IBS AND PRESCRIBED DRUGS: TAGAMET, ZANTAC (CIMETIDINE, RANITIDINE)
IBS AND PRESCRIBED DRUGS: TAGAMET, ZANTAC (CIMETIDINE, RANITIDINE)These drugs have been a breakthrough in the treatment of gastric ulcers and have saved countless people from the surgeon’s knife. It would seem, however, that because the drugs have been around for some time, because they are useful, and because they do not seem to have any serious side-effects, a complacency towards them has developed. People are being left on them far too long, month after month, year after year, without any review. A conscientious medical practitioner would be shocked by this, but this is the reality of the situation. It is not surprising, therefore, that there are increasing calls about this group of drugs.The odd thing is that while these drugs seem effective in the treatment of ulcers, some people complain of developing bowel problems during therapy. Here is Olivia’s story:Five years ago I was prescribed Tagamet and a bland diet for a suspected ulcer. This improved and after a few months I returned to a normal diet. I began to have very painful bowel movements and felt uncomfortable and bloated. The doctor diagnosed the Irritable Bowel Syndrome. I was issued repeat prescriptions for Tagamet and after two years decided I should stop taking it; I felt dreadful, anxious, irritable and depressed. After a couple of weeks I felt so ill I was glad to start taking it again; the symptoms vanished. Two years later I decided I must come off no matter how I felt. Months of headaches, anxiety and depression followed, but the bowel symptoms disappeared. For the first time in years I have a pain-free, normal bowel movement.Caution: These drugs increase the potency of tranquillizers and sleeping pills.Anecdotal evidence (in the United Kingdom and the United States) suggests that they can cause dependence; withdrawal reactions have been reported.Post-withdrawal fungal infections have been reported.Bowel problems during Cimetidine therapy have been reported.*90\326\8*
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