What is famotidine?

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Generic Name: Famotidine Brand Name(s): Generics only. No brands available.

Know the basics

What is famotidine used for?

Famotidine is used to treat ulcers of the stomach or intestines. It may be used to prevent intestinal ulcers from returning after treatment. Famotidine is also used to treat certain stomach and throat problems caused by too much acid (e.g., Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, erosive esophagitis) or a backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux disease-GERD).

Famotidine is known as an H2 histamine blocker. Famotidine works by reducing the amount of acid in your stomach.  Famotidine helps heal and prevent ulcers and improves symptoms such as heartburn and stomach pain.

Famotidine  is also available without a prescription. Famotidine is used to prevent and treat heartburn and other symptoms caused by too much acid in the stomach (acid indigestion). If you are taking famotidine for self-treatment, it is important to read the manufacturer’s package instructions carefully so you know when to consult your doctor or pharmacist.

How should I take famotidine?

Take famotidine by mouth with or without food, usually once or twice daily or as directed by your doctor. If you are taking famotidine once daily, it is usually taken at bedtime.

The dosage and length of treatment are based on your medical condition and response to therapy. In children, dosage may also be based on body weight. You may take other medications (for example, antacids) for your condition as recommended by your doctor. Follow your doctor’s instructions carefully. Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions.

Take famotidine regularly in order to get the most benefit from it. To help you remember, take it at the same time(s) each day. Do not increase your dose or take it more often than prescribed. Do not stop taking famotidine without your doctor’s approval because this may delay healing of the ulcer.

If you are using non-prescription famotidine for self-treatment of acid indigestion or heartburn, take 1 tablet by mouth with a glass of water as needed. To prevent heartburn, take 1 tablet by mouth with a glass of water 15-60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause heartburn. Do not use more than 2 tablets in 24 hours unless directed by your doctor. Do not take for more than 14 days in a row without talking with your doctor.

Inform your doctor if your condition does not improve or if it worsens.

How do I store famotidine?

Famotidine  is best stored at room temperature away from direct light and moisture. To prevent drug damage, you should not store famotidine in the bathroom or the freezer. There may be different brands of famotidine that may have different storage needs. It is important to always check the product package for instructions on storage, or ask your pharmacist. For safety, you should keep all medicines away from children and pets.

You should not flush famotidine down the toilet or pour them into a drain unless instructed to do so. It is important to properly discard this product when it is expired or no longer needed. Consult your pharmacist for more details about how to safely discard your product.

Know the precautions & warnings

What should I know before using famotidine?

Before taking famotidine,

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to famotidine, cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac), or any other medications.
  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking. Be sure to mention any other medications for heartburn. Do not take over-the-counter famotidine with any other prescription or nonprescription medications for heartburn unless a doctor tells you that you should.
  • Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, an inborn disease in which mental retardation develops if a specific diet is not followed), and if you have or have ever had trouble swallowing or kidney disease.
  • 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.

Is it safe to take famotidine during pregnancy or breast-feeding?

There are no adequate studies in women for determining risk when using famotidine during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Please always consult with your doctor to weigh the potential benefits and risks before taking famotidine. Famotidine is pregnancy risk category B according to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

FDA pregnancy risk category reference below:

  • A=No risk,
  • B=No risk in some studies,
  • C=There may be some risk,
  • D=Positive evidence of risk,
  • X=Contraindicated,
  • N=Unknown

Know the side effects

What are the side effects of famotidine?

Side effects are not common, but some may include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, headache, insomnia, muscle pain, nausea and vomiting.

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

Not everyone experiences these side effects. There may be some side effects not listed above. If you have any concerns about a side-effect, please consult your doctor or pharmacist.

Know the interactions

What drugs may interact with famotidine?

Famotidine may interact with other drugs that you are currently taking, which can change how your drug works or increase your risk for serious side effects. To avoid any potential drug interactions, you should keep a list of all the drugs you are using (including prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs and herbal products) and share it with your doctor and pharmacist. For your safety, do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any drugs without your doctor’s approval.

Using this medicine with Amifampridine, Piperaquine is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with famotidine or change some of the other medicines you take.

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

Using this medicine with Cefditoren Pivoxil, Cefpodoxime Proxetil, Cyclosporine 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.

Does food or alcohol interact with famotidine?

Famotidine may interact with food or alcohol by altering the way the drug works or increase the risk for serious side effects. Please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist any potential food or alcohol interactions before using this drug.

What health conditions may interact with famotidine?

Famotidine may interact with your health condition. This interaction may worsen your health condition or alter the way the drug works. It is important to always let your doctor and pharmacist know all the health conditions you currently have, especially: Kidney disease, moderate or severe—Use with caution. The effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.

Understand the dosage

The information provided is not a substitute for any medical advice. You should ALWAYS consult with your doctor or pharmacist before using famotidine.

What is the dose of famotidine for an adult?

Usual Adult Dose for Duodenal Ulcer:

  • Initial:
    • parenteral: 20 mg iv every 12 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous iv infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg iv bolus dose.
    • oral: 40 mg orally once a day at bedtime or 20 mg orally twice a day.
  • Maintenance: 20 mg orally or IV once a day at bedtime.

Usual Adult Dose for Peptic Ulcer

  • Initial:
    • parenteral: 20 mg IV every 12 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.
    • oral: 40 mg orally once a day at bedtime or 20 mg orally twice a day.
  • Maintenance: 20 mg orally or IV once a day at bedtime.

Usual Adult Dose for Duodenal Ulcer Prophylaxis:

20 mg orally or IV, once a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Gastric Ulcer

  • Parenteral: 20 mg IV every 12 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.
  • Oral: 40 mg orally once a day at bedtime or 20 mg orally twice a day.

Usual Adult Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • Parenteral: 20 mg IV every 12 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.
  • Oral: 20 mg orally twice a day for up to 6 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Erosive Esophagitis

  • Parenteral: 20 mg IV every 12 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.
  • Oral: 20 to 40 mg orally twice a day for up to 12 weeks.

Usual Adult Dose for Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

  • Parenteral: 20 mg IV every 6 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.
  • Oral:
    • Initial: 20 mg orally every 6 hours.
    • Maintenance: Dosage adjustments are made to control gastric acid secretion. Doses up to 160 mg every 6 hours have been used.

Usual Adult Dose for Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions

  • Parenteral: 20 mg IV every 6 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.
  • Oral:
    • Initial: 20 mg orally every 6 hours.
    • Maintenance: Dosage adjustments are made to control gastric acid secretion. Doses up to 160 mg every 6 hours have been used.

Usual Adult Dose for Dyspepsia

10 mg orally once or twice daily.

Usual Adult Dose for Upper GI Hemorrhage

20 mg IV every 12 hours. Alternatively, some clinicians recommend a continuous IV infusion of 3.2 mg/hour for up to 72 hours following a 10 mg IV bolus dose.

Usual Adult Dose for Urticaria:

  • Study (n=25)
  • Less than 72 hour duration: 20 mg intramuscular injection once.

What is the dose of famotidine for a child?

Peptic ulcer disease:

  • Oral:
    • children and Adolescents 1 to 16 years: 0.5 mg/kg/day once daily at bedtime or divided twice daily (maximum daily dose: 40 mg/day).
    • doses up to 1 mg/kg/day have been used.

Stress ulcer prophylaxis, gastric acid suppression:

  • IV: 0.5 to 1 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours (maximum dose: 20 mg/dose)

Hypersecretory conditions:

Initial: 20 mg every 6 hours. May increase up to 160 mg every 6 hours.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

  • Infants 1 to 3 months: Ora for treatment of GERD: 0.5 mg/kg/dose once daily for up to 8 weeks.
  • Infants 3 months to 1 year: Oral for treatment of GERD: 0.5 mg/kg/dose twice daily for up to 8 weeks.
  • Children 1 to 16 years: Oral for treatment of GERD: 0.5 mg/kg/dose 2 times a day (doses up to 1 mg/kg/dose 2 times a day have been reported).
  • Maximum: 40 mg/dose

Patients unable to take oral famotidine:

  • IV: Infants: 0.25 to 0.5 mg/kg/dose once daily;
  • Children and Adolescents 1 to 16 years:
    Initial dose: 0.25 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours (maximum dose: 20 mg/dose). Doses up to 0.5 mg/kg/dose every 12 hours have been reported.

Usual Pediatric Dose for Dyspepsia

  • Greater than 12 years:
  • Acid indigestion, heartburn, or sour stomach (OTC use): 10 to 20 mg 15 to 60 minutes before eating; not more than 2 tablets per day.

How is famotidine available?

Famotidine is available in the following dosage forms and strengths:

  • Solution, Intravenous: 10 mg/mL (2 mL)
  • Suspension Reconstituted, Oral: 40 mg/5 mL (50 mL)
  • Tablet, Oral: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg

What should I do in case of an emergency or overdose?

In case of an emergency or an overdose, call your local emergency services or go to your nearest emergency room.

What should I do if I miss a dose?

If you miss a dose of famotidine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take your regular dose as scheduled. Do not take a double dose.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Review Date: May 30, 2016 | Last Modified: January 4, 2017

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