Famotidine – Information, Uses, Side-Effects and Dosage


Drug Trade Name: Pepcid, Pepcid AC

Category: H2 (Histamine-2) Blockers

Generic name: Famotidine                                                                      

Introduction and Quick Information:


Famotidine is an H2-receptor antagonist. It is useful in the treatment of stomach problems related to gastric secretion. There are two major problems associated with the gastric secretion, first is the over-production of acid in the stomach and the other one is the reverse flow of acid from the stomach to the esophagus. It is also used for the treatment of dogs suffering from acid reflux. 

Although there are other H2-blockers available in the market like ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), etc. However, famotidine is more widely used than other H2-blockers because of its effectiveness.

Is It Approved By U.S. FDA?

In November 1986, Famotidine was approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA). FDA allowed Famotidine as an effective drug for the treatment of stomach problems caused by gastric secretion.

Usage and Benefits of Famotidine:

Famotidine is an essential drug that is responsible for the stimulation of gastric secretion to prevent excess production of stomach acid. The effect of Famotidine is better in H. pylori-positive patients than in H. pylori-negative patients. It prevents ulcers in intestines and stomach. Two prime diseases being targeted using Famotidine are Peptic Ulcer and Gastroesophageal reflux. Famotidine is also used for the treatment of acid reflux in cats and dogs.

Famotidine Side Effects:

Each drug is known for its effectiveness of benefits over side effects. Drugs which are more beneficial and treat your condition more rapidly are effective than others.

Generally, Famotidine leaves minor side-effects that may include:

  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Vomiting 

But in severe cases it may also cause:

  • Jaundice
  • Anemia
  • Change in visualization
  • Heartburn

These are some of the commonly reported side-effects of Famotidine. However, it can cause various other side-effects. Thus, it is better to consult your doctor immediately if you encounter any health-related issue after taking Famotidine.

Also, if you are already suffering from asthma, liver disease, kidney disease or stomach cancer, it is better to consult your doctor before taking Famotidine. Instant reaction after taking Famotidine also indicates that you might be allergic to that drug and other similar medications. In that case, the use of this drug should be avoided.


General Recommended Dosages of Famotidine:

The amount of dosage depends only on the health condition a person is suffering from. There is no hard and fast rule for the dosage. Although, Famotidine tablets are available over-the-counter still it is highly recommended to consult your doctor because only they can provide you the accurate information about the dosage and usage of Famotidine for your condition and can provide you with the right prescription.

In Case I Miss a Dose?

If you miss a dose, you can consume it later on when you remember. However, avoid the consumption of a dose overlapping with another dose as it can be hazardous. Thus, it is advised to not overlap one dosage with other, and continue with the next scheduled dose.

In Case I Take Overdose?

An overdose of Famotidine can cause various side-effects such as a rise in heartbeat, headache, vomiting, diarrhea etc. Thus, it is advised to seek immediate medical attention in case of overdose. 

Drug Interactions of Famotidine:

If drugs are prepared out of chemicals then it is well understood that they can also react with other chemicals that can be toxic. So, here we are listing some of the drug interactions of Famotidine:

  • Atorvastatin (Lipitor)
  • Synthroid (Levoxyl)
  • Insulin Glargine (Lantus)
  • Furosemide (Lasix)
  • Rosuvastatin (Crestor)
  • Valsartan (Diovan) 
  • Fish Oil
  • Duloxetine (Cymbalta)
  • Calcium 600 D
  • Vitamin B12, D2, and D3

The list shown above is not a complete one because it is nearly impossible to remember the chemical composition of all available drugs. So, we recommend you to consult your doctor if you are taking any other medicine along with Famotidine.

Lifestyle and Food Habits You Must Follow When on Famotidine:

When on Famotidine, avoid spicy and high cholesterol food as it contributes to acid production in the stomach. It is better to add nutritional content to your daily diet as it will control gastric secretions that take place after decomposition of food intake.

Not just this but quitting smoking and drinking is also very beneficial as both of these affect walls of stomach, liver, and lungs.

How Safe Is Famotidine for Pregnant Women or Nursing Mothers?

Famotidine is an FDA category B drug for pregnancy. Its effect on a pregnant lady is not specifically established. Thus, it is better to take it inadequate amount as its excess may cause fetal damage.

As far as nursing mothers are concerned, famotidine is secreted in human milk. However, its effect is not yet explained, thus it is better for nursing mothers to discontinue famotidine to prevent prolonged use as it may be dangerous to child’s health.

Complications and Conditions possible due to prolonged use of Famotidine:

Prolonged use of any drug even Famotidine can be harmful. It can be abusive and habit forming. Also, sudden quitting of this drug after a prolonged use can cause withdrawal symptoms. These include a headache, muscle pain, insomnia, hair loss, hallucinations and many more. It may also cause fetal damage in pregnant ladies. You must consult your doctor if you want to stop taking any Famotidine dosage but remember you cannot stop taking dosage before the course of time for which the dosage is prescribed. 

Availability of Famotidine:

Famotidine is available in the form of tablets of 10, 20 and 40mg. They are available over-the-counter and on doctor’s prescription. Tablets of 10 and 20 mg are available over-the-counter at various FDA authorized health centers. But in case if you want higher dosage tablets, you need a prescription from a doctor. Usually, doctors advice to go for Famotidine injections in case of severe acid refluxes.