Does Tagamet HB (cimetidine) cause side effects?
Tagamet HB (cimetidine) is an H2 (histamine-2) blocker used to relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach and to prevent heartburn brought on by eating or drinking certain foods and beverages.
Tagamet HB blocks the production of acid by acid-producing cells in the stomach. Histamine is a naturally-occurring chemical that stimulates cells in the stomach (parietal cells) to produce acid. H2-blockers inhibit the action of histamine on the cells, thus reducing the production of acid by the stomach.
Since excessive stomach acid can damage the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum by reflux and lead to inflammation and ulceration, reducing stomach acid prevents and allows acid-induced inflammation and ulcers to heal.
Common side effects of Tagamet HB include
Serious side effects of Tagamet HB include
- confusion and hallucinations (usually in elderly or critically ill patients),
- enlargement of the breasts,
- impotence (usually seen in patients on high doses for prolonged periods),
- decreased white blood cell counts,
- irregular heartbeat,
- visual changes,
- allergic reactions, and
- Tagamet HB also may increase the blood levels phenytoin, theophylline, lidocaine, amiodarone, metronidazole, loratadine, calcium channel blockers, nifedipine, bupropion, carbamazepine, and fluvastatin.
- Because Tagamet HB reduces stomach acid, it may reduce the absorption of drugs (for example, ketoconazole) that are best absorbed in acidic conditions. Such drugs should be administered at least 2 hours before the administration of Tagamet HB.
What are the important side effects of Tagamet HB (cimetidine)?
Side effects due to cimetidine are rare and generally reversible once the medication is stopped. Minor side effects include:
Major side effects include confusion and hallucinations (usually in elderly or critically ill patients), enlargement of the breasts; impotence (usually seen in patients on high doses for prolonged periods); decreased white blood cell counts.
Other side effects include:
Tagamet HB (cimetidine) is an H2 (histamine-2) blocker used to relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach and to prevent heartburn brought on by eating or drinking certain foods and beverages. Common side effects of Tagamet HB include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. There are no adequate studies of Tagamet HB in pregnant women. Tagamet HB is excreted in breast milk. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
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Heartburn and acid reflux are not the same thing. Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux. Heartburn gets its name because it feels like a burning sensation around the heart. Another symptom that occurs with heartburn is a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, usually when you eat or lye down. Heartburn affects more than 60 million people in the US at least once a month. Acid reflux, or GERD, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, which irritates it. Heartburn is just one symptom of acid reflux. Other symptoms of acid reflux include: Belching Nausea after eating A feeling of fullness during or after eating Abdominal bloating Upset stomach Belching Wheezing Reflux laryngitis A tightness in the throat Problems swallowing Indigestion In some people, vomiting Causes of acid reflux and heartburn include: Being obese Slouching (poor posture) Medications like calcium channel blockers, theophylline, nitrates, and antihistamines Foods and drinks like caffeine, citrus fruits and vegetables, alcohol, and chocolate Pregnancy Diabetes Increase in stomach acid Eating a heavy meal Eating before bed The treatment for heartburn and acid reflux is to treat the underlying cause, for example, GERD, with over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, prescription medicine, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes like a eating a healthy, less fatty, spicy diet, not eating big meals, not eating before bed, and getting regular exercise to improve your posture.Sometimes a heart attack can mimic heartburn and acid reflux because they feel very similar. If you have symptoms of chest pain, tightness in the chest, heartburn, acid reflux, jaw, tooth, or head pain; shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, discomfort in the upper middle of the abdomen, arm or upper back pain, or the general feeling of being ill, go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately because these are the symptoms of a heart attack.REFERENCES:American College of Gastroenterology. "Acid Reflux." 2017.<http://patients.gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/> familydoctor.org. "Heartburn." Updated: Mar 2014.<https://familydoctor.org/condition/heartburn/> National Library of Medicine; PubMed Health. "Heartburn and GERD: Treatment options for GERD." Updated: Nov 18, 2015.<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072436/>
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Medications & Supplements
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
Professional side effects and drug interactions sections courtesy of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.