Generic Name: famotidine (fam OH ti deen)
Brand Name: Heartburn Relief, Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid AC Maximum Strength
What is famotidine?
Famotidine a histamine-2 blockers. Famotidine works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces.
Famotidine 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. Famotidine also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
Famotidine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What is the most important information I should know about famotidine?
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.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking famotidine?
Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or pressure, pain spreading to your jaw or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to famotidine or similar medicines such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), or nizatidine (Axid).
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use famotidine if you have other medical conditions, especially:
cancer stomach; or
a personal or family history of Long QT syndrome.
FDA pregnancy category B. Famotidine is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Do not use this medicine without a doctor's advice if you are pregnant.
Famotidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. You should not breast-feed while using this medicine.
How should I take famotidine?
Use 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.
Measure liquid medicine with the dosing syringe provided, or with a special dose-measuring spoon or medicine cup. If you do not have a dose-measuring device, ask your pharmacist for one.
Although most ulcers heal within 4 weeks of famotidine 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.
Famotidine 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 at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.
Throw away any unused famotidine 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.
What should I avoid while taking famotidine?
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 famotidine, 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.
Famotidine 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 famotidine and call your doctor at once if you have:
fast or pounding heartbeats with severe dizziness; or
unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.
Common side effects may include:
constipation or diarrhea.
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 famotidine?
Other drugs may interact with famotidine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell each of your health care providers about all medicines you use now and any medicine you start or stop using.
More about Pepcid (famotidine)
- Other brands: Heartburn Relief
Related treatment guides
Where can I get more information?
- Your pharmacist can provide more information about famotidine.
- 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.
- 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 1996-2012 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 13.01.
Date modified: November 30, 2016
Last reviewed: August 11, 2014