cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)

Brand Names: Tagamet, Tagamet HB

Generic Name: cimetidine

What is cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Cimetidine is a stomach acid reducer that is used to treat and prevent certain types of stomach ulcer. Cimetidine is also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus and causes heartburn.

Over-the-counter (nonprescription) cimetidine is used to treat heartburn with sour stomach and acid indigestion, or to prevent these conditions when caused by certain foods or beverages.

Cimetidine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

What are the possible side effects of cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction (hives, difficult breathing, swelling in your face or throat) or a severe skin reaction (fever, sore throat, burning in your eyes, skin pain, red or purple skin rash that spreads and causes blistering and peeling).

Stop using this medicine and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • pain when swallowing;
  • bloody or tarry stools, cough with bloody mucus or vomit that looks like coffee grounds;
  • changes in mood, anxiety, agitation;
  • confusion, hallucinations; or
  • breast swelling or tenderness.

Serious side effects may be more likely in older adults and those who are ill or debilitated.

Common side effects may include:

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

What is the most important information I should know about cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Heartburn can mimic early symptoms of a heart attack. Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder and you feel anxious or light-headed.

You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to cimetidine or other stomach acid reducers (such as ranitidine, famotidine, Zantac, Axid, and others)

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if cimetidine is safe to use if you have:

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.

You should not breastfeed while using cimetidine.

Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.

How should I take cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

Cimetidine is usually taken with meals or at bedtime.

To prevent heartburn from foods or beverages, take cimetidine within 30 minutes before eating or drinking.

Take this medicine with a full glass of water.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

It may take up to 8 weeks for an ulcer to heal. Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.

Your ulcer may take longer to heal if you smoke cigarettes.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.

Do not take over-the-counter cimetidine for longer than 14 days without your doctor's advice.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.


Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions See Slideshow

What happens if I miss a dose (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

What should I avoid while taking cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Avoid taking other medications within 2 hours before or 2 hours after you take cimetidine. Cimetidine can make it harder for your body to absorb certain medicines you take by mouth.

Ask your doctor before using other stomach acid reducers or antacids, and use only the type your doctor recommends.

What other drugs will affect cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Ask a doctor or pharmacist before using cimetidine with any other medications, especially:

This list is not complete and many other drugs may affect cimetidine, or be made less effective when taken at the same time as cimetidine. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Where can I get more information (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)?

Your pharmacist can provide more information about cimetidine.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

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Reviewed on 10/12/2022

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