Cimetidine

Cimetidine

Cimetidine is used to treat:

  • Peptic ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • Excess stomach acid

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this prescription. This belongs to the class of medications commonly called H2 blockers. Cimetidine reduces the amount of acid in your stomach. This comes as a tablet with a dosage strength of 200 mg for oral use. 

Pepticulcers are sore that develops in the lining of the stomach. They areusually formed as a result of inflammation caused by a certain bacteria. Themost common symptom of a peptic ulcer is burning abdominal pain that extendsfrom the navel to the chest. That it can range from mild to severe. In somecases, the pain may wake you up at night. Small peptic ulcers may not produceany symptoms in the early phases. Other common signs and symptoms of thiscondition may include:

  • Nausea
  • Changes in appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bloody or dark stools 
  • Vomiting
  • Indigestion
  • Chest pain 

Gastroesophagealreflux disease happens when contents form your stomach moveup into your esophagus. Many people experience this from time to time. Commonsigns and symptoms may include:

  • Chest pain
  • A burning sensation in your chest usually after eating, which might be worse at night
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • The sensation of a lump in your throat

Excessstomach acid can be uncomfortable to live with. It canlead to serious health problems when not treated. Stomach acid is important tothe digestive system. It helps us process food and it kills harmful bacteria.The stomach makes the hormone called gastrin. When these acid levels increase,it can lead to hyperacidity. Excess stomach acid can range from mild tosevere. 

How doesCimetidine work?

Cimetidineblocks H2 receptors that are found on the cells in the stomach lining. Naturalbody chemical called histamine usually binds to these receptors. It causes thecells to create stomach acid. By blocking the H2 receptors, Cimetidine inhibitshistamine from binding to them. This stops the cells from making stomachacid. 

Stomachacid 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 thatresists acid attack. But, if this layer is damaged, or large amounts of stomachacid are formed, an ulcer can develop on the lining of the stomach. This iscalled a peptic ulcer.

The acidproduced in the stomach can also sometimes flow back into the food pipe. Thisis called gastro-oesophageal reflux and can cause pain and a burning sensationknown as heartburn. It can also irritate and damage the lining of theesophagus, causing a condition called reflux esophagitis.

Byreducing the production of stomach acid Cimetidine can be used to treat allthese and other conditions. It stops excess acid flowing back into the foodpipe. It also allows the esophagus to heal in reflux esophagitis.

Byreducing the amount of acid in the stomach, Cimetidine also allows pepticulcers to heal and prevents them from recurring. 

How touse Cimetidine?

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. Swallow the tablet as a whole. Do not crush or break. 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 thismedication regularly as prescribed to get the most benefit from it. To help youremember, take it at the same time each day. Do not increase your dose or takeit more often than directed. Continue to take this medication for theprescribed length of treatment even if you well. Stopping treatment too earlymay delay the healing process. 

If youare using non-prescription Cimetidine for self-treatment, take 1 tablet bymouth with a full glass of water as needed. To prevent heartburn, take 1 tabletby mouth. Do not take more than 2 tablets in 24 hours unless directed by yourdoctor. If you missed a dose, call your doctor right away for instructions. Donot double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know ifyour condition does not improve or if it gets worse. 

What arethe side effects of Cimetidine?

Commonside effects:

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Skin rash 
  • Headache,
  • Dizziness,
  • Drowsiness,
  • Depression,
  • Agitation,
  • Breast swelling or tenderness (in men),
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 

Stopusing this medication and call your doctor right away if these side effectsoccur:

  • Trouble urinating
  • Mental/mood changes
  • Decreased sexual ability 

Warningsand Precautions

  • Stomach cancer can have the same symptoms as stomach ulcers. These symptoms can be relieved by Cimetidine. Hence, if it is suspected that you have a stomach ulcer, your doctor should exclude the possibility of stomach cancer before you start treatment with this medicine. Or else, this medication could mask the symptoms of stomach cancer and can delay the diagnosis of this condition. This is particularly important if you are middle-aged or older and have new or recently changed symptoms.
  • Certain medicines should not be used during breastfeeding or pregnancy. However, other medicines may be safely used in breastfeeding or pregnancy providing the benefits to the mother outweighs the risks to the unborn baby. Always inform your doctor if you are pregnant or planning a pregnancy, before using any medicine.
  • If you ever had an allergic reaction to this medication, let your doctor know. Tell as well 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 pregnant, breastfeeding women, or get pregnant while having this treatment call your doctor right away for a consultation.