Famotidine is utilized in the treatment of ulcers affecting the stomach and intestines, as well as in the prevention of recurrence of intestinal ulcers. It is also administered to address specific stomach and esophageal issues, such as erosive esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Famotidine is available over-the-counter for the treatment and prevention of heartburn and related symptoms that result from excessive stomach acid (acid indigestion). This medication functions by reducing the production of acid in the stomach, thus relieving symptoms including persistent cough, abdominal discomfort, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. Famotidine belongs to a category of drugs referred to as H2 blockers.
Uses and Dosage
Famotidine is available in prescription form as both a tablet and a liquid suspension, both taken orally. Typically, it is taken once daily at bedtime or two to four times per day.
Over-the-counter famotidine is available as a tablet, chewable tablet, and capsule, taken orally once or twice daily. To prevent symptoms, it should be taken 15 to 60 minutes before consuming foods or drinks that may lead to heartburn. Take famotidine precisely as directed by your physician, without exceeding or reducing the dosage or taking it more frequently or for a more extended period than prescribed.
Before use, shake the liquid thoroughly for 5 to 10 seconds to ensure that the medication is well mixed.
Swallow the tablets and capsules with a full glass of water. Chew the chewable tablets thoroughly before swallowing them and follow with a full glass of water.
For over-the-counter famotidine, refrain from consuming more than two tablets, capsules, or chewable tablets in a 24-hour period and do not consume it for more than two weeks unless your doctor recommends doing so.
If symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach persist for more than two weeks, discontinue the use of over-the-counter famotidine and contact your physician.
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention:
- fussiness (in babies who take famotidine)
Inform your healthcare provider immediately if you experience any serious side effects:
- skin rash
- swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
Before taking famotidine, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you have an allergy to it, other H2 blockers (such as cimetidine, ranitidine), or any other allergies. Inactive ingredients in the product may cause allergic reactions or other issues.
Before using this medication, disclose your medical history to your physician or pharmacist, particularly if you have immune system problems, kidney problems, liver problems, lung problems (like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-COPD), or other stomach issues (such as tumors).
Certain symptoms may be signs of a more severe condition. Seek immediate medical attention if you experience heartburn with lightheadedness/sweating/dizziness, chest/jaw/arm/shoulder pain (particularly with shortness of breath, unusual sweating), or unexplained weight loss.
Before using this medication for self-treatment, seek medical assistance immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms of a serious condition: difficulty or pain when swallowing food, bloody vomit, vomit resembling coffee grounds, bloody/black stools, heartburn that lasts more than 3 months, frequent chest pain, frequent wheezing (especially with heartburn), nausea/vomiting, or stomach pain.
Do not use this medication to treat children under the age of 12 unless directed by a doctor.
Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of this drug, especially mental/mood changes (such as confusion), seizures, or unusual tiredness.
Famotidine should be used during pregnancy only when it is clearly needed. Discuss the benefits and risks with your doctor.
This drug passes into breast milk. Consult your doctor before breast-feeding.
Form and Strength
Pepcid AC is available in the following forms and strengths:
Pepcid AC tablet:
How long can I safely take Pepcid AC?
Pepcid AC should not be used for longer than 14 days if you are treating heartburn symptoms.
What is the best time of day to take Pepcid AC?
If you are taking this medication once daily, it is usually taken right before bedtime.