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Famotidine (Generic Pepcid)
What Is Famotidine?
Famotidine is a drug that’s primarily used to target stomach ulcers and other ulcers inside the digestive system. It belongs to a class of drugs called H2 blockers (histamine-2 blockers) that target parts of the stomach producing stomach acid.
This drug is available under numerous brand names, though the most common one is Pepcid. You may also find it under the names Fluxid or Dyspep.
Typically, when handed out as a prescription, Famotidine is available in tablet form. If the tablets do not have the required efficacy, some patients may require an injectable solution instead.
How Does Famotidine Work?
As an H2 blocker, Famotidine directly targets the cells in the stomach that produce stomach acid. It blocks these cells from producing excess acid, which often causes a range of stomach problems.
Stomach acid is naturally occurring and helps to break down food after it is ingested. However, too much stomach acid can be a negative thing as it irritates the stomach lining and can flow back up the digestive tract, causing issues such as heartburn or stomach pain.
Famotidine does not prevent stomach acid secretion but will reduce how much is produced.
What Is Famotidine Used For?
This drug can be used to treat a range of conditions affecting the stomach, intestines, and throat, including:
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- Erosive esophagitis
Moreover, Famotidine is capable of treating common symptoms caused by excess stomach acid, such as:
- A constant sore throat
- A chronic cough
- Stomach pain
- Acid reflux
- Issues swallowing
Using Famotidine to control stomach acid levels is essential to reduce the chances of ulcers forming in the digestive system. There are two types of ulcers that can form: gastric ulcers in the stomach, and duodenal ulcers in the small intestine. While ulcers are largely formed by the presence of bacteria or an overuse of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) excess stomach acid can further aggravate ulcers and make them worse.
Consequently, doctors will often prescribe Famotidine as a treatment for stomach ulcers to help them naturally recover quickly. Reducing stomach acid will prevent the ulcers from becoming overly irritated and more painful.
What Are the Side Effects of Famotidine?
Famotidine is a common drug used for lots of common digestive disorders. As a consequence, it will have a variety of potential side effects that vary in severity.
The most common – and least severe – side effects of Famotidine include:
- Mild headaches
- Dizzy spells
If you experience these side effects after taking Famotidine, there is usually nothing to worry about. They should fade within a few hours of taking, particularly if this is your first time using the drug. If they persist for more than a few weeks and get progressively worse, contact a medical professional immediately.
This medication may also produce more alarming side effects. If you experience any of the following, stop taking Famotidine and contact your doctor right away:
- Excessive dizziness
- Heart irregularities
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle pain
- Decreased sex drive
- Chronic stomach pain
- A reduction in appetite
- A sudden feeling of weakness
- Skin yellowing
- Mouth ulcers
These side effects are not common and usually indicate a problematic reaction to the medication. Be sure to consult with a doctor before taking Famotidine to ensure you are not taking other drugs that can negatively interact with this one, or that you don’t have allergies that can cause complications.
How to Take Famotidine?
Your Famotidine prescription will come as a tablet when obtained from Dr. House. This is the easiest way to take this medication as it can be consumed with a glass of water.
It is available in different dosages, but the exact dosage and frequency with which you take this medication depends on your particular medical condition. Your doctor will clearly outline how often to take Famotidine when they prescribe the drug to you. It will also come with an information sheet that explains dosages and what you can/can’t take alongside this medication.
Typically, it is best to take Famotidine an hour before eating foods that trigger heartburn or indigestion. You can also take it before bedtime to calm any gastrointestinal symptoms that may keep you up at night.
Continue taking Famotidine as prescribed by the doctor. If your symptoms fail to improve – or get worse – after taking this medication for over a week, contact your doctor right away. You may need to reduce or increase your dose to see the desired effects. If you continue to see no results, your doctor will prescribe alternative treatments for your specific condition.
Frequently Asked Questions About Famotidine
What to Avoid While Taking Famotidine?
There are a few things to avoid while taking Famotidine such as:
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can irritate the stomach lining and increase stomach acid production, which may reduce the effectiveness of Famotidine.
- Smoking – Nicotine can also increase stomach acid production.
- Caffeine – Caffeine can increase stomach acid production.
- OTC Antacids – Some antacids can interfere with the absorption of famotidine.
- Certain medications – Famotidine can affect the absorption of certain medications that require an acidic stomach environment. Also, it may interact with other medications and supplements. So make sure to ask your doctor what medications could negatively interact with Famotidine.
Because Famotidine can potentially cause dizziness or drowsiness in some people you should be cautious of driving, operating heavy machinery, or any other activity that requires you to be alert when you first start taking the drug. You should wait until you know how the drug affects you before engaging in any of these activities.
Also, it’s important to note that the list of things and medications you should avoid above is not an exhaustive list. Be sure to read your medication information sheet in full and ask your doctor any questions you may have about activities or other medications you are taking that could interfere with the efficacy of Famotidine.
Always be sure to follow all directions that come with your prescription when it comes to taking Famotidine.
What Is the Most Common Side Effect of Famotidine?
The most common side effect of Famotidine is mild headaches.
The exact side effects of famotidine can vary from person to person, and not everyone will experience side effects when taking this medication.
Other common side effects include:
The list of side effects is not exhaustive – be sure to consult your doctor if you experience any of the more serious side effects.
How Long Does It Take for Famotidine to Work?
Famotidine usually starts to work within an hour of taking it, but the full effects may take up to three hours.
It is important to take the medication as prescribed by your doctor and not in excess as this could cause adverse side effects.
What Is the Typical Dosage for Famotidine?
The typical dosage for Famotidine depends on the condition being treated.
For treating GERD in adults, the usual dosage of Famotidine is 20mg taken twice a day. For some people, this may be increased to 40mg taken twice a day depending on the severity of symptoms.
For an exact dosage, it’s best to consult with a doctor. They will be able to provide you with a prescription tailored to your individual needs and medical history.
It is not recommended that you take more than the prescribed amount on your own as this can lead to serious adverse effects.
Can You Get Famotidine Over-The-Counter (OTC)?
Famotidine is available as both a prescription and over-the-counter (OTC) medication.
Can I Get Famotidine Online?
Yes, with DrHouse you can get Famotidine prescribed by a doctor online. With DrHouse you can easily connect with a doctor who can evaluate your medical history and prescribe Famotidine if it is appropriate for you.
For more detailed information about Famotidine, you can refer to the following sources:
- Pepcid (famotidine) prescription label, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Famotidine, Drugs.com.
- Famotidine, MedlinePlus
- Famotidine, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The content on this page has been medically reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Can I Get a New Prescription or Refill an Existing One Through DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.
Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.
What Medications Can't be Prescribed Online By DrHouse?
There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
How Do I Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:
- Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
- Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
- Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
- Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
- A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
- If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.
DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.
For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.
What Will My Appointment for a New Prescription or Refill Look Like?
During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.
The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.
You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.
Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.
How Long Does It Get To Get a Prescription Online With DrHouse?
With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
Is It Safe to Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.
All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.
We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.
Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.
How Much Does DrHouse Cost?
DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.
The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.
To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page
Does DrHouse Accept Insurance?
Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.
What Is DrHouse’s Prescription Refill Policy?
Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.
DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.
In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.
DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.