How Effective Is Tagamet and How Does It Work?
Tagamet is an "H2 blocker" that works by blocking a specific kind of histamine receptor. Histamine is a chemical released by the body that has several effects. In the stomach, histamine causes more acid to be produced. By blocking histamine in the stomach, Tagamet reduces the amount of acid produced by the stomach. This is why the drug is known as an "acid reducer."
There have been several studies looking at how well the medication treats several conditions.
In one study of Tagamet's effectiveness for treating duodenal ulcers (upper intestinal ulcers), ulcers were healed in up to 86 percent of people who took the medication within four weeks of treatment. After eight weeks of treatment, up to 94 percent of people showed ulcer healing. Studies have also shown that it can prevent duodenal ulcers from returning.
In studies looking at using Tagamet for gastric ulcer (stomach ulcer) treatment, up to 76 percent of people taking it experienced stomach ulcer healing within six weeks. Ulcers healed in 55 percent of people who were not taking it.
GERD and Esophagitis
Studies have looked at using Tagamet for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These studies have shown that the drug was effective for relieving GERD symptoms. These studies also showed that it helped to heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) due to GERD. Up to 67 percent of people taking it showed esophageal healing within 12 weeks, compared to just 36 percent of those not taking it.
Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions
Studies have been conducted to assess the effectiveness of using Tagamet to treat several pathological hypersecretory conditions (in which too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. These studies showed that it can decrease stomach acid production and relieve symptoms associated with pathological hypersecretory conditions.