Famotidine is in a class of drugs called histamine receptor antagonists. It blocks the histamine 2 receptors found along the lining epithelium of the stomach. Famotidine works by decreasing the amount of acid the parietal cells of the stomach produces. Hence, it is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. Famotidine is also used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid and conditions in which acid comes up into the esophagus and causes heartburn, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have any of the following conditions: kidney disease; or liver disease; difficulty or pain swallowing food;
vomiting with blood; or bloody or black stools. You may not be able to take famotidine, or you may require a dosage adjustment or special monitoring during treatment if you have any of the conditions listed above. Famotidine is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Although this drug passes into breast milk, it is not known whether it will harm a nursing infant. Do not take this drug if you are pregnant, or could become pregnant or nursing a baby. The Pepsi RPD orally disintegrating tablets contain 1.05 mg phenylalanine per 20 mg tablet and 2.10 mg phenylalanine per 40 mg oral tablet. Individuals with phenylketonuria may need to monitor their intake of this additive.
Do not discontinue taking this drug even if your symptoms improved unless instructed by your doctor. It may usually take up to 8 weeks for an ulcer to heal. Over-the-counter famotidine is usually taken 15 minutes before consuming heartburn-inducing foods or beverages. There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while taking famotidine unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
Symptoms of a famotidine overdose include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, increased saliva production, difficulty breathing, and a fast heartbeat. Seek emergency medical attention once any symptoms of overdose are suspected.
If you experience any of the following serious side effects, stop taking famotidine and contact your doctor immediately. These are: an allergic reaction (difficulty breathing; closing of the throat; swelling of the lips, tongue, or face; or hives); easy or unusual bruising or bleeding; gum bleeding; irregular heartbeat; yellowing of the skin or eyes; or a rash.
Other, less serious side effects may be more likely to occur. Continue to take famotidine and talk to your doctor if you experience dizziness; headache; or diarrhea, nausea, or constipation. Side effects other than those listed here may also occur hence, inform your doctor about any other unusual side effect.
Do not take antacids within 1 hour of taking famotidine. Antacids may decrease the effectiveness of famotidine. Famotidine may affect the actions of other medications by changing the acidity of the stomach. Before taking any prescription or over-the-counter medicines during treatment with famotidine, including herbal products, talk to your doctor.
Each tablet for oral administration contains either 20 mg or 40 mg of famotidine and the following inactive ingredients: hydroxypropyl cellulose, hydroxypropyl methylcellulose, iron oxides, magnesium stearate, microcrystalline cellulose, corn starch, talc, and titanium dioxide. Each 5 mL of the oral suspension when prepared as directed contains 40 mg of famotidine and the following inactive ingredients: citric acid, flavors, microcrystalline cellulose and carboxymethylcellulose sodium, sucrose and xanthan gum. Added as preservatives are sodium benzoate 0.1%, sodium methylparaben 0.1%, and sodium propylparaben 0.02%.
Famotidine has the following structural formula: