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Pepcid AC

Generic Name: famotidine (fam OH ti deen)
Brand Name: Heartburn Relief, Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid AC Maximum Strength

Medically reviewed by Drugs.com on Sep 4, 2018 – Written by Cerner Multum

What is Pepcid AC?

Pepcid AC a histamine-2 blocker that works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces.

Pepcid AC 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. This medicine also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

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

Important Information

Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.

Before taking this medicine

Heartburn can mimic early symptoms of a heart attack. Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder and you feel anxious or light-headed.

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

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have:

Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant.

You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.

How should I take Pepcid AC?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.

You may take Pepcid AC with or without food.

Measure liquid medicine carefully. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).

Most ulcers heal within 4 weeks of famotidine treatment, but it may take up to 8 weeks of using this medicine before your ulcer heals. Keep using the medication as directed.

Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with Pepcid AC does not improve, or if it gets worse while using this medicine.

Pepcid AC may be only part of a complete program of treatment that also includes changes in diet or lifestyle habits. Follow all instructions of your doctor or dietitian.

Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.

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

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.

What happens if I overdose?

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

What should I avoid while taking Pepcid AC?

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

Avoid taking other stomach acid reducers unless your doctor has told you to. You may take an antacid (such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gaviscon, Milk of Magnesia, Rolaids, or Tums) with Pepcid AC.

Pepcid AC side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Pepcid AC and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • confusion, hallucinations, agitation, lack of energy;

  • a seizure;

  • fast or pounding heartbeats, sudden dizziness (like you might pass out); or

  • unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.

Some side effects may be more likely in older adults.

Common side effects may include:

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.

What other drugs will affect Pepcid AC?

Pepcid AC can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines you take by mouth. Tell your doctor if you are taking:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect Pepcid AC, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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