Famotidine is a drug that is commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcer. Like all H2 blockers, they prevent the production of stomach acid, thus lessening the pain that patients who suffer from it may feel. The medical condition that triggers the release of stomach acid because of tumors in the pancreas and small intestines (known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome) may also be treated with Famotidine. Moreover, doctors normally administer this to patients before operations to lower the chances of aspiration pneumonitis and post-operative nausea. This drug is more popularly known as Pepcid or Pepcidine, and is manufactured by Merck.
In many countries, there are several OTC versions of Famotidine. They are used to prevent sour stomach, which is something that happens due to the consumption of certain foods and beverages), and heartburn. Famotidine in the United States is available in 10 mg and 20 mg tablets that also come with an additional antacid composition. A doctor’s prescription has to be presented if larger doses of this drug is purchased.
Famotidine is available in a suspension or tablet form. OTC versions usually take on the form of tablets, capsules and chewable tablets. This drug is normally ingested orally once a day, usually before a patient goes to sleep. In the case of preventing heartburn, the medication must be taken 15 to 60 minutes before eating or drinking anything that might lead to the condition. Famotidine in suspension bottles must be shaken thoroughly so the solution would be properly concentrated. Chewable tablets need to be chewed really well, and upon swallowing, must be followed by drinking a glass of water.
Doctors normally advise against using more than two tablets or capsules of the drug in one day. That is because doing so would actually lead to results that would not be really effective. Also, ingesting it through its OTC versions must not last beyond two weeks, unless you have a doctor’s prescription that can validate and justify it. If the unpleasant symptoms of heartburn, acid indigestion and sour stomach still continue to bother you, then you need to pay your doctor a visit.
Famotidine must not be taken by people who are allergic to nizatidine, cimetidine or ranitidine. If they want to, they should have their doctor’s approval. Taking OTC drugs along with other medications for heartburn is also not recommended. Furthermore, phenylketonuria does not mix well with taking Famotidine as the combination may promote mental retardation. Lastly, expecting women, pregnant women, and women who are breastfeeding must ask for their doctor’s nod of approval before taking the drug.
Minor side effects include headache, diarrhea, dizziness, and constipation. More serious side effects include difficulty breathing or swallowing, hives, hoarseness, itching and skin rash. If any of these symptoms are too intense or persistent, a visit to the doctor is highly suggested.
The side effects from this drug that are termed minor are constipation, diarrhea, dizziness and headache. The more severe side effects include hives, hoarseness, itching, difficulty with breathing and swallowing and skin rashes. Symptoms that persist and worsen must be referred to the doctor.
- The chemical IUPAC name of Famotidine is 2-[4-[2-(amino-sulfamoylimino-methyl)ethylsulfanylmethyl]- 1,3-thiazol-2-yl]guanidine
- Medical formula is C8H15N7O2S3
- Famotidine is available in 40mg/5 ml suspension, 50ml bottle, 20mg tablets, 40mg tablets
- It has a molecular weight of 337.449 g/mol
Brand Names: Heartburn Relief, Leader Acid Reducer, Mylanta AR, Pepcid, Pepcid AC, Pepcid AC Maximum Strength, Pepcid RPD
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