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Why is this medication prescribed?

Cimetidine is used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a disorder in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and causes heartburn and damage to the food pipe (oesophagus), as well as ulcers. Cimetidine, a drug available over-the-counter, is used to prevent and cure heartburn symptoms brought on by acid indigestion and a sour stomach. H2 blockers are a class of drugs that includes cimetidine. It lessens the production of stomach acid.

How should this medicine be used?

Cimetidine is available as a liquid and tablet for oral consumption. It is typically taken at bedtime once a day or twice to four times a day with meals. Cimetidine purchased over the counter is often taken once or twice daily with a glass of water. It must be consumed within 30 minutes of consuming foods or beverages that induce heartburn if you want to avoid symptoms. Ask your doctor or pharmacist to clarify any instructions on your prescription or package label that you do not understand, and carefully follow them. Cimetidine should be taken as prescribed. Never take it in larger or less amounts or more frequently than directed by your doctor.

Unless your doctor directs you to, do not take over-the-counter cimetidine for more than two weeks. Cimetidine should be stopped and a doctor should be contacted if heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach symptoms continue for more than two weeks.

Other uses for this medicine

In addition, cimetidine is occasionally used to treat viral warts, rashes, and itching, as well as to avoid aspiration pneumonia when under anaesthesia. Discuss the potential dangers of using this medication for your illness with your doctor.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more details if you believe this drug should be used for something else.

What special precautions should I follow?

Before taking cimetidine,

  • If you have an allergy to cimetidine or any other drug, let your doctor and pharmacist know right away.
  • Inform your doctor and pharmacist about any vitamins, nutritional supplements, herbal items, and prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are using. Any of the following should be mentioned: anticoagulants (sometimes known as “blood thinners”) like warfarin (Coumadin); medications used to treat depression (mood elevators), including amitriptyline (Elavil), amoxapine (Asendin), clomipramine (Anafranil), desipramine (Norpramin), doxepin (Adapin, Sinequan), imipramine (Tofranil), nortriptyline (Aventyl, Pamelor), protriptyline (Vivactil), and trimipramine (Surmontil); chlordiazepoxide (Librium), clopidogrel (Plavix), diazepam (Valium), lidocaine (Xylocaine), metronidazole (Flagyl), nifedipine (Adalat, Procardia), phenytoin (Dilantin), propranolol (Inderal), and theophylline are some examples of medications (Theobid, Theo-Dur). Your doctor might need to adjust your medication doses or keep a close eye out for any negative side effects.
  • If you are taking antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, Tums), digoxin (Lanoxin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or iron salts, take them 2 hours before cimetidine.
  • Use antacids (Maalox, Mylanta, Tums), digoxin (Lanoxin), ketoconazole (Nizoral), or iron salts two hours before cimetidine if you are taking any of those medications.
  • Inform your doctor if you have or have previously had kidney or liver illness, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), or human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Inform your physician if you are nursing a baby, intend to get pregnant, or are already pregnant. Call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking cimetidine.

What special dietary instructions should I follow?

Keep eating normally unless your doctor instructs you otherwise.

What should I do if I forget a dose?

If you miss a dosage, take it as soon as you recall. If the next dose is soon due, skip the missed one and carry on with your regular dosing plan. To make up for a missing dose, do not take a second one.

What side effects can this medication cause?

Side effects from cimetidine are possible. If any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away, let your doctor know right once:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Breast expansion

Some adverse effects may be severe. Although the following signs are unusual, if you notice any of them, consult your doctor right away:

  • Confusion
  • Excitement
  • Depression
  • Nervousness
  • Seeing or hearing things or voices that are not there (hallucinating)

Further negative effects of cimetidine could exist. If you experience any strange issues while taking this medicine, contact your doctor right away.

You or your doctor can submit a report to the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting programme online or by phone if you have a serious side event (1-800-332-1088).

What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?

Keep this medication tightly closed in the original container and out of the reach of children. Keep it away from excessive heat and moisture at room temperature (not in the bathroom).

Unused prescriptions must be disposed of carefully to prevent pets, kids, and other people from ingesting them. You should not, however, dispose of this medication in the toilet. Instead, utilising a medicine take-back programme is the easiest approach to get rid of your medication. To find out about take-back programmes in your area, speak with your pharmacist or the garbage/recycling department in your city. If you do not have access to a take-back programme, see the FDA’s Safe Disposal of Medications website at for additional information.

Although many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and are simple for young children to open, it is crucial to keep all medications out of sight and out of reach of children. Always lock safety caps and promptly stash medication up and away from young children where it is out of their sight and reach to prevent poisoning.

In case of emergency/overdose

Call the poison control hotline at 1-800-222-1222 in the event of an overdose. Moreover, information can be found online at Call 911 right once if the person has collapsed, experienced a seizure, is having difficulty breathing, or cannot be roused.

What other information should I know?

Keep all of your doctor’s appointments.

No one else should take your medication. Any queries you may have regarding medication refills should be directed to your pharmacist.

You should keep a written record of every medication you take, including any over-the-counter (OTC) items, prescription drugs, and dietary supplements like vitamins and minerals. This list should be brought with you whenever you see a doctor or are admitted to the hospital. You should always have this information with you in case of emergencies.

Brand names

  • Tagamet®
  • Tagamet® HB
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