This medication blocks secretion of acid from the stomach. It is used to treat and prevent ulcers, to treat gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), and to treat conditions associated with excessive acid secretion.
This medication is given by injection into a muscle o infused into a vein in persons unable to take oral medication. Use this as directed. Do not increase your dose, use this more often than prescribed or stop using this without first consulting your doctor.
Drug Class and Mechanism
Tagamet belongs to a class of medications called histamine H2-antagonists. Histamine is a natural chemical that stimulates stomach cells to produce acid. Histamine H2-antagonists inhibit the action of histamine on the acid-producing cells of the stomach and reduce stomach acid. Tagamet was approved by the FDA in 1977.
If you miss a dose, use it as soon as remembered; do not use it if it is near the time for the next dose, instead, skip the missed dose and resume your usual dosing schedule. Do not "double-up" the dose to catch up.
Store at room temperature between 59 and 86 degrees F (15 to 30 degrees C) away from heat and light as directed. Do not store in the bathroom. An expiration date will be noted on the injection. Properly discard of any unused medication after this date.
Possible Side Effects
Headache, fatigue, dizziness, loss of appetite, sleepiness, dry skin or dry mouth may occur as your body adjusts to the medication. Hair loss, increased sweating, anxiety, change in sex drive, breast enlargement in males and change in taste perceptions, and irritation at the injection site may also occur. If any of these effects continue or become bothersome, inform your doctor. Notify your doctor if you develop: a skin rash, hives, irregular heartbeat, jaundice, diarrhea, mental confusion, depression, difficulty walking, vision changes, trouble urinating, joint or muscle pain, ringing in the ears, breathing difficulty. Notify your doctor immediately if you develop: black tarry stools, "coffee ground"-like vomit. If you notice other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
For best results, this medication is often used along with lifestyle changes such as stress-reduction programs, exercise and dietary changes. Talk to your health care professional about changes that you can benefit from. Laboratory tests may be done periodically while using this medication to monitor results and prevent side effects.