chris. From what that study says, it seems that Ranitidine really does improve responses to vaccines. And Terry Hamblin seemed to agree with this, at the time. So, WHY wasn't it widely accepted? It seems strange that if something would help, it didn't catch on.


I think it is just another study needing larger, repeated studies to confirm the results before it becomes standard practice. I didn't have any difficulty getting my GP to prescribe Ranitidine concurrently with my flu vaccination when I presented him with supportive information.



Thanks Neil. What supportive information did you show to your GP? Was it the same study that Chris mentioned above?


I referenced Prof Hamblin's similar comments in his blog mutated-unmuated.blogspot.c...


I used Zantac for flu vaccinations a number of years ago...

Did it work? Who knows... I never got influenza...

Please read the Zantac side effects... before you go down this road...


Glad to hear you didn't get influenza, Chris.

Please could you tell me what dose you you took (of Ranitidine/Zantac)? The dose quoted by Prof Hamblin of 300 mg twice daily for 90 days, sounds A LOT (when 150 twice a day is the usual dose). Maybe not surprising that there'd be side effects with all that...