- Side Effects
- Drug Interactions
- Pregnancy & Breastfeeding
- What Else to Know
Generic Name: famotidine
Brand Names: Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Acid Reducer, Heartburn Relief
Drug Class: Histamine H2 Antagonists, Gastrointestinal Agents, Other
What is famotidine, and what is it used for?
Famotidine is an oral drug that blocks the production of acid by acid-producing cells in the stomach. 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 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.
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 is also 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).
Famotidine was approved by the FDA in November 1986.
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:
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 interact with famotidine?
Is famotidine safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
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).
Famotidine is a drug prescribed for the treatment of stomach and duodenal ulcers, heartburn, esophagitis, GERD, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. The most commonly reported minor side effects of famotidine are constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle pain, nausea, and vomiting. Other important side effects include anemia, confusion, easy bruising or bleeding, hair loss, and rash. Consult with your doctor if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
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Treatment & Diagnosis
- Abdominal Pain
- Reflux Laryngitis
- Acid Reflux (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD)
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
- Stomach Ulcer (Peptic Ulcer)
- Hiatal Hernia
- Doctor: Checklist to Take To Your Doctor's Appointment
- Heartburn (GERD) Dialogue
- Fabry Disease
- Heartburn (GERD) Drugs: A New Caution
- GERD: Putting Out the Fire of Heartburn
- Specific References - GERD
- GERD Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease FAQs
- Drugs: Buying Prescription Drugs Online Safely
- Drugs: The Most Common Medication Errors
- Gonorrhea Treatment Recommendations Update
- Medication Disposal
- Dangers of Mixing Medications
- How To Reduce Your Medication Costs
- GERD Surgery Doesn't Prevent Cancer
- Pharmacy Visit, How To Get The Most Out of Your Visit
- Heartburn: Is Heartburn Inherited?
- GERD Surgery - No Good?
- GERD: Questions To Ask Your Doctor About GERD (Heartburn)
- Indications for Drugs: Approved vs. Non-approved
- Esophageal Cancer Linked to Heartburn
- IBS, GERD, Hepatitis C: Doctors Dialogue
- GERD: Types of antacids for GERD?
- GERD: Safe GERD medications for pregnancy?
- GERD Acid reflux during pregnancy?
- GERD: Relief from GERD?
- GERD Symptoms improve with weight loss?
- Why is acid reflux GERD worse at night time?
- GERD Symptoms After Exercise?
- Bad breath from GERD?
- GERD Best treatment for Barrett Esophagus?
- GERD How long can you take Prilosec safely?
- GERD: Any substitute for Propulsid in treating GERD
- GERD: Use of Propulsid GERD
- Heartburn Diagnosis
- Heartburn or Heart Attack? Emergency In Flight
- What Is the Relationship Between GERD and Scleroderma?
- Are Tums or Rolaids Good for Heartburn?
- Does Aspirin Make Ulcers Worse?
- What Are Foods to Avoid With GERD?
- Can You Overdose on Antacids?
- Heartburn: Carbonated Soda & Sleeping Pills Increase Nighttime Heartburn
- Generic Drugs, Are They as Good as Brand-Names?
Medications & Supplements
- Drugs: Questions to Ask Your Doctor or Pharmacist about Your Drugs
- aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide, simethicone antacids
- Drug Interactions
- lansoprazole (Heartburn Relief 24 Hour, Heartburn Treatment 24 Hour, Prevacid 24)
- cimetidine, Tagamet HB
- Types of Medication for GERD (Heartburn)
- Zantac 360 (famotidine)
- nizatidine (Axid, Axid AR)
- Duexis (ibuprofen and famotidine)
Prevention & Wellness
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
FDA Prescribing Information