famotidine, Pepcid, Pepcid AC
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD
Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.
Medical and Pharmacy Editor:
GENERIC NAME: famotidine
BRAND NAME: Pepcid, Pepcid AC
DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Famotidine is an oral drug that blocks the production of acid by acid-producing cells in the stomach. It belongs to a class of drugs called H2 (histamine-2) blockers that also includes cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), and ranitidine (Zantac). Histamine is a naturally-occurring chemical that stimulates cells in the stomach (parietal cells) to produce acid. H2-blockers inhibit the action of histamine on the cells, thus reducing the production of acid. Since excessive stomach acid can damage the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum and lead to inflammation and ulceration, reducing stomach acid prevents and heals acid-induced inflammation and ulcers. Famotidine was approved by the FDA in November 1986.
PRESCRIPTION: Yes, OTC
GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes.
STORAGE: Tablets and suspension should be stored at room temperature, 15 -30 C (59-86 F). Injection should be stored between 2-8 C (36-46 F).
PRESCRIBED FOR: Famotidine blocks the action of histamine on stomach cells, and reduces the production of acid by the stomach. Famotidine is useful in promoting the healing of stomach and duodenal ulcers and in reducing ulcer pain. Famotidine has been effective in preventing recurrence of ulcers when given in low doses for prolonged periods of time. Famotidine also is used for treating heartburn and in healing ulceration and inflammation of the esophagus (esophagitis) resulting from acid (gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD). High doses are used for treating conditions in which there are marked increases in acid secretion such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter preparations are used for treatment and prevention of occasional heartburn associated with acid indigestion (another name for GERD).
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