|Type of medicine||H2-receptor antagonist|
|Used for||Treatment of conditions caused by too much acid being produced in the stomach.|
|Also called||Tagamet ®|
|Available as||Tablets and oral liquid|
Cimetidine is used to treat certain conditions caused by too much acid being produced in the stomach, such as stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers), ulcers of the upper part of the intestine (duodenal ulcers), acid reflux or heartburn (reflux oesophagitis) or indigestion. It can also be used to treat irritation and ulceration of the stomach caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Acid is produced naturally in the stomach to help digest food. Excessive amounts of acid can irritate the stomach lining, causing inflammation, ulcers and other conditions. Cimetidine works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach, relieving pain and helping to repair the damage.
Before taking cimetidine
Before taking cimetidine make sure your doctor or pharmacist knows:
- If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
- If you have liver or kidney problems.
- If you have any of the following symptoms: bleeding, difficulty swallowing, being sick frequently, or unexplained weight loss.
- If you have ever had an allergic reaction to this or any other medicine.
- If you are taking any other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal or complementary medicines.
How to take cimetidine
- Before beginning treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet.
- Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor.
- Try to take cimetidine at the same times each day to avoid missing any doses.
- If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose. Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
- Your doctor may have prescribed you a course of treatment lasting a number of weeks. Keep your regular doctors appointments so your progress can be checked.
Getting the most from your treatment
- Do not smoke. Smoking increases the amount of acid produced by your stomach and may make your symptoms worse.
- Try to avoid foods and drinks that may upset your stomach such as, alcohol, coffee, fatty or spicy food.
- If you buy any medicines, especially painkillers, check with your pharmacist that they are safe for you to take alongside cimetidine.
Can cimetidine cause problems?
Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.
|Possible side-effects||What can I do if I experience this|
|Diarrhoea||Drink plenty of water to replace any lost fluids|
|Headache||Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headache continues, speak with your doctor|
|Dizziness, skin rash, tiredness||If troublesome, speak with your doctor|
Important: If you experience any unexplained fever, sore throat, bruising or bleeding, speak with your doctor straight away.
If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to this medicine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.
How to store cimetidine
- Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
- Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.
Important information about all medicines
Further reading & references
- British National Formulary; 62nd Edition (Sep 2011) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London
- Manufacturer's PIL, Cimetidine Oral Solution; Manufacturer's PIL, Cimetidine Oral Solution, Rosemont Pharmaceuticals Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2009.
- Manufacturer's PIL, Cimetidine Tablets; Manufacturer's PIL, Cimetidine Tablets, Dexcel Pharma Ltd, electronic Medicines Compendium. Dated September 2008.
|Original Author: Helen Allen||Current Version: Pippa Crossley|
|Last Checked: 05/07/2011||Document ID: 3808 Version: 23||© EMIS|
Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.