It is a histamine H₂ receptor antagonist medication that decreases stomach acid production. It is used to treat stomach ulcers (gastric and duodenal), esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. The medicine usually begins to take action within an hour. (1)
Famotidine was patented in 1979 and came into medicinal use in 1985. In 2018, it was the 114th most commonly prescribed medication in the United States, with more than six million prescriptions. (2)
How does it work?
Famotidine works by blocking the histamine 2 (H2) receptor found in the stomach. This receptor is responsible for releasing acid in the stomach. By blocking this receptor, this drug lowers the amount of acid released, which brings relief to the patient from this very commonly-faced ailment. (3)
Side effects (4)
Overall, Famotidine is considered to be a safe drug. However, some of common side effects associated with its usage are:
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Abdominal discomfort
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
Some rare side effects include:
- Fatigue with fever
- Irregular heartbeat (Arrhythmia) or palpitation
- Changes in liver function (Cholesteric Jaundice)
- Acute allergic reaction
- Reduction of white blood cells
- Deficiency of platelets
- Inflammation of muscle tissue
- Joint pain or muscle cramps
- Cases of impotence and swelling of breast tissue in men
To get the highest efficacy out of this drug (5)
- The concerned doctor must be informed if the patient is allergic to Famotidine, any of its ingredients or any other medications.
- Elderly patients are more likely to have age-related kidney problems, which may require an adjustment in the dose for patients receiving Famotidine.
- It is advised to weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
- There are certain drugs with which Famotidine might react adversely. It is best consumed under the supervision of a qualified medical practitioner.
- The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure the doctor is informed if the patient has a history of other medical problems, especially moderate to severe kidney disease.
- It is advised to refrain from consuming alcohol since it can increase the risk of damage caused to the stomach.
- Continue to take the medication unless you are advised otherwise by your doctor.
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Anzen Export’s blog posts have been written with the information gathered from approved medical journals and websites online. Our research and technical team strives to provide relevant information through such articles. To be best informed, we advise consulting a doctor about an ingredient or medicine prior to taking it.
- MedicalNewsToday [online]. Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/famotidine-oral-tablet
- Wikipedia [online]. Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Famotidine
- Healthline [online]. Available at: https://www.healthline.com/health/famotidine/oral-tablet
- RxList [online]. Available at: https://www.rxlist.com/consumer_famotidine_pepcid/drugs-condition.htm
MayoClinic [online]. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/famotidine-oral-route/side-effects/drg-20072972?p=1