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Famotidine

(Fa-MO-ti-deen)

For the treatment of stomach ulcers and too much stomach acid

Disclaimer

The content on this page is not medical advice and should be used for informational purposes only. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage are right for you.

Last updatedJuly 27, 2021

Famotidine

Famotidine is used to treat ulcers (sores) in the stomach lining or small intestine.

It is also taken for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much acid.

Over-the-counter famotidine is used for occasional heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach.

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Brand name

Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid Complete, Duexis
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Rx or OTC

Available by prescription or over-the-counter.

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When & How

  • Prescription (Rx) famotidine is taken once daily at bedtime, or 2 to 4 times per day.
  • Take over-the-counter (OTC) famotidine 15 to 60 minutes before consuming foods or drinks that could cause heartburn, indigestion, or sour stomach.
  • Famotidine can be taken with or without food.
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Do’s

  • Take famotidine exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is almost time for your next dose (do not double your regular dose).
  • If taking a chewable tablet, chew it thoroughly before swallowing.
  • If taking a liquid form of Rx famotidine, shake the liquid for 5 to 10 seconds to make sure the medicine is mixed well.
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Don’ts

  • Do not take more than 2 OTC famotidine tablets or chewable tablets in a 24-hour period.
  • Do not take OTC famotidine for longer than 2 weeks unless directed by your doctor.
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Discuss with your doctor

  • If you are taking over-the-counter (OTC) famotidine and your symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach last for more than 2 weeks
  • If you know that you are allergic to famotidine, cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac), or other medications
  • Any nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, or herbal products you are currently taking
  • If you have ever had trouble swallowing, which may mean you have other issues with your esophagus
  • If you have kidney disease
  • If you have phenylketonuria (PKU)
  • You should receive a full evaluation for other stomach conditions, including cancer, before taking prescription famotidine.
  • If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant; call your doctor if you become pregnant while taking famotidine.
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What is Famotidine?

Famotidine is used to treat too much stomach acid, or when stomach acid comes back up through the esophagus.

Prescription famotidine is taken for stomach ulcers (sores), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, or other conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much acid.

Over-the-counter (OTC) famotidine is used to treat occasional heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach from eating or drinking certain foods or drinks.

Famotidine is available by prescription or over-the-counter.

Famotidine dosages
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Tablets and liquids

  • 10 mg tablet
  • 20 mg tablet (oral or chewable)
  • 40 mg tablet
  • 8 mg/mL oral liquid

Similar drugs to Famotidine

  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • Zantac (ranitidine)
  • Axid (nizatidine)

Side effects

Disclaimer

Medications may affect individuals differently. Usage of any medication may include side effects and other interactions. Here is a list of known common side effects and interactions. This list is not exhaustive -- there may be other side effects or interactions for this medication that are not listed here. In some cases, the likelihood of side effects or interactions may increase depending on dosage. It’s important to keep in mind that in extreme cases, other serious side effects, even death, may occur. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage is right for you.

Headache

5% of people experience headaches

Diarrhea

2% of people experience diarrhea

Full list of side effects

Whole body

  • Dizziness
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Headache

Cardiovascular

  • Palpitations
  • Arrhythmia
  • Atrioventricular (AV) block
  • Prolonged QT interval

Gastrointestinal

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Jaundice, hepatitis (liver inflammation)

Musculoskeletal

  • Muscle cramps or joint pain
  • Rhabdomyolysis (a serious condition causing death of muscle tissue)

Nervous system/psychiatric

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Sleepiness
  • Decreased libido, impotence
  • Seizure
  • Hallucination
  • Paresthesia (numbness or tingling, usually in hands, arms, legs, or feet)

Respiratory

  • Interstitial pneumonia (a rare form of pneumonia)

Skin

  • Dry skin, flushing
  • Toxic epidermal necrolysis/Stevens-Johnson syndrome (a rare, severe skin reaction)

Safety notes

  • People with kidney disease may be more likely to experience side effects and complications. Those with mild kidney disease can take the usual dosage, but those with moderate or severe kidney disease should take a lower dose.
  • Older people may be at an increased risk of adverse reactions, especially if they have kidney disease. In older people, the lowest effective dose should be taken, and kidney function should be monitored.
  • May cause hypersensitivity reactions, including swelling, hives, or anaphylaxis.
  • May cause QT prolongation, especially if you have kidney disease. This could cause symptoms such as palpitations, fainting, dizziness, or lightheadedness.

Famotidine interactions

Disclaimer

Medications may affect individuals differently. Usage of any medication may include side effects and other interactions. Here is a list of known common side effects and interactions. This list is not exhaustive -- there may be other side effects or interactions for this medication that are not listed here. In some cases, the likelihood of side effects or interactions may increase depending on dosage. It’s important to keep in mind that in extreme cases, other serious side effects, even death, may occur. Always consult your health care provider or pharmacist to determine what medication and dosage is right for you.

Tell your doctor if you are taking any of these medications or supplements

Famotidine reduces stomach acid, so taking it with drugs that need stomach acid to be absorbed by the body may affect how these drugs work. Some of these drugs include:

  • Atazanavir
  • Dasatinib
  • Delavirdine
  • Pazopanib
  • Some antifungals (itraconazole, ketoconazole).

Tizanidine (muscle relaxer): Famotidine may increase blood concentrations of tizanidine. Avoid famotidine when taking tizanidine. If you do need to take both, you should be monitored for low blood pressure, bradycardia, or excessive drowsiness.

Tell your doctor if you have any of these pre-existing conditions

  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • Other stomach problems, such as tumors
  • Asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • Phenylketonuria (PKU)

Famotidine pricing

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