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Famotidine

Famotidine is in the class of medications called histamine-2 (H2) blockers. Histamine is a chemical that naturally occurs and stimulates certain cells in the stomach to create acid. H2 blockers stop the action of histamine on the cells. As a result, it lessens the production of acid.

What condition does Famotidine treat?

Famotidine is a prescription used for the treatment of peptic ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

This is supplied as a tablet for oral use. Famotidine is available in the dosage forms of 20 mg and 40 mg. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already approved this medication.

How does Famotidine work?

Famotidine works by stopping histamine H2 receptors that are found in the stomach lining. Histamine which is a natural body chemical usually binds to this receptor that causes the cells to create stomach acid. By stopping histamine H2 receptors, this medicine stops histamine from binding to them. This blocks the cells from making stomach acid which is made in the stomach as the usual part of the digestive course. Generally, the linings of the duodenum and stomach are protected by a layer that fights acid occurrence. On the other hand, if this layer is impaired or large quantities of stomach acid are formed, an ulcer may progress on the lining of the duodenum stomach. This is called a peptic ulcer.

In GERD, this medication lessens the production of stomach acid. It stops extra acid flowing back into the food pipe. It also permits the esophagus to heal in reflux esophagitis. By decreasing the amount of acid in the stomach and duodenum, this drug relieves the symptoms of indigestion. 

What is the dosage of Famotidine?

Famotidine is to be taken by mouth. This is usually taken once or twice a day or as directed by your doctor. If you are taking this once a day, it is usually taken at bedtime. You may take each dose with or without a meal. Swallow the tablet as a whole with a full glass of water. Do not break, chew, or crush it. Remember to take it at the same time and in the same way each day. The recommended dosage is based on your medical condition, age, and response to the treatment. You should take the right dose, not more or less.

Do not stop taking this medication without the consent of your doctor. It may cause another complication or may worsen your current condition. For the best benefit from this product, take it regularly. If you missed a dose, take it as soon as you remember it or call your doctor for instructions. Do double the dose to make up for the missed dose. Let your doctor know if your condition does not improve.  

What are the precautions in using Famotidine?

  • Before taking Famotidine, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it. This may not be recommended for use if you have a history of an allergic reaction. Tell also if you have any allergies. This drug may contain an inactive ingredient that causes an allergic reaction.
  • This medicine may make you drowsy or dizzy. Alcohol can also make you dizzier. Do not use any machinery or do activities that need your alertness until you can do it safely. Avoid alcoholic beverages.
  • Be sure to tell your doctor if you are taking any other medications such as vitamins or herbal supplements.
  • Before starting this treatment, discuss with your doctor about fertility. Your ability to become pregnant or father a child may be affected.
  • Consult your doctor first if you are breastfeeding women.
  • Let your doctor know if you have a medical history of kidney problems, immune system problems, or other stomach problems.
  • Older adults might be more sensitive to the side effects of this medication.
  • Do not use this for the treatment of children younger than 12 years of age unless it is directed by your doctor.
  • You should not share this with others even if they have the same symptoms as yours.
  • Keep this at room temperature far from heat and moisture.

Cost of Famotidine vs. Pepcid

The generic Famotidine is an inexpensive antihistamine medication that only costs:

  • $0.67 per unit of 20 mg and $20 for 30 tabs
  • $1 per unit of 40 mg and $30 for 30 tabs

The brand name Pepcid costs:

  • $0.77 per unit of 20 mg and $23.10 for 30 tabs
  • $1.28 per unit of 40 mg and $38.49 for 30 tabs