In the case of prescription Tagamet, uses of the medication include treating duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, GERD, and other conditions. Over-the-counter Tagamet HB is used to treat heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach. Sometimes doctors recommend Tagamet for uses for which the drug has not been approved. Examples of such "off-label" Tagamet uses include the treatment of warts and H. pylori infections.
Tagamet® (cimetidine) is a medication used to treat conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Brand-name prescription Tagamet is no longer manufactured; however, generic forms of the drug are available in prescription strength. There is an over-the-counter version of the medication: Tagamet HB.
Specific Tagamet uses include treatment or prevention of the following conditions:
- Duodenal ulcers
- Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Pathological hypersecretory conditions (in which too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Over-the-counter Tagamet HB is approved for the following conditions in people 12 years old and older:
- Acid indigestion
- Sour stomach.
Tagamet 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.
Tagamet is approved for use with both duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers. Tagamet is approved to help heal both types of ulcers but is only approved to help prevent duodenal ulcers.