Generic Name: famotidine (fam OH ti deen)
Brand Names: Heartburn Relief, Leader Acid Reducer, Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid AC Maximum Strength, Pepcid RPD, Mylanta AR

What is Pepcid?

Pepcid (famotidine) is a histamine-2 blocker. It works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces.

Pepcid is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It also treats conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Pepcid also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

Pepcid may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information

You should not use Pepcid if you are allergic to famotidine or similar medications such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), or nizatidine (Axid).

Before taking Pepcid, tell your doctor if you have kidney or liver disease, a history of Long QT syndrome, stomach cancer or other problems, or asthma, COPD, or other breathing problems.

Slideshow: Is it Safe to Give Human Medicine to Pets?

Always get your pet's drug and dose recommendation from the veterinarian.

Avoid taking cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), or nizatidine (Axid) while you are taking Pepcid, unless your doctor has told you to.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Pepcid may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes changes in diet or lifestyle habits. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Before taking this medicine

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

You should not use Pepcid if you are allergic to famotidine or similar medications such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), or nizatidine (Axid).

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to take Pepcid if you have:

  • kidney disease;
  • liver disease;
  • a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome;

  • stomach cancer or other problems; or

  • asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing problems.

FDA pregnancy category B. Pepcid is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Famotidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Pepcid without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

How should I take Pepcid?

Use Pepcid exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.

The chewable tablet must be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.

Shake the oral suspension (liquid) for 5 to 10 seconds before you measure a dose. Measure the liquid with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup, not with a regular table spoon. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one. Although most ulcers heal within 4 weeks of Pepcid treatment, it may take up to 8 weeks of using this medicine before your ulcer heals. For best results, keep using the medication as directed. Talk with your doctor if your symptoms do not improve after 6 weeks of treatment.

Pepcid may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes changes in diet or lifestyle habits. Follow your doctor's instructions very closely.

Store Pepcid at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light.

Throw away any unused Pepcid liquid that is older than 30 days.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fast heart rate, or fainting.

What should I avoid?

Avoid drinking alcohol. It can increase the risk of damage to your stomach.

Avoid taking cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), or nizatidine (Axid) while you are taking Pepcid, unless your doctor has told you to.

This medication may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be alert.

Pepcid side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Pepcid: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat. Stop using Pepcid and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:

  • easy bruising or bleeding;

  • fast or pounding heartbeat;

  • confusion, hallucinations, seizure;

  • numbness or tingly feeling; or

  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).

Less serious Pepcid side effects may include:

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;

  • dry mouth;

  • dizziness, weakness, mood changes;

  • headache; or

  • muscle cramps, joint pain.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

What other drugs will affect Pepcid?

Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:

  • atazanavir (Reyataz);

  • itraconazole (Sporanox);

  • ketoconazole (Nizoral); or

  • aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.

This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with Pepcid. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Pepcid.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Pepcid only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.01. Revision Date: 9/12/2011 4:53:42 PM.

Hide
(web2)