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Famotidine (Oral route)

Pronunciation:

fam-OH-ti-deen

Brand Names:

  • Heartburn Relief
  • Pepcid
  • Pepcid AC

Dosage Forms:

  • Tablet
  • Powder for Suspension
  • Tablet, Chewable
  • Tablet, Disintegrating

Classifications:

Therapeutic—

Gastric Acid Secretion Inhibitor

Pharmacologic—

Histamine H2 Antagonist

Uses of This Medicine:

Famotidine is used to treat stomach ulcers (gastric and duodenal), erosive esophagitis (heartburn or acid indigestion), and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition where the acid in the stomach washes back up into the esophagus. It is also used to treat certain conditions where there is too much acid in the stomach (e.g., Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, endocrine tumors).

Famotidine belongs to the group of medicines known as histamine H2-receptor antagonists or H2-blockers. It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach.

This medicine is available with your doctor's prescription and also without a prescription. For the prescription form, there is more medicine in each tablet. Your doctor will have special instructions on the proper use and dose for your medical problem.

Before Using This Medicine:

In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:

Allergies—

Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.

Children—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated pediatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of famotidine in children.

Older adults—

Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of famotidine in the elderly. However, elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving famotidine.

Pregnancy—

Pregnancy CategoryExplanation
All TrimestersBAnimal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.

Breast-feeding—

There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.

Other medicines—

Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.

  • Amifampridine
  • Piperaquine

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Aripiprazole
  • Atazanavir
  • Bupropion
  • Buserelin
  • Clarithromycin
  • Clozapine
  • Crizotinib
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dasatinib
  • Delamanid
  • Delavirdine
  • Deslorelin
  • Domperidone
  • Escitalopram
  • Fluoxetine
  • Gonadorelin
  • Goserelin
  • Histrelin
  • Ivabradine
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ledipasvir
  • Leuprolide
  • Metronidazole
  • Nafarelin
  • Ondansetron
  • Pazopanib
  • Quetiapine
  • Rilpivirine
  • Sevoflurane
  • Tizanidine
  • Tolazoline
  • Triptorelin
  • Vandetanib
  • Vemurafenib
  • Vinflunine
  • Vismodegib

Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.

  • Cefditoren Pivoxil
  • Cefpodoxime Proxetil
  • Cyclosporine

Other interactions—

Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. Discuss with your healthcare professional the use of your medicine with food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Other medical problems—

The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:

  • Kidney disease, moderate or severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Proper Use of This Medicine:

Take this medicine exactly as directed by your doctor or as directed on the package. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of side effects.

Keep using this medicine for the full time of treatment, even if you begin to feel better.

Measure the oral liquid with a marked measuring spoon or medicine cup. The average household teaspoon may not hold the right amount of liquid.

Dosing—

The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor's orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.

The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.

  • For oral dosage forms (suspension, tablets):
    • To treat stomach ulcers:
      • Adults—20 milligrams (mg) one or two times per day or 40 mg once a day at bedtime.
      • Teenagers and children above 1 year of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 0.5 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, given as a single dose at bedtime or divided in two doses. The total dose is usually not more than 40 mg per day.
    • To treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):
      • Adults—20 milligrams (mg) two times per day.
      • Teenagers and children above 1 year of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, divided and given two times per day. The total dose is usually not more than 40 mg two times per day.
      • Infants 3 months to 1 year of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, divided and given two times per day.
      • Infants younger than 3 months of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The usual dose is 0.5 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, given as a single dose once a day.
    • To treat erosive esophagitis (heartburn):
      • Adults—10, 20, or 40 milligrams (mg) two times per day.
      • Teenagers and children above 1 year of age—Dose is based on body weight and must be determined by your doctor. The starting dose is usually 1 milligram (mg) per kilogram (kg) of body weight per day, divided and given two times per day. The total dose is usually not more than 40 mg two times per day.
    • To treat too much stomach acid (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome):
      • Adults—20 milligrams (mg) every 6 hours. Your doctor may adjust your dose as needed.
      • Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.

Missed dose—

If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.

Storage—

Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.

Keep out of the reach of children.

Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.

Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use.

Throw away any unused oral liquid after 30 days.

Precautions While Using This Medicine:

It is very important that your doctor check your progress at regular visits to make sure this medicine is working properly and to check for unwanted effects.

If your condition does not improve, or if it become worse, check with your doctor.

Side Effects of This Medicine:

Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.

Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:

Rare
Bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
blood in the urine or stools
bloody, black, or tarry stools
chest pain
chills
cough or hoarseness
diarrhea
fever
fever with or without chills
general feeling of tiredness or weakness
high fever
itching
joint or muscle pain
lower back or side pain
painful or difficult urination
pale skin
pinpoint red spots on the skin
red, irritated eyes
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
shortness of breath
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
swollen glands
unusual bleeding or bruising
unusual tiredness or weakness
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach pain
anxiety
burning, crawling, itching, numbness, prickling, "pins and needles", or tingling feelings
clay-colored stools
dark urine
depression
difficulty with breathing
difficulty with swallowing
dizziness
dry mouth
fainting
false sense of well-being
fast, irregular, pounding, or racing heartbeat or pulse
headache
hives
hyperventilation
irritability
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
loss of appetite
loss of bladder control
loss of consciousness
mood swings
nausea
nervousness
noisy breathing
personality changes
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
rash
restlessness
seizures
shaking
skin rash
swelling around the eyes
tightness in the chest
total body jerking
trouble with sleeping
troubled with breathing
unpleasant breath odor
vision changes
vomiting of blood
wheezing
yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:

Less common
Difficulty having a bowel movement (stool)
Rare
Swelling of the breasts or breast soreness in both females and males
Incidence not known
Abdominal or stomach discomfort
blemishes on the skin
change in taste or bad, unusual or unpleasant (after) taste
continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
decreased interest in sexual intercourse
difficulty with moving
dry skin
fear
hair loss or thinning of the hair
hearing loss
hives or welts
inability to have or keep an erection
loss in sexual ability, desire, drive, or performance
mood or mental changes
muscle cramps
muscle stiffness
pimples
redness of the skin
redness of the white part of the eyes
seeing, hearing, or feeling things that are not there
sleeplessness
unable to sleep
weight loss

Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.


Last Updated: 11/4/2014

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