Famotidine (oral)

Famotidine blocks the production of stomach acid to enable relief from stomach ulcerations, heartburn and other related conditions.

Overview

Famotidine is a histamine H2-receptor antagonist, which are also known as H2-blockers. Famotidine works to reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach by blocking the signals that trigger its production.

The treatment is available both with and without prescription and is used in the treatment of a range of conditions. These conditions treated include stomach ulcerations, erosive esophagitis, gatroesophageal reflux disease and other conditions caused by a build up of too much acid in the stomach.

When prescribed the strength of the medication is stronger in each tablet and the dose taken is greater. In cases of prescription the doctor will provide specific instructions for the treatment of your condition.

The medication is available in a range of forms including tablets, powder for suspension, chewable tablets and disintegrating tablets. It is available in the following brands:

  • Pepcid AC
  • Pepcid
  • Heartburn Relief

Conditions Treated

  • Stomach ulceration
  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Edocrine tumors
  • Heartburn

Type Of Medicine

  • Histamine H2-receptor antagonist

Side Effects

In addition to the required effects from the use of Famotidine, other side effects that are not desired may also occur. While not all may occur, in some cases the patient may need to seek medical attention if they do.

You should check with your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any of the following side effects from the use of Famotidine:

Occurring only rarely:

  • Black or tar-like stools
  • Bleeding of the gums
  • Blistering or peeling of the skin
  • Blood appearing in the urine or stools
  • Bloody stools
  • Chest pain
  • Chills
  • Coughing
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficult urination
  • Fever occurring with or without chills
  • Feverishness
  • General feeling of tiredness
  • General feeling of weakness
  • High fever
  • Hoarseness
  • Irritated or red eyes
  • Itching
  • Joint pains
  • Loosening of the skin
  • Lower back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Painful urination
  • Paleness of the skin
  • Pinpoint spots on the skin, usually red
  • Shortness of breath without exertion
  • Side pain
  • Skin lesions that may have a purple center
  • Soreness of the throat
  • Sores or ulcers around the mouth
  • Swelling of the glands
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Unusual bruising
  • Unusual tiredness
  • Unusual weakness
  • White spots on the lips or in mouth

Frequency of occurrence not known:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Anxiousness
  • Body jerking
  • Burning, itching, prickling or tingling feelings on the skin
  • Changed vision
  • Darkened urine
  • Depression or extreme sadness
  • Difficulty with breathing
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Fainting or faintness
  • False sense of well-being
  • Headaches
  • Hives
  • Hyperventilation
  • Irregular or racing heartbeat or pulse
  • Irritability or quickness to annoyance
  • Lack of appetite
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Loss of control of bladder
  • Mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Nervousness
  • Personality changes
  • Puffy or swollen around the eyes, face, lips or tongue
  • Rash
  • Restlessness
  • Seizures or convulsions
  • Shaking or trembling
  • Skin rash
  • Stomach pain
  • Stools with a clay-like coloration
  • Swelling around the eyes
  • Swellings with the appearance of hives on the: sex organs, face, tongue, throat, eyelids, lips, hands, feet or legs
  • Tightness across the chest
  • Trouble with breathing
  • Troubled sleep
  • Unpleasant odor to breath
  • Unusually audible breathing
  • Vomiting up blood
  • Wheezing
  • Yellowing of the eyes
  • Yellowing of the skin

Other side effects may occur from the use of this treatment that would not normally require you to seek the attention of a medical professional. These side effects may abate over time or be mild. If they become bothersome or are ongoing then you should consult your doctor for advice on how to relieve them:

Occurring less commonly:

  • Difficulty in passing a stool

Occurring only rarely

  • Swelling of the breasts in both males and females
  • Breast soreness in both females and males

Frequency of occurrence not known:

  • Abdominal soreness
  • Blemishing of the skin
  • Changed taste
  • Continued ringing or buzzing that is not experienced by others
  • Decreased interest in sexual intercourse
  • Difficulty experienced when moving
  • Dryness of the skin
  • Fear without cause
  • Hair loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Hives
  • Inability to get or maintain an erection
  • Inability to sleep
  • Loss of sexual ability or performance
  • Loss of sexual drive or desire
  • Mental state changes
  • Mood changes
  • Muscle cramping
  • Muscle stiffness
  • Perceiving things that are not perceived by others
  • Pimples
  • Reddening of the skin
  • Reddening of the white part of eye
  • Sleeplessness
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Thinning of the hair
  • Unusual or unpleasant aftertaste
  • Weight loss
  • Welts

Other side effects that have not been listed herein can also occur. If you should experience other side effects from the use of this treatment then you should contact your doctor for advice.

Dosage

The following information relates to the prescribed use of Famotidine and not the use of over the counter treatments. For over the counter treatments you should follow the directions on the packaging.

This medication should be taken exactly as directed by your doctor. You should never take an increased dose nor use it more frequently than ordered. Doing so will greatly increase the risk of certain side effects occurring.

You should use this treatment for the full course as prescribed, even if you begin to improve in health before this time. The course is designed to enable full healing and should not be stopped early or your risk a recurrence of the condition.

When taking the oral liquid form of this treatment you should always measure the treatment with the device provided. A kitchen spoon or other cutlery may not be accurate and may lead to an incorrect dose being taken.

The dose of this medication will differ for each patient. The dose prescribed will depend on the strength of the medication, the conditions being treated and the individual circumstances of the patient. You should only ever take your treatment as directed by your doctor. The following information is for guidance only and should not be used to adjust your treatment without your doctor's order.

Dosing information for suspension and for tablets:

For use in the treatment of stomach ulcers:

  • In adults the dose should be 20mg taken once or twice daily.
  • Children aged 1+ and teenagers will be given a dose that is based on their body weight. Usually the doctor will calculate this as 0.5mg/kg that is given in one dose before bed or divided into 2 doses. The total dose in children should not exceed 40mg taken daily.

For use in the treatment of (GERD) gastreosophageal reflux disease:

  • Adults should be treated with 20mg twice daily.
  • Children aged over 1 and teenagers will be given a dose that is calculated by the doctor based on the weight of the child. The dose will usually be 1mg/kg up to a total dose of 40mg daily. This can be taken as 1 or 2 doses during the day.
  • Infants aged from 3 months to 1 year will be given a dose calculated based on their body weight. This dose will usually be 1mg/kg that is administered in 2 divided doses in the day.
  • Infants below the age of 3 months will be treated with a usual dose of 0.5mg/kg in a single dose taken once daily.

For use in the treatment of erosive esophagitis, also known as heartburn:

  • Adults will receive either 10, 20 or 40mg twice daily.
  • Children aged 1+ and teenagers will be given a dose based on body weight. This will usually be calculated by the doctor as 1mg/kg up to a limit of 80mg daily. This dose is divided and given in two doses each day.

For use in the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome:

  • Adults will take 20mg of treatment ever 6 hours. This dose may be adjusted as required.
  • The use of this treatment for this condition in children must be determined by the doctor in each case.

If you miss a dose of this treatment then you should take it as soon as it is practicable to do so. If it is close to your next dose being due, however, then you should skip the dose you have missed completely and return to your normal schedule. You should not take a double dose and you should not extend the treatment to make up for missing a dose.

Interactions

Famotidine can interact with a wide range of medications when taken in conjunction with them. In some cases this can cause severe medical problems and in others the different medications may stop one another from working or increase the risk of side effects. Before beginning treatment with Famotidine you should inform your doctor of all medications that you are taking to ensure that no interactions will occur.

The use of Famotidine with the following medications is not recommended and you r doctor may choose to prescribe a different treatment instead:

  • Ziprasidone
  • Thioridazine
  • Terfenadine
  • Sparfloxacin
  • Saquinavir
  • Piperaquine
  • Pimozide
  • Mesoridazine
  • Dronedarone
  • Cisapride
  • Bepridil
  • Amisulpride
  • Amifampridine

The use of the following medications in conjuction with Famotidine would not normally be recommended but may be the best option in some cases. Your doctor may change the dose or frequency of use of one or more of the treatments:

  • Zuclopenthixol
  • Vismodegib
  • Vinflunine
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vandetanib
  • Triptorelin
  • Tolazoline
  • Tizanidine
  • Tacrolimus
  • Sulpiride
  • Sotalol
  • Sevoflurane
  • Rilpivirine
  • Quetiapine
  • Pitolisant
  • Pimavanserin
  • Pazopanib
  • Pasireotide
  • Panobinostat
  • Ondansetron
  • Nafarelin
  • Moxifloxacin
  • Metronidazole
  • Levofloxacin
  • Leuprolide
  • Ledipasvir
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ivabradine
  • Hydroxyzine
  • Hydroxychloroquine
  • Histrelin
  • Goserelin
  • Gonadorelin
  • Gefitinib
  • Fluoxetine
  • Escitalopram
  • Erlotinib
  • Efavirenz
  • Donepezil
  • Domperidone
  • Deslorelin
  • Delavirdine
  • Delamanid
  • Degarelix
  • Dasatinib
  • Dabrafenib
  • Crizotinib
  • Clozapine
  • Clarithromycin
  • Buserelin
  • Bupropion
  • Atazanavir
  • Arsenic Trioxide
  • Aripiprazole
  • Anagrelide
  • Amiodarone

The following medications used in conjunction with Famotidine may increase the risk of certain side effects occurring and would not normally be recommended. If both treatments are prescribed together then your doctor may change the dose and frequency of use of one or both medications:

  • Cyclosporine
  • Cefpodoxime Proxetil
  • Cefditoren Pivoxil

Other interactions may occur between Famotidine and medications not listed herein. Before use be sure to inform your doctor of all other substances and treatments that you are taking.

Certain medical conditions may also limit the use of this treatment. The use of Famotidine is not recommended in patients with moderate or severe kidney disease. This is because in these patients the removal of Famotidine from the system may be slowed and the effects and side effects of the treatment may be intensified. In these patients the dose of the medication administered may need to be lowered to achieve the desired effect.

Other medical problems may also impact on the use of this treatment. Before use patients should ensure that they have informed the doctor of all medical conditions from which they suffer.

Warnings

In deciding to use Famotidine you should consider the risks of doing so in relation to the good that it will do. This decision should be made in conjunction with your doctor having ensured that you have taken the following into account:

Allergies' If you have ever had a strange or bad reaction to any medications in the past then you should inform your doctor. You should also inform them of any allergies you have suffered to foods, dyes, preservatives, animals or other substances. Allergies may prohibit the use of certain medications.

Pediatric ' No limitations to the use of Famotidine in children have so far been demonstrated through appropriate studies. Discuss use with your doctor if you have concerns.

Geriatric ' Elderly patients are more likely to have kidney problems that may impact on the use or dose of this treatment. No other limitations have been identified for the use of Famotidine in the elderly population, however.

Pregnancy 'Inform your doctor before use if you are pregnant or may become pregnant during use. There is only minimal risk to use during pregnancy, but this should be discussed with your doctor.

Breastfeeding ' You should discuss breastfeeding during use with your doctor before beginning treatment.

Your doctor will need to make regular checks on your progress during use to check that the treatment is working properly. They will also look for unwanted side effects from use.

If your condition begins to worsen during use or if it does not begin to improve in a timely fashion then you should contact your doctor and seek further advice. The doctor may adjust the dose or may look for an alternative means of treating your conditions.

It may also be important to follow certain dietary requirements during treatment with this medication. Certain foods, drinks and other substances may irritate the condition that is being treated and may prevent recovery for occurring. Citric acids, for example, that are found in certain fruits may increase the acidity in your stomach and counteract some of the effect of the treatment. Discuss diet with your doctor before beginning treatment so that you can enjoy the best possible effect from it.

Storage

This medication can be stored at room temperature. It should, however, be kept away from heat sources, direct light and moisture.

Store Famotidine well out of the reach of children even when the treatment is for their use.

Dispose of unwanted, unneeded and outdated medication properly. Unused liquid medication should be discarded after 30 days of opening.

Summary

Famotidine is available both with and without a prescription. The prescribed medication is, however, stronger and contains more medication.

Famotidine works to reduce the amount of stomach acid that is produced to aid in the relief of certain medical conditions. These include heartburn and ulceration of the stomach.

Famotidine is suitable for use in children, adults and elderly patients. When prescribed with this treatment it is important that you follow the instructions for dosing exactly so that you can enjoy the best possible benefit from the treatment. This includes completing the full course of the treatment even if you are feeling better. This will help to prevent a recurrence of the problem that required treatment.

Some side effects may occur from the use of Famotidine. The patient should consider these risks before beginning use.

Famotidine should not be taken in conjunction with any other treatments unless this use has been approved by your doctor. Some medications may interact with Famotidine in the body and cause possibly severe unwanted side effects to occur.