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Tagamet is a medication that reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach. The prescription version of the drug is used to treat conditions such as gastric ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Tagamet HB (the over-the-counter version of the drug) is used to treat conditions such as heartburn. The most common side effects of the drug include headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness.

What Is Tagamet?

Tagamet® (cimetidine) is a medication that is used to treat several conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. There are prescription and non-prescription forms of the drug. Tagamet is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers.
The medication is available without a prescription as Tagamet HB®.

Who Makes Tagamet?

The manufacturer of Tagamet and Tagamet HB is GlaxoSmithKline, although brand-name prescription Tagamet is no longer being made. Generic Tagamet and Tagamet HB are made by several manufacturers.

What Is It Used For?

Prescription Tagamet is used for the treatment of:
  • Duodenal ulcers (ulcers in the very first part of the intestine after the stomach) -- It can be used to treat a duodenal ulcer and also to prevent ulcers from coming back.
  • Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers) -- It is approved to treat benign (non-cancerous) gastric ulcers.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -- It helps treat GERD, helping to relieve heartburn and heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) due to GERD.
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions -- It helps to treat these conditions (in which too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Tagamet HB (the over-the-counter form of the drug) is approved for the following conditions:
  • Heartburn
  • Acid indigestion
  • Sour stomach.
Tagamet HB can be used to treat these problems once they have started. Also, it can be used to prevent these problems if taken before eating or drinking foods or beverages that cause heartburn.
(Click Tagamet Uses for more information on what this medication is used for, including information about possible off-label uses.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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