Antihistamines may be taken with back pain medications as part of your pain management plan to relieve or prevent acid reflux or stomach ulcers that may result from taking pain medications.

Antihistamines

For Side Effects of Back Pain Medications

Antihistamines inhibit action of histamine by preventing it from attaching to histamine receptors. These pain medications are widely used for the treatment of acid reflux and stomach ulcers and are commonly taken in conjunction with steroidal medications as part of a treatment plan for lower back pain.

Antihistamines are available in tablet, capsule and liquid forms. How often an antihistamine should be taken depends on the medicine's characteristics and the dosage form. Follow directions on the label carefully and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take only as directed.

REMINDER: You should always talk to your doctor before beginning a new medication regimen. These suggestions do not to substitute for medical advice. Please consult your physician.

Types of Antihistamines

Cimetidien

Brand Name(s): Tagamet

Relieves: Ulcers of stomach and duodenum, esophagitis, gastoesophageal reflux

Available Over-the-Counter: Yes

Mechanism of action: Cimetidien blocks action of histamine, decreasing secretion of hydrochloric acid.

Side Effects

  • Common: headache, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting
  • Less common: blurred vision, decreased sexual desire or function, swelling of breasts in men and women, temporary hair loss
  • Serious: irregular heart rhythm, bleeding difficulties, bruising, fever, chills

Note: Avoid smoking cigarettes as it may increase gastric acid secretion.

Famotidine

Brand Name(s): Pepcid AC, Pepsid Maximum Strength

Relieves: Heartburn, ulcers of stomach and duodenum, conditions which cause excessive production of gastric acid, and gastroesophageal reflux

Available over the counter: Yes

Mechanism of action: Famotidine blocks action of histamine, decreasing secretion of hydrochloric acid

Side Effects:

  • Common: headache, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting
  • Less common: blurred vision, decreased sexual desire or function, swelling of breasts in men and women, temporary hair loss
  • Serious: irregular heart rhythm, bleeding difficulties, bruising, fever, chills

Note: Do not take prescription medication for more than eight weeks unless advised by your doctor. Do not take over-the-counter medication for more than two weeks.

Nizatidine

Brand Name(s): Axid

Relieves: Recurrence of gastric and duodenal ulcers, as well as conditions which cause increased gastric acid production and gastroesophageal reflux

Available Over-the-Counter: Yes

Mechanism of action: Nizatidine blocks action of histamine, decreasing secretion of hydrochloric acid

Side Effects

  • Common: headache, fatigue, drowsiness, nausea, vomiting
  • Less common: blurred vision, decreased sexual desire or function, swelling of breasts in men and women, temporary hair loss
  • Serious: irregular heart rhythm, bleeding difficulties, bruising, fever, chills

Note: Avoid cigarette smoking, as it increases gastric acid production.

Omeprazole

Brand Name(s): Prilosec

Available Over-the-Counter: No

Relieves: Duodenal ulcers and conditions which cause increased gastric acid production and gastroesophageal reflux

Mechanism of action: Omeprazole blocks action of an enzyme in cells lining the stomach that produce gastric acid.

Side Effects

  • Common: diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, headache, dizziness
  • Less common: bloody or cloudy urine, sores or ulcers in the mouth, sore throat, fever, bruising or bleeding

Note: Take Omeprazole for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before your body is fully healed. Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Omeprazole if you have liver or heart disease. You may need a dose adjustment or additional tests.

Ranitidine

Brand Name(s): Zantac

Relieves: Duodenal ulcers caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori bacteria

Available Over-the-Counter: No

Mechanism of action: Rantidine enhances the antibiotic effect of Clarithromycin to erradicate Helicobacter pyloribacteria, which causes the majority of peptic ulcers.

Side Effects

  • Common: diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, headache
  • Less common: abdominal discomfort, tremors
  • Serious: none

Note: Using ranitidine may increase your risk of developing pneumonia. Symptoms of pneumonia include chest pain, fever, shortness of breath, and coughing up green or yellow mucus. Talk with your doctor about your risk of developing pneumonia.

Sucralfate

Brand Name(s): Carafate

Available Over-the-Counter: No

Releives: Duodenal ulcers

Mechanism of action: Sucralfate coats the surface of an ulcer, protecting the tissue from irritation caused by stomach acids and other substances.

Side Effects

  • Common: constipation
  • Less common: backache, diarrhea, dizziness, lightheadedness, dry mouth
  • Serious: drowsiness, seizures

Note: Do not take other medications for two hours before or after taking Sucralfate. Do not take antacids within 30 minutes of taking Sucralfate.

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For more information on Back Pain Medications for Pain Management or for a consultation at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute please call:

281.44.NEURO (281.446.3876)