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You are here : 3-RX.com > Drugs & Medications > Quick Drug Information (DrugNotes) > Famotidine (Oral)

Famotidine (By Mouth)

Famotidine (fa-MOE-ti-deen)

Treats stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much stomach acid. Also treats or prevents heartburn and caused by acid indigestion.

Brand Name(s):

Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Heartburn Relief
There may be other brand names for this medicine.

When This Medicine Should Not Be Used:

You should not use this medicine if you have ever had an allergic reaction to famotidine or to similar medicines such as ranitidine (Zantac®), cimetidine (Tagamet®), or nizatidine (Axid®).

How to Use This Medicine:

Tablet, Chewable Tablet, Dissolving Tablet, Liquid

  • Your doctor will tell you how much of this medicine to take and how often. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than your doctor tells you to.
  • If you are using this medicine without a prescription, follow the instructions on the medicine label. Do not use the medicine every day for longer than 2 weeks without asking your doctor.
  • For treating ulcers, this medicine is usually taken only at bedtime. For preventing heartburn, take the medicine 15 minutes to 1 hour before you eat or drink anything that may cause heartburn. Do not use the medicine more than two times in one day unless your doctor tells you otherwise.
  • Swallow the tablet whole with a glass of water. The chewable tablet must be chewed completely before you swallow it.
  • To use the disintegrating tablets, open the tablet blister pack with dry hands. Put the tablet on your tongue and let it dissolve. Then swallow the medicine with your saliva. No water is needed.
  • Shake the oral liquid medicine for 5 to 10 seconds before each use. Measure the medicine with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup.

If a dose is missed:

  • If you miss a dose or forget to take your medicine, take it as soon as you can. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine and skip the missed dose.
  • Do not use extra medicine to make up for a missed dose.
How to Store and Dispose of This Medicine:

  • Store the medicine at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep the disintegrating tablets in the blister pack until you are ready to use one. Do not freeze the oral liquid. Throw away any unused oral liquid that is more than 1 month old.
  • Keep all medicine out of the reach of children and never share your medicine with anyone.
Drugs and Foods to Avoid:

Ask your doctor or pharmacist before using any other medicine, including over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products.

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are also taking itraconazole (Sporanox®) or ketoconazole (Nizoral®). Ask your doctor before using antacids or other acid reducers (Axid®, Tagamet®, Zantac®) while you are taking famotidine.
  • Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. These things can make your stomach produce extra acid and may keep the medicine from working properly.
Warnings While Using This Medicine:

  • Make sure your doctor knows if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, or if you have kidney disease, or phenylketonuria (PKU).
  • Do not give this medicine to anyone under the age of 16 without a doctor's approval.
Possible Side Effects While Using This Medicine:

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of these side effects:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in face or hands, swelling or tingling in the mouth or throat, tightness in chest, trouble breathing
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools
  • Fast, slow, or irregular heartbeat
  • Ongoing stomach pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Unusual bleeding or bruising
  • Yellow skin or eyes

If you notice these less serious side effects, talk with your doctor:

  • Constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, stomach upset
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Tiredness or trouble sleeping
If you notice other side effects that you think are caused by this medicine, tell your doctor.

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