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Topic: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Please post about your experiences with H2 blockers and alcohol.  Most people seem to take Pepcid AC 30-60 minutes before having any alcohol.  It normally decreases redness, but is a catalyst to intoxication (you get drunk faster).

H2 Blockers: Medications in this family are acid production inhibitors -- they decrease stomach acid production.  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).

Acid Production Inhibitors (text from Healthcare South)

As our understanding of the cellular mechanisms of the gastrointestinal tract improves, so do our weapons. Research has been able to identify actual molecular pumps that cause the secretion of acid from the cells lining the stomach. Obviously, attacking these would be the most logical step. Over the last two decades we have had a class of drugs known as type-2 histamine blockers (H2-blockers, H2 receptor antagonists). These drugs interact with type 2 histamine receptors and prevent acid-secreting cells from receiving a molecular signal to pump acid out in to the stomach chamber, thereby reducing the acid load by 65%. These drugs should not be confused with the more familiar antihistamines (those used for respiratory allergies), which are type-1 histamine blockers. After many years of use, H2-blockers are now available as both prescription and over-the-counter versions (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, Axid - listed in order of introduction). Some are combined with an acid neutralizing coating as well (Pepcid Complete). While quite effective, these drugs still have an indirect effect on acid secretion.

The latest technology involves the actual block of the proton-pump mechanism in the cell walls to reduce by over 95% the secreted acid. These drugs include Prilosec and Prevacid. As their patents run out, long acting versions are appearing, notably Nexxium - which is essentially Prilosec.

The last category is also used for duodenal ulcers and esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as well as for gastritis.

UPDATE: Reader StopRanting has posted a summary of this thread. You can read it here.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Zantac works wonders, doesn't eliminate redness completely, but reduces it to a pink glow; but the best part is that I have virtually no hangover the next day (even when white friends who have had the same cocktails/shots are complaining of major hangover).  Eating greasy Mexican food after drinking also helps, although if you don't have a great metabolism you shouldn't try'll just make you have an extra layer of that gross soft Asian fat around the belly.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

My sister in law who's a pharmacist from UOP and her dad also one say that it's not either or but take both Tagament and Pepcid.  She swears by this and I've known people that way it works.  YMMV though.  I'm blessed to be able to drink a lot and not turn red, but as for everyone else, hope it works for you as it has for others.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

both tagament and pepcid ac?
any reason why?
i guess it couldnt hurt to try...


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

I tried the Tagamet and Pepcid AC combination.  After a couple of drinks (1 beer, 1 strong gin and tonic) I'd say that the results don't seem significantly different than taking Pepcid AC alone.  Didn't experience the full-on redness, but certainly did see a pink glow.  The rapid heart beat was not present and didn't experience any dizziness.  Face felt a little warm, but not the pulsating heat like before.

After my N=1 trials, my preliminary conclusion is that the combination didn't produce remarkable improvement over either Pepcid or Tagamet alone.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

how much of each did you take???
last night i took 40mg of pepcid ac and i still got the glow, but nothing near what i normally experience. i also didnt experience the usual extremely rapid heartrate and headaches and such, a little bit but again nothing like normal.
hell yea


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

2x Pepcid 10mg works fine, reduces the redness to pink, usually gets RED. Ill try to get some Pepcid 40mg here in Sweden, think it will reduce the redness even more.

anyone know where i can get pepcid 40mg here in europe, webshop?? mail me!

Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

what's the difference between zantac and pepcid?? are they supposed to do different things?


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Is it better to take the Pepcid AC on an empty stomach or a full stomach?  Will a full stomach nullify the effects of the Pepcid?


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

its better to drink on a full stomach homie. come on now!
hooray for pepcid ac!! helpin asians get wasted around the world!!!!!
about pepcid 40mg, i think you want pepcid ac extra strength which is 20mg.
i take 2 of those like an hour before i drink, still get rosy but not nearly as bad.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

What's wrong with that blushed look?  It's a healthy glow.  Makes you look sexier to the opposite sex.  No?  Now if these blockers prevent the "assholeness" from glowing after drinking then yes, let's celebrate it.  Is Asian Blush really an issue/problem?  Someone tell me... otherwise, it appears pretty superficial to down right vain. 

Happy drinking


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

No offense, but if you don't have it, you wouldn't really know what it's like.  I am glad that there are some alternatives to cut it back.  Hopefully an official cure comes.  I've used Pepcid, and it worked pretty well.  You can only get 10mg in Canada, but I took two about two hours before drinking.  It did the job.

Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Has anyone experienced sexual side effects after taking Pepcid AC and drinking?  I'm only 25 and it happened to me after two nights of hard partying.  I had a hard time getting aroused.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Adam, you don't understand! It's not a cute blush, like you have just a little too much rouge on. Myself, I get RED, like allover face RED RED BEET TOMATO RED. My arms even get red. Your heart pounds in your chest and throat and your face is on fire. Yeah, fun. Not cute, not healthy.

:-( I haven't tried the Pepcid AC yet, but I'm definitely going to try it.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Yes, I get the same tomato red all over, along with terrible itching. I've just recently tried pepcid, and it works quite well. I'm experimenting with when to take it. I've taken it a half hour before a drink, and I still get pink (not red), but then it seems to go away, and after another drink, the pink doesn't come back!


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Is it possible to get an enzyme substitute?  I know that for diabetics they use animal forms of insulin,  why can't we take a time-released enzyme for drinking?  God knows they'd make millions on the patent!

i am sure it is much more complicated than that,  but shoot, if they have Bean-O for gas related problems, where's our No-Beet-O??   lol

I found out I had this allergy on our 7th grade French trip to Montreal.  I was about 16 and a bunch of my buddies and I took off and had a few drinks at a local bar.   When we returned to our school bus later that afternoon to meet up with the teachers,  everyone was very worried about me because my face was beet red.  I was the only kid that got busted that day thanks to Mr ALDH2.

My symptoms include:  Pounding heart,  my whole entire body flushes beet red,  you can actually see the pulses in my neck and stomach (aortic artery).   The other think i noticed is that my body acts like it's suffering from a sunburn-  all of a sudden I start shivering and get extremely cold, even if the temperature outside is nice and warm.

I am only half-Japanese,  I have two brothers,  one of them is absolutely fine and the other won't even drink alcohol since he responds to it so poorly.

The other thing:   when I was bartending to put myself through school,  doing shots was standard protocol.  I drank a lot more than I ever have in my life.  After several weeks of this I noticed my reaction was less severe and almost non-existant-  as if I had built up a tolerance to alcohol in spite of the enzyme deficiency.  How is this?
One thing to note:  For those of you who lack the enzyme,  do not drink Gin.  Gin is made from juniper berries, alcoholics prefer it over any other liquor because it's difficult to break down and stays in your system for longer periods of time.  Secondly-  if you're going to drink,  you might want to consider Vodka that has been processed using extra-filtration such as Belvedere or Grey Goose -  any 'house" vodka will give you a killer hangover.  The reason why the upper shelf vodkas are so expensive has to do with the processing/filtration-  i have found i can't drink anything else now without getting a horrible headache.



Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

hey jerseycat,

I've noticed my reaction being less severe after drinking a few weekends in a row as you mentioned.  Does this stay after taking a longer break?


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

This forum and the previous message board has been very uselful to me... Thanks everyone.

On the majority's advice, I bought the famotidine pills called Pepzan here in New Zealand (it's probably called the same or similar in Australia). It's a 20mg dose of famotidine and while it helps, I still go rosy although it doesn't happen quite as quickly as before.

However, I have found that a lot of chemists don't stock Pepzan as a matter of habit, so you may need to shop around for it. It is available on some NZ pharmacy websites.

Au natural, I go red after only half a glass of wine :P but with Pepzan, if I drink slowly, I go red after 2 drinks - and even then the redness is less... more of an unripe tomato instead of beetroot red!

I also tried Zantac, which is not a famotidine and this didn't seem to work as well.

Ultimately I'd like to enjoy a glass of wine without taking any pills because I don't like to pump my body with drugs... so if anyone has any natural solutions to desensitise yourself to alcohol, I'd be keen to hear it!


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

after doing some research on the internet i began taking pepcid ac 10mg
i usually just take one and it has taken away most of my redness and reduces the pounding heart and pulsating headaches that i usually get

however the other night i had about 4 glasses of white wine and while at first i was fine about 1-2 hours later i reacted quite badly to it.. threw up, pounding heart was back and the pain basically put me out of action

normally i can have things like vodka and not have any of the above reactions when combining it with pepcid ac

there must be something in wine that troubles people like us.. anyone else know of any other drinks such as vodka that are more friendly to our systems?

or any others that are unfriendly


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

hi all,
i've done a lot of experimenting with pepcid ac and i've found that 3 pepcid ac max (60mg) 1 hour before drinking works the best for me (i'm 5-9, 160lbs, average build).  so unless you're a midget, 1 pepcid ac regular will NOT do the trick.  also, i'm a regular drinker on the weekends and have been using this solution for almost 2 yrs and have never had any side effects or stomach problems.  that's not to say there's no risk at all but i'm willing to take that chance.  besides, if you're out drinking and getting drunk, the odds of you getting killed by a drunk driver or something else are probably much higher.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

oh, and kenny, wine and beer are the WORST for asians to drink in terms of facial redness and getting an upset stomach and/or headache!!  i would highly suggest you choose a different  poison.  i only drink mixed drinks, usually captain morgan and coke or vodka on the rocks.  hope this helps you.


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

Through the miracle of the internet, I HOPE I'm cured (at least on weekend nights at the bar).  I'm 1/4 Japanese.... Not full, not 1/2, but 1/4.  I'm proud of my heritage, but the lack of this enzyme sucks!  The first time I ever drank I thought I was going to die.  I didn't know what was going on and neither did my drinking buddies.  It was quite embarassing.  After a while (high school socials, fraternity/college days, work parties) I've always had to explain why I was turning so red.  "Why are you so red; are you okay?". 

I hope this Pepcid thing works.....  By the way, I have noticed that when I drink Grey Goose, the RED is REDuced.

Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

wow, i can't believe i'm the first "may-may" here...

for those of you who say that the asian glow is cute and healthy, you obviously don't know what it's like.  some of you say you turn pink... try having your face and other body parts turn PURPLE.  rash and hives also come sometimes.  for this, i basically never drink.

i also get a burning, itching feeling in my crotch area... it's an internal thing, so it's even more uncomfortable.  does this happen to other girls?  or even guys? 

anyway.. this thread has been extrememly helpful and educational, thanks everyone... i'm looking forward to trying it out and i really hope it works :)


Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

"Most people seem to take Pepcid AC 30-60 minutes before having any alcohol.  It normally decreases redness, but is a catalyst to intoxication (you get drunk faster)." - Echeng my experiences, the pepcid ac definitely does not get me drunk any faster although I wish it did- i'd be saving some $$$.   In fact, if anything i'd say that it slightly increases my tolerance to alcohol.   Where did you read that it reduces alcohol tolerance?

Also, has anyone tried the "pepcid complete"?  does it work any better?
thanks in advance!



Re: H2 Blockers (Tagamet, Pepcid, Zantac, Axid)

oh, and may-may,  your "burning, itching feeling in the crotch area" sounds kind of scary.  I've never heard of anyone getting those types of symptoms from alcohol.  You might want to see your gynecologist about that.