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H2 Receptor antagonists

Alternative names

H2 receptor antagonist poisoning is an overdose of an H2 receptor antagonist. H2 receptor antagonists are medications available by prescription and over-the-counter for reducing stomach acid.

Poisonous Ingredient

  • Cimetidine
  • Ranitidine
  • Famotidine
  • Nizatidine
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.

Where Found

  • Cimetidine (Tagamet)
  • Ranitidine (Zantac)
  • Famotidine (Pepcid)
  • Nizatidine (Axid)
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.


  • Respiratory
    • Difficulty breathing
  • Skin
    • Fushing
    • Sweating
  • Gastrointestinal
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • Heart and blood vessels
    • Rapid heartbeat or slow heartbeat
    • Abnormal heartbeat
    • Low blood pressure
  • Nervous system
    • Tremors
    • Confusion
    • Drowsiness
    • Slurred speech

Home Treatment

DO NOT induce vomiting. Call Poison Control or your local emergency number if an overdose of an H2 receptor antagonist has occured.

Before Calling Emergency

Determine the following information:
  • Patient's age, weight, and condition
  • The name of the product (ingredients and strengths if known)
  • When it was swallowed
  • The amount swallowed

Poison Control, or a local emergency number

Call Poison Control or your local emergency number -- they will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Take the container with you to the emergency room.

What to expect at the emergency room

Some or all of the following procedures may be performed:
  • Administering activated charcoal
  • Administering a laxative
  • Emptying the stomach ( gastric lavage )
  • Administering artificial respiration (breathing) if necessary
  • Maintaining adequate respiration rate
  • Treating the symptoms

Expectations (prognosis)

Serious complications are rare.

Update Date: 2/9/2004

Cherlin Johnson, M.D., Department of Emergency Medicine, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network.

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Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT