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All about: Cimetidine

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Generic Name: Cimetidine Tablets (prescription strength) (sye-MET-i-deen)
Brand Name: Tagamet

Cimetidine is used for:

Treating and preventing ulcers of the stomach and small intestine, and treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It may be used for treating esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus) caused by acid reflux and certain conditions that cause increased acid secretion (eg, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome). It may also be used to treat other conditions as determined by your doctor.

Cimetidine is an H2(histamine) blocker. It works by blocking one of the chemicals, histamine, that stimulates the release of acid into the stomach. This reduces acidity in the stomach.

Do NOT use Cimetidine if:

  • you are allergic to any ingredient in Cimetidine
  • you are taking medicine for cancer (nitrosoureas)
  • you are taking cisapride, dofetilide, or a nitrosoureas (eg, carmustine)

Contact your doctor or health care provider right away if any of these apply to you.

Before using Cimetidine :

Some medical conditions may interact with Cimetidine . Tell your doctor or pharmacist if you have any medical conditions, especially if any of the following apply to you:

  • if you are pregnant, planning to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding
  • if you are taking any prescription or nonprescription medicine, herbal preparation, or dietary supplement
  • if you have allergies to medicines, foods, or other substances
  • if you have liver or kidney problems

Some MEDICINES MAY INTERACT with Cimetidine . Tell your health care provider if you are taking any other medicines, especially any of the following:

  • Many prescription medicines (eg, those used for angina, asthma, arrhythmias, blood thinning, cancer, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, infections, pain, psychiatric disorders, seizures, other conditions) because their actions and side effects, some potentially life-threatening, may be increased by Cimetidine .

This may not be a complete list of all interactions that may occur. Ask your health care provider if Cimetidine may interact with other medicines that you take. Check with your health care provider before you start, stop, or change the dose of any medicine.

How to use Cimetidine :

Use Cimetidine as directed by your doctor. Check the label on the medicine for exact dosing instructions.

  • Cimetidine may be taken with or without food.
  • Do not take directly with antacids. Separate doses by at least 1 hour.
  • If you are also taking a cephalosporin antibiotic (eg, cephalexin), itraconazole, or ketoconazole, take it 2 hours before Cimetidine .
  • If you miss a dose of Cimetidine and you are taking it regularly, use it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not use 2 doses at once.

Ask your health care provider any questions you may have about how to use Cimetidine .

Important safety information:

  • Cimetidine may cause dizziness or drowsiness. Do not drive, operate machinery, or do anything else that could be dangerous until you know how you react to Cimetidine . Using Cimetidine alone, with other medicines, or with alcohol, may lessen your ability to drive or to perform other potentially dangerous tasks.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within a few days, or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • It may be necessary to make significant lifestyle changes to assist in the treatment and prevention of ulcers and other digestive problems that include stress-reduction programs, exercise, and dietary changes.
  • Never self-diagnose or self-treat ulcers with this or any other medicine.
  • Notify your doctor if you experience black, tarry stools or vomit that looks like coffee grounds.
  • If your symptoms do not improve within a few days or if they become worse, check with your doctor.
  • Do not drink alcohol while you are using Cimetidine .
  • Do not smoke or use other tobacco products while using Cimetidine .
  • Additional monitoring of your dose or condition may be necessary if you are also taking zaleplon.
  • Use Cimetidine with caution in the ELDERLY because they may be more sensitive to its effects.
  • Use Cimetidine with extreme caution in CHILDREN younger than 16 years of age. Safety and effectiveness in this age group have not been confirmed.
  • PREGNANCY and BREAST-FEEDING: If you become pregnant, discuss with your doctor the benefits and risks of using Cimetidine during pregnancy. Cimetidine is excreted in breast milk. Do not breast-feed while taking Cimetidine .

Possible side effects of Cimetidine :

All medicines may cause side effects, but many people have no, or minor, side effects. Check with your doctor if any of these most COMMON side effects persist or become bothersome:

Diarrhea; dizziness; drowsiness; headache.

Seek medical attention right away if any of these SEVERE side effects occur:

Severe allergic reactions (rash; hives; difficulty breathing; tightness in the chest; swelling of the mouth, face, lips, or tongue); agitation; anxiety; breast enlargement; breast lumps; confusion; depression; disorientation; fatigue; hallucinations; hair loss; joint or muscle pain; pain, redness or swelling at injections site; skin flushing or redness; sexual difficulties; slow or fast heartbeat.

This is not a complete list of all side effects that may occur. If you have questions or need medical advice about side effects, contact your doctor or health care provider. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088 (1-800-332-1088) or at http://www.fda.gov/medwatch.

If OVERDOSE is suspected:

Contact 1-800-222-1222 (the American Association of Poison Control Centers), your local poison control center (http://www.aapcc.org/findyour.htm), or emergency room immediately. Symptoms may include difficulty breathing; fast heartbeat; restlessness; tremors; vomiting.

Proper storage of Cimetidine :

Store Cimetidine at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 and 30 degrees C). Store away from heat, moisture, and light. Do not store in the bathroom. Keep Cimetidine out of the reach of children and away from pets.

General information:

  • If you have any questions about Cimetidine , please talk with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.
  • Cimetidine is to be used only by the patient for whom it is prescribed. Do not share it with other people.
  • If your symptoms do not improve or if they become worse, check with your doctor.

This information is a summary only. It does not contain all information about Cimetidine . If you have questions about the medicine you are taking or would like more information, check with your doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider.

Issue Date: September 5, 2007
Database Edition 07.3.1.003
Copyright © 2007 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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