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Where is Cimetidine used?

Cimetidine is a prescription medicine used to treat:

  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Excess stomach acid

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medicine. This belongs to the class of medications commonly called H2 blockers. Cimetidine reduces the amount of acid in your stomach.

How does Cimetidine work?

Cimetidine blocks H2 receptors that are found on the cells in the stomach lining. Natural body chemical called histamine usually binds to these receptors. It causes the cells to create stomach acid. By blocking the H2 receptors, Cimetidine inhibits histamine from binding to them. This stops the cells from making stomach acid. 

Stomach acid is produced in the stomach as a normal part of the digestive process. Usually, the linings of the stomach and duodenum are protected by a layer that resists acid attack. But, if this layer is damaged, or large amounts of stomach acid are formed, an ulcer can develop on the lining of the stomach. This is called a peptic ulcer. The acid produced in the stomach can also sometimes flow back into the food pipe. This is called gastro-oesophageal reflux and can cause pain and a burning sensation known as heartburn. It can also irritate and damage the lining of the esophagus, causing a condition called reflux esophagitis.

By reducing the production of stomach acid, this medicine can be used to treat all these and other conditions. It stops excess acid from flowing back into the food pipe. It also allows the esophagus to heal in reflux esophagitis. Also, by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, Cimetidine allows peptic ulcers to heal and prevents them from recurring. 

How is Cimetidine taken?

Take this medication by mouth with a full glass of water. You may take each dose with or without a meal or as directed by your doctor. The dosage is based on your condition and response to the treatment. Follow the instructions of your doctor carefully. If you are also taking antacids to relieve stomach pain as recommended by your doctor, separate them from this by at least one hour. 

Take this medication regularly as prescribed to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time each day. If you are using non-prescription Cimetidine for self-treatment, take 1 tablet by mouth with a full glass of water as needed. To prevent heartburn, take 1 tablet by mouth. Do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours unless directed by your doctor.

What are the possible side effects of Cimetidine?

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 

What are the precautions in using Cimetidine?

  • Let your doctor know if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction. 
  • If you feel you have experienced an allergic reaction, stop using this medicine and inform your doctor right away.
  • This medicine may cause dizziness or blurred vision that could affect your ability to perform hazardous activities safely. You should take extra care when driving until you know how it affects you. 
  • If you are a pregnant, breastfeeding women, or get pregnant while having this treatment call your doctor right away for a consultation.