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What is Nizatidine?

By Barb Fitzgerald-Malone
Updated May 17, 2024
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Nizatidine is a drug developed in 1987 by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. Doctors prescribe nizatidine to treat ulcers and other medical conditions that cause too much acid in the stomach. Lower-dosage forms of nizatidine are available over the counter, without a prescription from a doctor. Doctors also prescribe nizatidine for other conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much acid, such as heartburn, sour stomach, and acid indigestion, and patients also take nizatidine to prevent recurrences of these conditions. Experimentally, nizatidine is used to control weight gain brought on by certain antipsychotic medications.

For centuries, doctors believed that eating spicy foods and having a lot of stress in one’s life caused stomach ulcers. They now know that a bacterial infection, combined with stress and eating certain foods that naturally produce acid in the stomach, is partly to blame for stomach ulcers. Histamine is an organic nitrogen compound involved in regulating physiological function in the stomach. It also acts as a neurotransmitter. Nizatidine prevents histamine from working on parietal cells in the stomach, reducing the amount of acid made by the cells.

Patients typically take nizatidine once a day at bedtime or twice a day, with or without food; it is available in 150 mg and 300 mg capsules, 15 mg/ml oral solution, and 75 mg tablets. Common side effects of nizatidine include sweating, constipation, diarrhea, stomach pain, sneezing, coughing, runny nose, headache, and dizziness or drowsiness. Patients experiencing skin rash, hives, itching, wheezing, or difficulty breathing as a result of taking nizatidine should contact their doctor immediately. As with any medication, patients should notify their doctors if symptoms have not subsided within two weeks after beginning to take nizatidine.

Before beginning to take nizatidine, patients should be sure their doctor is aware of issues that may affect their ability to tolerate the medicine. These include letting the doctor know about any other medicines — prescription or non-prescription — or supplements being taken; allergies to any other medications; breastfeeding, pregnancy, or the intent to become pregnant; or a history of kidney or liver disease. While nizatidine is designed to ease excess stomach acid, other ways to reduce stomach acid — and, thus, reduce ulcer flair-ups and other digestive problems — include limiting stress in your life, quitting smoking, limiting your intake of alcohol, limiting the amount of pain relief medications you take, and eating a diet of foods rich in fiber.

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