Cimetidine is used to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines and prevent them from coming back after they have healed. This medication is also used to treat certain stomach and throat (esophagus) problems caused by too much stomach acid (e.g., Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, erosive esophagitis) or a backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus (acid reflux disease/GERD). Decreasing extra stomach acid can help relieve symptoms such as stomach pain, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, and trouble sleeping. It can also prevent serious acid damage to your digestive system (e.g., ulcers, cancer of the esophagus).Cimetidine belongs to a class of drugs commonly called H2 blockers. It works by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach.This medication is also available without a prescription. It is used to treat occasional heartburn caused by too much acid in the stomach (also called acid indigestion or sour stomach). It is also used to prevent heartburn and acid indigestion caused by certain foods and beverages. If you are taking this medication for self-treatment, it is important to read the manufacturers package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist.
Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, or diarrhea may occur. If any of these effects persist or worsen, notify your doctor or pharmacist promptly.
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, remember that he or she has judged that the benefit to you is greater than the risk of side effects. Many people using this medication do not have serious side effects.
Tell your doctor right away if any of these unlikely but serious side effects occur: mental/mood changes (e.g., agitation, confusion, depression, hallucinations), trouble urinating, muscle/joint pain, breast swelling/soreness in males, decreased sexual ability (with very high doses of this medication).
Tell your doctor right away if any of these rare but very serious side effects occur: easy bruising/bleeding, signs of infection (e.g., fever, persistent sore throat, cough, trouble breathing), fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, unusual tiredness, persistent nausea/vomiting, severe stomach/abdominal pain, dark urine, yellowing eyes/skin, signs of kidney problems (such as change in the amount of urine).
A very serious allergic reaction to this drug is unlikely, but seek immediate medical attention if it occurs. Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.
Before taking cimetidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it; or to other H2 blockers (e.g., famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine); or if you have any other allergies. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems. Talk to your pharmacist for more details.
Before using this medication, tell your doctor or pharmacist your medical history, especially of: immune system problems, kidney problems, liver problems, certain lung diseases (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), diabetes, other stomach problems (e.g., tumors).
Some symptoms may actually be signs of a more serious condition. Get medical help right away if you have: heartburn with lightheadedness/sweating/dizziness, chest/jaw/arm/shoulder pain (especially with shortness of breath, unusual sweating), unexplained weight loss.
In addition, before you self-treat with this medication, get medical help right away if you have any of these signs of a serious condition: trouble/pain swallowing food, bloody vomit, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, bloody/black stools, heartburn for over 3 months, frequent chest pain, frequent wheezing (especially with heartburn), nausea/vomiting, stomach pain.
This drug may make you dizzy or drowsy. Alcohol or marijuana (cannabis) can make you more dizzy or drowsy. Do not drive, use machinery, or do anything that needs alertness until you can do it safely. Limit alcoholic beverages. Talk to your doctor if you are using marijuana (cannabis).