Common uses for H2 receptor antagonists include treating duodenal ulcers and keeping them from returning, says Mayo Clinic. H2 receptor antagonists are also used to treat gastric ulcers, heartburn, sour stomach and a condition in which the stomach makes too much acid.
Though they are not specifically designed for these maladies, H2 receptor antagonists are also used to treat damage and injuries to the gut, pancreatic disorders, hives and ulcers in the stomach or intestines that arise from taking medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, states Mayo Clinic.
H2 receptor antagonists work by blocking the action of histamines in special cells in the stomach, says Healthline. This is why they are also known as histamine receptor antagonists, or H2RAs. They stop these stomach cells from producing acid. This action is different from that of antacids, which simply neutralize the acid. Because of this, H2 receptor antagonists are better at enabling the digestive tract to heal from damage.
H2 receptor antagonists are deliverable in several forms, says Mayo Clinic. These include injectable, syrup, solution, capsules, liquid-filled capsules and effervescent tablets. They also come as chewable or disintegrating tablets, granules, packets, solutions and powders for solutions. Common brands for H2 receptor antagonists are Tagament HB, Pepcid AC, Axid AR and forms of Zantac, says Healthline.