H2 blockers are medicines that work by reducing the amount of stomach acid secreted by glands in the lining of your stomach.
H2 blockers are used to:
There are many different names and brands of H2 blockers. Most work as well as another. Side effects may be different for different ones.
H2 blockers are most often taken by mouth and are found as tablets, liquids, or capsules.
H2 blockers may be bought in lower doses at the store without a prescription. If you find yourself taking these most days for acid reflux symptoms for 2 weeks or more, make sure you see your health care provider about your symptoms.
If you have a peptic ulcer, your doctor may prescribe H2 blockers along with two or three other medicines for up to 2 weeks.
If your doctor prescribed these medicines for you:
Side effects from H2 blockers are rare.
If you are breastfeeding or pregnant, talk to your health care provider before taking these medications. Anyone with kidney problems should use famotidine only under a doctor's direction.
Tell your health care provider if you are also taking other medicines. H2 blockers may change the way certain drugs work. Cimetidine and nizatidine are least likely to have this problem.
Call your doctor if you are having any of the side effects above. Also call your doctor if you are having other unusual symptoms or your symptoms are not improving.
Peptic ulcer disease - H2 blockers; PUD - H2 blockers; Gastroesophageal reflux - H2 blockers
Kahrilas PJ, Shaheen NJ, Vaezi MF, Hiltz SW, Black E, Modlin IM. American Gastroenterological Association Medical Position Statement on the management of gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterology. 2008;135:1383-1391.
Richter JE, Friedenberg FK. Gastroesophageal reflux disease. In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2010:chap 43.
Updated by: George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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