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.