Famotidine

What is famotidine?

Famotidine is an acid-reducing active ingredient available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that relieve or prevent heartburn symptoms associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. Famotidine is part of a group of acid reducers called Histamine-2 antagonists, or H2 blockers. It can be the only active ingredient in heartburn medicines that provide long-lasting relief of symptoms, or it can be found in medicines that provide both short- and longer-term symptom relief.

What is famotidine used to treat?

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Sour Stomach
Common brands containing famotidine:
  • Pepcid
  • Store Brands (ex. Walmart’s “Equate” store brand or CVS Health store brand)

How much famotidine can you take?

Different types of products containing this active ingredient have different strengths. That’s why it is always important to read and follow the Drug Facts label. Most medicines warn against use of an active ingredient for longer than 7-10 days. Stop use and ask a doctor if symptoms persist.

Safety guide for famotidine

Famotidine is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to the Drug Facts label.

Ask a healthcare provider before use if:

  • You have had heartburn for more than three months.
  • Your heartburn is accompanied by lightheadedness, sweating, or dizziness.
  • You have kidney disease.
  • You are experiencing chest or shoulder pain with shortness of breath; sweating; pain spreading to your arms, neck, or shoulders; or lightheadedness.
  • You have frequent chest pain, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, nausea or vomiting, or stomach pain.
  • You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
  • Talk to a healthcare provider before giving an OTC medicine containing famotidine to a child under the age of 12.

Do Not Use If:

  • You are allergic to famotidine or other acid reducers.
  • You have trouble or pain swallowing food, you are vomiting with blood, or you have bloody or black stools.
  • You have kidney disease, unless you are under the advice and supervision of a healthcare provider.
  • You are currently using another acid reducer.

Stop Use and Ask a Doctor If:

  • Your heartburn continues or gets worse.
  • You need to take the medicine for more than 14 days.
  • You take too much. Immediately contact a healthcare provider or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.

What are the side effects of Famotidine?

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea