23 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine. 

1. Generic Name or Active Ingredient:


2. Uses:

This medicine is available in tablet form for the treatment of duodenal ulcer, gastric ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as well as to treat or prevent heartburn and other stomach disorders.

 3. How This Medicine Works:

It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

4. Do Not Take This Medicine If:

  • You are allergic to cimetidine or other histamine H2-blockers such as ranitidine and famotidine.
  • You suffer from vomiting.

5. Before You Start To Take This Medicine:

  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are allergic to any other medications.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you have a history of heart disease, kidney disease, or liver disease.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children. 

6. Taking With Other Medication:

    Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking any other medication,   vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this      medicine.

7.  How To Take This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand (hyperlink). 

a)    How to take

  • To treat heartburn, take the medicine at any time with a full glass of water.
  • To prevent heartburn, take the medicine with water 30 minutes before you eat or drink something that normally causes you to have heartburn.  

b)   When to take

  • If you are taking 1 dose daily to treat ulcers or GERD, take the medicine at bedtime.
  • If you are taking 2 doses daily, take one dose in the morning and one at bedtime.
  • If you are using several doses daily, take with meals and at bedtime.  

c)    How long to take

  • Do not use this medicine to treat heartburn for longer than 2 weeks in a row. If your symptoms persist after this period, consult your doctor. 

d)   If you forget to take it

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine. Do not double the dose.

8. While Taking This Medicine: 

a)    Things you should do:

  • Avoid taking large amounts of coffee or aspirin while using cimetidine.
  • Avoid smoking tobacco while you are using cimetidine. 

b)   Things you must NOT do:

  • You should not use antacids within 1 hour before or after taking cimetidine.
  • You should not use the antifungal drug ketoconazole within 2 hours before or after taking cimetidine. 

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

9. Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any side effects which are severe or persistent.

Possible side effects are:
  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Bloody or black, tarry stools.
  • Pain when you swallow.
  • Vomiting blood or material that looks like coffee grounds.
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes.
  • Unexplained fever.
  • Unusual bruising.
 10. Storage and Disposal:
  • Store at room temperature and in a dry place.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not use after the expiry date has passed.
  • Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.

1.    Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0

2.    Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th Edition

3.    Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities 2011

4.    British National Formulary Vol. 60