GERD Home > What Is Cimetidine Used For?

Some people may wonder, "What is cimetidine used for?" Cimetidine is used to treat conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. The medicine is available in prescription and over-the-counter forms. Prescription cimetidine is used for treating gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and other conditions. Over-the-counter cimetidine may be used to treat conditions such as heartburn.

What Is Cimetidine Used For?

Cimetidine (Tagamet®) is a medication used to treat conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. The medicine is available as a prescription medication and as an over-the-counter drug.
Specific cimetidine uses include treatment or prevention of the following conditions:
  • Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers)
  • Duodenal ulcers
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions (in which too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Over-the-counter cimetidine is approved for the following conditions in people 12 years old and older:


Using Cimetidine for Ulcers

Ulcers can occur in several places in the digestive tract. One common place for an ulcer to develop is in the duodenum (the upper part of the intestine just after the stomach). This type of ulcer is called a duodenal ulcer. Another common location for an ulcer is the stomach. This is called a stomach ulcer or gastric ulcer. "Peptic ulcer" is a term that refers to both duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers.
There are many ulcer causes, including medications, infections, and diseases. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen are a common cause of stomach ulcers. The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) can also cause ulcers. Certain conditions that cause increased stomach acid production also cause ulcers.
Common ulcer symptoms include heartburn symptoms or stomach pain (especially at night) and loss of appetite. Bleeding ulcer symptoms include dizziness, vomiting blood, and blood in the stool (seen as dark-colored stools). Some people with an ulcer may not experience any symptoms.
Cimetidine is approved for use with both duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers. The medication is approved to help heal both types of ulcers but is only approved to help prevent duodenal ulcers.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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