What is famotidine?
Famotidine is in a group of drugs called 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 other purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Heartburn can be confused with early symptoms of heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, dizziness, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and a general ill feeling.
You should not use this medication if you are allergic to famotidine or similar medications such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), or nizatidine (Axid).
Before taking famotidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have:
- kidney disease; or
- liver disease;
- stomach cancer or other problems; or
- asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or other breathing problems.
If you have any of the conditions listed above, you may need a dose adjustment or special tests to safely take famotidine.
FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.
Famotidine can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
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.
Famotidine can cause side effects that may impair your thinking or reactions. Be careful if you drive or do anything that requires you to be awake and alert.
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Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.
Overdose symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, fast heart rate, or fainting.
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
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Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using famotidine and call your doctor at once if you have a serious side effect such as:
- easy bruising or bleeding;
- fast or pounding heartbeat;
- confusion, hallucinations, seizure;
- numbness or tingly feeling; or
- jaundice (yellowing of the skin or eyes).
Less serious side effects may include:
- nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation;
- dry mouth;
- dizziness, weakness, mood changes;
- headache; or
- muscle cramps, joint pain.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Tell your doctor about any unusual or bothersome side effect. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
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Tell your doctor about all other medications you use, especially:
- atazanavir (Reyataz);
- itraconazole (Sporanox);
- ketoconazole (Nizoral); or
- aspirin or other NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) such as ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), naproxen (Aleve, Naprosyn), diclofenac (Cataflam, Voltaren), etodolac (Lodine), indomethacin (Indocin), ketoprofen (Orudis), piroxicam (Feldene), and others.
This list is not complete and there may be other drugs that can interact with famotidine. Tell your doctor about all your prescription and over-the-counter medications, vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.
Heartburn Relief, Mylanta AR, Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid AC Maximum Strength, Pepcid RPD, famotidine, and Leader Acid Reducer
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