Why is this medication prescribed?
Famotidine is used to to treat ulcers; gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the food pipe (esophagus); and conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter famotidine is used to prevent and treat symptoms of heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. Famotidine is in a class of medications called H2
How should this medicine be used?
Famotidine comes as a tablet, an orally disintegrating tablet, and a suspension (liquid) to take by mouth. It is usually taken once daily at bedtime or two to four times a day. Over-the-counter famotidine comes as a tablet, a chewable tablet, and a capsule to take by mouth. It is usually taken once or twice a day. To prevent symptoms, it is taken 15 to 16 minutes before eating or drinking foods that cause heartburn. Follow the directions on your prescription or the package label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take famotidine exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often than prescribed by your doctor.
Keep the orally disintegrating tablets in the packets until you are ready to use them. To take the orally disintegrating tablet, use dry hands to peel back the foil packaging. Immediately take out the tablet and place it in your mouth. The tablet will quickly dissolve and can be swallowed with saliva. No water is needed to swallow disintegrating tablets.
Shake the liquid well for 5 to 10 seconds before each use to mix the medicine evenly.
Thoroughly chew the chewable tablets before swallowing them.
Do not take over-the-counter famotidine for longer than 2 weeks unless your doctor tells you to. If symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion, or sour stomach last longer than 2 weeks, stop taking famotidine and call your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
Famotidine also is used sometimes to treat upper gastrointestinal bleeding and to prevent stress ulcers and aspiration of stomach acid during anesthesia. Talk to your doctor about the risks of using this medication for your condition.
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking famotidine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to famotidine, cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac), or any other medcations.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney disease or phenylketonuria.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking famotidine, call your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Famotidine may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Famotidine may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
What storage conditions are needed for this medicine?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed, and throw away famotidine liquid after 30 days. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison controlcenter at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsedor is not breathing, call local emergency services at911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor.
Do not let anyone else take your medicine. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.