GERD Home > Precautions and Warnings With Cimetidine

Some precautions and warnings with cimetidine are related to potential drug interactions that may occur when it is taken with other medications. Women using cimetidine should be aware that there may be risks associated with taking cimetidine when pregnant or breastfeeding. Other warnings and precautions for people taking cimetidine concern the proper dosage of the medication for those with kidney problems.

Cimetidine: What Should I Tell My Healthcare Provider?

You should talk with your healthcare provider prior to taking cimetidine (Tagamet®) if you have:
  • Kidney problems, such as kidney failure (renal failure)
  • Liver problems, such as liver failure or cirrhosis
  • Any allergies, including allergies to foods, dyes, or preservatives.
Also, let your healthcare provider know if you:
  • Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
  • Are breastfeeding.
Be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Some Precautions and Warnings With Cimetidine

Some cimetidine warnings and precautions to be aware of include the following:
  • Cimetidine can interact with certain medications (see Drug Interactions With Cimetidine). In fact, cimetidine is more likely than other similar medications to lead to drug interactions.
  • Cimetidine is considered a pregnancy Category B medication by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This means that cimetidine is probably safe for use during pregnancy. However, because cimetidine has not been studied in pregnant women, the full risks of using cimetidine during pregnancy are not known. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about the risks and benefits of using cimetidine during pregnancy (see Cimetidine and Pregnancy for more information).
  • Cimetidine passes through breast milk. Therefore, if you are breastfeeding or plan to start, be sure to talk with your healthcare provider about using cimetidine (see Cimetidine and Breastfeeding for more information).
  • Because the kidneys clear cimetidine from the body, the dose of cimetidine must be reduced in people with poor kidney function, including kidney failure (renal failure).
  • Some of the symptoms of GERD, heartburn, or ulcers are similar to stomach cancer symptoms. Just because cimetidine helps relieve your symptoms does not rule out the possibility of stomach cancer.
  • Cimetidine can cause confusion, agitation, anxiety, hallucinations, disorientation, and other similar problems. Usually, this happens in elderly people who are severely ill and have other medical problems. Let your healthcare provider know right away if you are having any of these side effects.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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