A Closer Look at Cimetidine's Indications

Using Cimetidine for GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by acid reflux into the esophagus. Acid reflux is a term meaning the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. The stomach is designed to be able to handle the acid it produces; the esophagus, however, is not. If too much stomach acid is in contact with the esophagus for too long, damage to the lining of the esophagus occurs, causing the symptoms of GERD.
 
(Click What Is GERD? for more information.)
 
A few of the more common GERD symptoms include heartburn, feeling like food is stuck in your throat, choking feelings, acidic or sour taste in the mouth, and chest pain. Cimetidine is approved to treat the symptoms of GERD. It works by decreasing the amount of acid in the stomach.
 
Cimetidine also works to heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) caused by GERD.
 

Using Cimetidine for Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions

There are several conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much acid. These conditions include Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, multiple endocrine adenomas, systemic mastocytosis, and "short-gut" syndrome. Cimetidine works to treat these conditions by decreasing the production of stomach acid.
 

How Does Cimetidine Work?

Cimetidine is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. The medication works by blocking a certain type of histamine receptor (Type 2). Histamine is a chemical that has several different effects in the body. In the stomach, histamine causes the stomach to increase its production of stomach acid. By blocking histamine in the stomach, cimetidine decreases stomach acid production. In addition to decreasing the amount of stomach acid produced throughout the day, cimetidine also helps control the increase in stomach acid that usually occurs after meals.
 

Cimetidine (Tagamet)

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