Tagamet (Cimetidine)

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What is Tagamet used for?

This medication is used to treat ulcers of the stomach and intestines and prevents them from coming back after they have healed.  This medication is also used to treat certain stomach and throat problems caused by too much stomach acid. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, erosive esophagitis are good examples. It also helps against a backwards flow of stomach avid into the esophagus.

Decreasing extra stomach acid can help relieve symptoms such as stomach pain, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, persistent cough, and trouble sleeping. And it can also help prevent serious damage to your digestive system.

This medication, Tagamet, belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers.  It goes to work by reducing the amount of acid in your mouth.

Be sure to read up on any information that has been given to you by your doctor, and if you have any questions consult your doctor or pharmacist.

This medication is taken by mouth, with or without food.

Remember the dosage is based on your medical condition and your response to the treatment, and to therapy. If you take any antacids to relieve stomach pain, separate them from this medication by at least one hour.

Take this medication regularly as prescribed in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than directed. Continue to take this medication for the prescribed length of treatment even if you are feeling better. Stopping treatment too early may delay the healing process.

Before taking this medication, it is best to advise your doctor if you are allergic to Cimetidine; or to other H2 blockers (e.g., famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine); or to any other medications or allergies in general. This product may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.

You should also let your doctor know of all of your medical history. Especially if you have ever dealt with any of these experiences in the past; 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.

While minor, some of these side effects may occur. They are as follows; Headache, dizziness, drowsiness, or diarrhea may occur. However if any of these persist or worsen, it’s best to speak with your doctor right away.

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 rare. However, get medical help right away if you notice any symptoms of a serious allergic reaction, including: rash, itching/swelling (especially of the face/tongue/throat), severe dizziness, trouble breathing.

What is Cimetidine?

Cimetidine is the active ingredient that made up the brand-name medication Tagamet, which is now only available as a generic alternative. Cimetidine is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist that is taken orally as a tablet, which is then metabolized in the liver creating metabolites and excreted through the urine with a half life of 2 hours. Each tablet contains 200, 300, or 400 mg of Cimetidine, which can be purchased at My Drug Center with a valid prescription.


What is Cimetidine used for?

Cimetidine, as mentioned, is a histamine H2 receptor antagonist; these types of drugs have an effect on stomach acid. Cimetidine is used for the treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers, which are often a result of stomach acid that eats away at the stomach lining or intestine. Using Cimetidine can help heal the ulcers and prevent them from coming back once they have healed. Additionally, this medication is used to treat certain conditions, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and erosive esophagitis, which are stomach and throat conditions associated with stomach acid. 


How does Tagamet work?

Cimetidine (the active ingredient inside Tagamet) works by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach. Histamine is a natural chemical in our bodies which certain cells (including cells in the lining of the stomach) produce. Once the histamine is produced and released from these cells, they stimulate the parietal cells (acid-making cells) in the lining of the stomach which in turn, releases stomach acid. Cimetidine makes it so that histamine cannot stimulate the parietal cells, resulting in a reduce amount of stomach acid production.


Where to buy Tagamet?

Tagamet is no longer available as the manufacturers have discontinued the brand, but it is still available as a generic alternative. You may be able to find Cimetidine (the generic alternative to Tagamet) at your local pharmacy; however, if you are looking to save on your medication, you may want to consider purchasing Cimetidine internationally. My Drug Center offers you access to international pharmacies where the price for Tagamet (as well as other medications) can be found for cheaper compared to your local pharmacy in the United States (see “How much does Tagamet cost” for comparison).  You can order through My Drug Center by calling our toll free number (1-877-385-8998); an agent will be happy to assist you with placing an order. You can also visit our homepage at MyDrugCenter.com and select “How to Order” for steps on how to place an order yourself.


How long does it take Tagamet to work?

The exact amount of time it takes this medication to work will vary between each individual. Generally, the medication has an onset of effects after the first 30 minutes of administration, with peak levels occurring after 1-3 hours. However, it may take a few weeks before you feel an overall improvement.


How often can you take Tagamet?

There is no single answer to this question; because we are all different in many different ways, only your doctor can determine how long you can personally take this medication for. If you take certain medications, or have certain medical conditions, your age, weight, and many other factors play into the answer. In general, you should not take more than 2 doses in 24 hours or use the medication longer than 2 consecutive weeks without consulting your doctor first.


What is the generic name for Tagamet?

The generic name for Tagamet is Cimetidine. Medications that are available as a generic alternative are commonly named after the active ingredient that makes up the brand-name product. Generic products are developed to provide the same therapeutic effects and benefits as the brand-name product, but sold at a lower cost. Asides from price, they also differ in tablet appearance and manufacturers. We carry the generic alternative for Tagamet at My Drug Center, available to those with a valid prescription.


How to take Tagamet?

This medication is taken orally by mouth and should be swallowed whole without chewing or crushing. You may ask your doctor if you can take your dose with food, as Cimetidine can be taken with or without a meal. For best results, take your dose at the same time each day to ensure an even amount of the drug remains in your system. If you also take antacids, make sure to give yourself at least one hour in between your dose and the antacid. Follow all directions given to you by your doctor and if you are unsure how to use the medication, you should speak with your doctor to get a clear understanding before starting treatment.


How much does Tagamet cost?

The cost of Cimetidine (generic Tagamet) will vary depending on where you get your supply from. At My Drug Center, we offer Cimetidine for as low as $57.00 when you buy a supply of 120 – 200mg tablets. In the United States, the cost of this medication is more expensive; pharmacies such as Rite Aid, Albertson (Sav-on), and Safeway are about 2.6 times more expensive for the same supply. Other pharmacies, such as Costco, Haggen, and Bartell Drug Co. are slightly less expensive, but are still close to double the cost compared to our international prices.


What are the side effects of Tagamet?

Some common side effects of Tagamet include headache, dizziness, drowsiness, or diarrhea. Side effects are a normal response of the body when taking a new medication and should not alarm you. If side effects do become worrisome or do not go away over time, you may want to speak with your doctor. There may also be additional side effects not listed here.

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