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- What is famotidine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
- What brand names are available for famotidine?
- Is famotidine available as a generic drug?
- Do I need a prescription for famotidine?
- What are the uses for famotidine?
- What are the side effects of famotidine?
- What is the dosage for famotidine?
- Which drugs or supplements interact with famotidine?
- Is famotidine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
- What else should I know about famotidine?
What is famotidine, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?
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.
What are the uses for famotidine?
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).
What are the side effects of famotidine?
Side effects of famotidine are rare. The most commonly reported minor side effects are:
Other important side effects include:
More serious side effects include:
Quick GuideHeartburn: Causes, Symptoms, Remedies, Treatments
What is the dosage for famotidine?
The recommended adult oral dose for treating duodenal ulcers is 40 mg once daily at bedtime or 20 mg twice daily. Most patients heal their ulcers within 4 weeks. The regimen for maintenance therapy after the ulcers are healed is 20 mg once a day at bedtime. The recommended oral dose for adults with gastric ulcers is, 40 mg once daily at bedtime.
Esophagitis is treated with 20 or 40 mg twice daily for up to 12 weeks. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is treated with 20 mg every 6 hours, and doses up to 160 mg every 6 hours have been used in some patients.
GERD is treated with 20 mg twice daily for up to 6 weeks. Occasional heartburn is treated with 10-20 mg daily administered 15 to 60 minutes before ingestion of food or beverages that cause heartburn.
Which drugs or supplements interact with famotidine?
Famotidine, like other drugs that reduce stomach acid, may interfere with the absorption of drugs that require acid for adequate absorption. Examples include iron salts (for example iron sulphate), itraconazole (Sporanox), and ketoconazole (Nizoral, Extina, Xolegel, Kuric).
Is famotidine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Use of famotidine during pregnancy has not been adequately evaluated.
Famotidine is secreted into breast milk. Due to the potential but unknown harm that famotidine might cause to the infant, nursing mothers should consider discontinuing famotidine.
What else should I know about famotidine?
What preparations of famotidine are available?
- Tablets: 10, 20, and 40 mg.
- Tablets (Chewable): 10 and 20 mg.
- Suspension: 40 mg per 5 ml (teaspoon). Injection: 10 mg/ml.
How should I keep famotidine stored?
Tablets and suspension should be stored at room temperature, 15 C - 30 C (59 F - 86 F). Injection should be stored between 2 C - 8 C (36 F - 46 F).
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information
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Chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip symptoms include:
- An itchy, runny nose
- Itchy ears, eyes, and throat
Seasonal allergic rhinitis (also called hay fever) usually is caused by pollen in the air. Perennial allergic rhinitis is a type of chronic rhinitis and is a yearâ€“round problem, often caused by indoor allergens, such as dust, animal dander, and pollens that may exist at the time. Treatment of chronic rhinitis and post nasal drip are dependent upon the type of rhinitis condition.
Esophageal pH MonitoringEsophageal pH monitoring is a procedure for measuring the reflux (regurgitation or backwash) of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. The Esophageal pH test is used to diagnose gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to determine if the acid is responsible for symptoms such as:
- and sore throat.
Esophagitis is caused by an infection or irritation of the esophagus. Infections that cause esophagitis include candida yeast infection of the esophagus as well as herpes. Signs and symptoms of esophagitis include:
- Mouth sores
- Chest pain
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
Treatment of esophagitis includes diet, lifestyle changes, and medication depending upon the cause.
Esophagus PictureThe esophagus is a muscular tube connecting the throat (pharynx) with the stomach. See a picture of the Esophagus and learn more about the health topic.
GastritisGastritis is an inflammation of the stomach lining. Causes of gastritis include drinking too much alcohol, medications such as NSAIDs, ibuprofen, aspirin, H. pylori infection, severe infections, burns, anemia, and autoimmune disorders. Gastritis is diagnosed with endoscopy, blood tests, or stool tests. Treatment depends upon the cause of gastritis.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are:
- regurgitation, and
Take the GERD QuizWho is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about it.
Heartburn (Reflux)Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include
- chest pain,
- burning in the throat,
- difficulty swallowing,
- the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and
- a burning feeling in the chest.
- dietary habits,
- lifestyle habits, and
- medical causes.
- lifestyle changes,
- OTC medication,
- prescription medication, and
Hiatal Hernia OverviewHiatal hernia is a condition in which a thin membrane of tissue connects the esophagus with the diaphragm becomes week, and a portion of the stomach slides up into the esophagus. Causes include:
- straining during a bowel movement,
- aging, and
How to Stop Coughing
Coughing is a reflex that helps a person clear their airways of irritants. There are many causes of an excessive or severe cough including:
- Irritants like
- cigarette and secondhand smoke
- air fresheners
- Medications like beta blockers and ACE inhibitors
- Medical conditions like
- the common cold
- lung cancer
- heart disease
Natural and home remedies that help cure and soothe a cough are:
Natural and home remedies to help cure and soothe a cough are:
- Stay hydrated
- Gargle saltwater
- Use cough drops or lozenges
- Use herbs and supplements like ginger, mint, licorice, and slippery elm
- Don't smoke
Over-the-counter products (OTC)to cure and soothe a cough include
- cough suppressants and expectorants, and
- anti-reflux drugs.
Prescription drugs that help cure a cough include
- narcotic medications,
- inhaled steroids, and
- anti-reflux drugs like proton pump inhibitors or PPIs, for example,
- omeprazole (Prilosec),
- rabeprazole (Aciphex), and
- pantoprazole (Protonix).
- Irritants like
Peptic or stomach ulcers are ulcers are an ulcer in the lining of the stomach, duodenum, or esophagus. Ulcer formation is related to H. pylori bacteria in the stomach, use of anti-inflammatory medications, and cigarette smoking. Symptoms of peptic or stomach ulcers include:
- Abdominal burning or hunger pain
- Abdominal discomfort after meals
Treatment for stomach ulcers depends upon the cause.
ShockMedical shock is a life-threatening medical condition. There are several types of medical shock, including:
- septic shock,
- anaphylactic shock,
- cardiogenic shock,
- hypovolemic shock, and
- neurogenic shock.
- heart attack,
- heart failure,
- heavy bleeding (internal and external),
- spinal cord injury,
- severe burns,
- chronic vomiting or