Medications in this family sharply decrease stomach acid production. They are widely used for the treatment of ulcers as well as for mild cases of esophageal reflux (heartburn).
Drugs that fall into this family include
- cimetidine (Tagamet, Tagamet HB)
- famotidine (Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid RPD)
- nizatidine (Axid, Axid AR)
- ranitidine hydrochloride (Zantac, Zantac EFFERdose, Zantac GELdose, Zantac 75)
- and others
Probable Need for Supplementation
H 2 -receptor blockers appear to impair the absorption of vitamin B 12 from food. 1,2,3 This is thought to occur because the vitamin B 12 in food is attached to proteins. Stomach acid separates them and allows the B 12 to be absorbed.
The solution? If you regularly use H 2 blockers, take B 12 supplements. They can be absorbed easily because they are not attached to proteins.
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
By reducing stomach acid levels, H 2 blockers might interfere with the absorption of iron , zinc , and perhaps other minerals. 5–8 Taking mineral supplements that provide the U.S. Dietary Reference Intake (formerly known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance) of these substances should help.
Take at a Different Time of Day
Magnesium supplements may interfere with the absorption of H 2 blockers. 9 However, the interference may be too minor to cause a real problem. If you think your magnesium supplements are interfering with your medication, you can get around the problem by taking these minerals at least 2 hours before or after you take an H 2 -blocking medication.
Last reviewed October 2007 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2011 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.