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Cimetidine

Information

Uses

Cimetidine is used in the treatment of acidity, heartburn, intestinal ulcers and stomach ulcers.

How it works

Cimetidine lowers the acid production in the stomach.

Common side effects

Fatigue, Drowsiness, Headache, Constipation, Diarrhoea, Muscle pain

Available Medicine

No medicine available

Expert advice

  • Cimetidine is a well tolerated and safe medicine with a very low incidence of side effects.
  • Take Cimetidine before going to bed if you are taking this medicine once a day as it is very effective in controlling stomach acid released in the midnight.
  • If you are also taking an antacid, take it two hours before or after taking Cimetidine.
  • Avoid taking soft drinks, citrus fruits like orange and lemon, which can irritate the stomach and increase acid secretion.
  • Inform your doctor if you do not feel better after taking Cimetidine for two weeks or 14 days as you may be suffering from some other problems.
  • Inform your doctor if you have ever been diagnosed with kidney or liver disease. Dose of your medicine may need to be adjusted.

Frequently asked questions

Cimetidine

Q. How can cimetidine cause gynecomastia?
Cimetidine causes gynecomastia (enlarged breasts of males) by decreasing the male hormone (testosterone) levels and blocking the receptors on the target tissue on which testosterone acts. However, the breast enlargement would go away once you stop taking this medicine.
Q. Can I take cimetidine with loperamide?
Cimetidine can decrease the metabolism of loperamide, increase its blood levels and hence, increase its effects and side effects. Your dose of loperamide may needs to be decreased. Consult your doctor prior to taking both the drugs together.
Q. What are the side effects of cimetidine injection?
Headache, dizziness, somnolence, gynecomastia, impotence, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting are some of the side effects reported with the use of cimetidine injection.
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Q. Is there any vitamin and mineral loss when cimetidine is taken?
Cimetidine is not known to cause mineral loss or deficiency. However, cimetidine belongs to the class of H2 receptor blocker which can decrease vitamin B12 absorption and cause its deficiency as reported in some studies especially when used for more than two years.
Q. Is cimetidine an antacid?
No, cimetidine is not an antacid as it does not neutralize the acids of the stomach rather it works by decreasing the production of the acid.
Q. Are there any withdrawal symptoms associated with the use of cimetidine?
Clinical studies or reports so far have not reported any withdrawal symptoms when the patient stops taking cimetidine and this suggests that cimetidine has no addictive potential.
Q. Can I take cimetidine with antacids?
Antacids and cimetidine both can be taken at the same time as they are not known to affect each other’s action. However, both cimetidine and antacids help in decreasing the acidity and use of more than one drug for the same effect is not advisable unless absolutely necessary.
Q. Is cimetidine a sulfa drug?
Cimetidine is not a sulfa drug. It belongs to the class of H2 receptor blocker.
Q. Is cimetidine a narcotic?
Cimetidine is not a narcotic. It belongs to the class of H2 receptor blocker.
Q. Can I take cimetidine with a coffee leaf?
There are no reports of any harmful effects of taking cimetidine along with coffee leaf. However, cimetidine can decrease the breakdown of coffee and increase its effects. Also, coffee is a gastric stimulant and can increase acid secretion and aggravate your underlying condition.
Q. How is omeprazole better than cimetidine?
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor and cimetidine is an H2 receptor blocker. They act in different ways but both decrease the acid production in the stomach. However, omeprazole is more potent, longer acting, and has fewer adverse effects when compared to cimetidine.
Q. How is famotidine better than cimetidine?
Famotidine is more efficacious, longer acting, and has fewer side effects when compared to cimetidine. However, both the medicines belong to same class of drugs and are useful for same conditions.
Q. Is cimetidine a controlled substance?
Cimetidine is not a controlled substance. It is available when prescribed by a doctor.
Q. Does cimetidine have an expiry date?
Yes, cimetidine does expire. Please check the expiry date written on the pack and it refers to the last day of that month. Do not use cimetidine after the expiry date.
Q. Why should cimetidine be taken at bedtime?
Cimetidine can be given as a single daily dose or as multiple daily doses depending on your condition. When given in a single dose, it is preferred that you should take it before going to bed as it is very effective in decreasing nighttime acid secretion and a fixed time will help you to remember to take the medicine.
Q. Is cimetidine a blood thinner?
Cimetidine is not a blood thinner. It belongs to the class of H2 receptor blocker.
Q. Can I take cimetidine with oxycodone?
Cimetidine can decrease the metabolism of oxycodone, increase its blood levels and hence, increase its effects and side effects. Your dose of oxycodone may needs to be decreased. Consult your doctor prior to taking both the drugs together.
Q. Why change from cimetidine to lansoprazole?
Lansoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor and cimetidine is an H2-receptor blocker. They both decrease acid production in the stomach but act by a different mechanism. However, lansoprazole is more potent, longer acting, and has fewer side effects when compared to cimetidine.
Q. Does cimetidine work for molluscum contagiosum?
Oral cimetidine has been seen to be effective in treating molluscum in children. However, this is not an approved indication for its use. Please consult your doctor before taking it for this condition.
Q. Which is better cimetidine or ranitidine?
Ranitidine is three times more potent than cimetidine which means a much lower dose of ranitidine gives the same effect in treating your acidity as cimetidine. Also, ranitidine does not block the action of testosterone and other side effects as seen with cimetidine.
Q. Why does cimetidine increase the action of opiates?
Cimetidine increases the action of an opioid like substances by inhibiting enzymes which are responsible for the breakdown of opiates. Due to a decrease in the breakdown, opioid levels increase in the body and hence their action is also increased.
Q. Is cimetidine a proton pump inhibitor?
Cimetidine is not a proton pump inhibitor. It belongs to the class of H2 receptor blocker.
Q. Is cimetidine available over the counter?
No, cimetidine is not available as an over-the-counter medication. It is a prescription medicine and is available only when prescribed by a physician.
Q. Why is cimetidine used for itching?
Cimetidine alone is not seen to be useful for the treatment of itching and is also not indicated for the same. There are studies where it is seen to be effective in the treatment of urticaria or hives along with H1 receptor blocker. However, there is no definite study to prove its benefit in relieving itching.

Content on this page was last updated on 26 April, 2017, by Dr. Varun Gupta (MD Pharmacology)