Nizatidine to reduce stomach acid

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Nizatidine reduces the amount of acid produced in your stomach.

Any side-effects are usually mild and do not last long.

Type of medicineH2-receptor antagonist
Used forTreatment of conditions caused by too much acid being produced in the stomach
Available asCapsules

Nizatidine belongs to a group of medicines that reduce the amount of acid produced by the cells in the lining of the stomach. They are called 'histamine H2-receptor antagonists', but are commonly also called H2 blockers.

Nizatidine can be helpful in the treatment of conditions caused by too much acid being produced in the stomach. These conditions include stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers), ulcers of the upper part of the intestine (duodenal ulcers), and acid reflux or heartburn (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease). Nizatidine can also be prescribed to treat ulceration of the stomach which has been caused by non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Although nizatidine can be helpful in the treatment of these conditions, in practice other medicines are usually tried first.

Acid is produced naturally in your stomach to help to digest food. Excessive amounts of acid can irritate the lining of your stomach, causing inflammation, ulcers and other conditions. Nizatidine works by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach. This helps to relieve symptoms and assist the healing process where damage has already occurred.

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking nizatidine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • If you have any of the following symptoms: difficulty swallowing, loss of blood, weight loss, or if you are being sick.
  • If you have any problems with the way your liver works or with the way your kidneys work.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to a medicine.
  • If you are taking any other medicines. This includes any medicines you are taking which are available to buy without a prescription, such as herbal and complementary medicines.
  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside the pack. It will give you more information about nizatidine and will provide you with a full list of the side-effects which you may experience from taking it.
  • Take nizatidine exactly as your doctor tells you to. There are two different strengths of capsule available - 150 mg and 300 mg. You may be prescribed nizatidine to take twice a day, in the morning and evening, or just once a day in the evening. Your doctor will tell you what dose is right for you and the directions will be on the label of the pack to remind you about what was said to you.
  • You can take nizatidine before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose at your usual time, you can take it when you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.
  • A course of treatment can vary in length depending upon the reason why you are taking nizatidine. You could be asked to take it for a week or two, or for several months. Keep any appointments that you have booked with your doctor so that your progress can be checked.
  • Some people say that certain foods make their symptoms worse. Foods and drinks that have been suspected of this include peppermint, tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods, hot drinks, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. If it seems that a food is aggravating your symptoms, try avoiding it for a while to see if your symptoms improve. Also, try avoiding eating large meals, as these can make your symptoms worse too.
  • If you are overweight, this puts extra pressure on your stomach and encourages the symptoms of acid reflux. Losing some weight and eating a healthy balanced diet may help you.
  • Smoking increases the amount of acid produced by the stomach and may make your symptoms worse. If you are a smoker, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about how to quit.
  • If you buy any medicines 'over-the-counter', always check with a pharmacist that they are safe to take alongside your other medicines.

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. The table below contains some of the ones associated with nizatidine, although these are generally mild and do not last long. You will find a full list in the manufacturer's information leaflet supplied with your medicine. The unwanted effects often improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following continue or become troublesome.

Nizatidine side-effects
What can I do if I experience this?
Feeling tired, skin itching, sweatingIf any of these become troublesome, speak with your doctor

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to nizatidine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for further advice.

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.

Never take more than the prescribed dose. If you suspect that you or someone else might have taken an overdose of this medicine, go to the accident and emergency department of your local hospital. Take the container with you, even if it is empty.

This medicine is for you. Never give it to other people even if their condition appears to be the same as yours.

If you are having an operation or any dental treatment, tell the person carrying out the treatment which medicines you are taking.

Do not keep out-of-date or unwanted medicines. Take them to your local pharmacy which will dispose of them for you.

If you have any questions about this medicine ask your pharmacist.

Further reading & references

  • British National Formulary; 69th Edition (Mar 2015) British Medical Association and Royal Pharmaceutical Society of Great Britain, London

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used for the diagnosis or treatment of medical conditions. EMIS has used all reasonable care in compiling the information but make no warranty as to its accuracy. Consult a doctor or other health care professional for diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions. For details see our conditions.

Original Author:
Helen Allen
Current Version:
Peer Reviewer:
Prof Cathy Jackson
Document ID:
3810 (v24)
Last Checked:
08/05/2015
Next Review:
07/05/2018
The Information Standard - certified member

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