Cimetidine (Tagamet) Nursing Considerations

Join to watch the full lesson now.

Included In This Lesson

Study Tools


Generic Name


Trade Name



Treatment of duodenal ulcers, GERD, heartburn, Zollinger Ellison syndrome,
prevention of GI bleeding in critical patients.


Inhibits action of histamine leading to inhibition of gastric acid secretion

Therapeutic Class

Antiulcer agent

Pharmacologic Class

Histamine H2 antagonist

Nursing Considerations

• Increases serum level of warfarin
• Can lead to respiratory infection (green sputum)
• Monitor for arrhythmias
• May cause agranulocytosis, aplastic anemia
• Monitor CBC during therapy
• Take medication as directed
• Instruct patient to increase fluid and fiber intake to decrease constipation

Join to watch the full lesson now.


Hey guys, let’s talk about cimetidine also known as Tagamet. This is an oral medication, as you can see here in the picture, this is a picture that I actually personally took as this is an over the counter, but it also comes in IV form. 

So remember that the therapeutic class is what the drug does in the body while the pharmacologic class is the actual chemical effect that the drug has. So for cimetidine, the therapeutic class is an anti ulcer agent and the pharmacologic class is a histamine H2 antagonist. So how does cimetidine work? Well, it inhibits the action of histamine, which leads to inhibition of gastric acid secretion, which makes total sense why this medication is indicated for duodenal ulcers, GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, heartburn, Zollinger Ellison syndrome, which is a disease of a gastrointestinal system, and prevention of GI bleeding in critical patients. 

So some of the side effects that we see with cimetidine are constipation, arrhythmias, muscle pain, and dizziness, and also guys, a rare side effect, but possible is an endocrine issue known as gynecomastia, which is an enlargement of the breast tissue in men. Okay. Let’s take a look at a few nursing considerations for cimetidine. CBC should be monitored while the patient is taking this medication as cimetidine can cause aplastic anemia and granulocytosis. Pay special attention to any respiratory infections, specifically green sputum as cimetidine can lead to this. Cimetidine can increase the serum level of warfarin, so make sure your patient is aware of this. Teach the patient to take as directed as well as increase fluid and fiber to decrease constipation. Super important to mention guys cimetidine actually has a number of drug interactions that increase and decrease effects of medications. So make sure if you have a patient on multiple medications that you are checking these interactions to prevent any issues in your patient. That’s it for cimetidine or tagamet. Now go out and be your best self today. And as always happy nursing.


Join to watch the full lesson now.