Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal

Pepcid

(famotidine)

Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic availableClass: Gastrointestinal
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Relieves heartburn.

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Our bottom line

Pepcid (Famotidine) works well for heartburn but may not last as long or start working as quickly as other antacids.

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Prices and coupon for 60 (20mg) tablets of famotidine

Upsides

  • Most people can take Famotidine without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Famotidine lasts longer than many other antacids like Maalox and Tums, and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • Few drug interactions.
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Downsides

  • Other antacids like Maalox, Tums, or Rolaids often start to work more quickly than Famotidine.
  • Medication like omeprazole (proton pump inhibitors) works better at healing and preventing stomach ulcers than medication like Famotidine (H2 blockers).
  • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
How it works

Pepcid (Famotidine) is a type of antacid called an H2 blocker. It blocks the chemical histamine, which lowers acid production in your stomach. This treats heartburn and helps ulcers heal.

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Side effect rates for Pepcid (famotidine)

  • Headache
  • Diarrhea

Risks and Warnings for Pepcid (famotidine)

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  • Heartburn and feelings of upset stomach can be warning signs of a more serious stomach problem or cancer. If you need to take Pepcid (Famotidine) for 2 weeks or more go see a doctor. It's safest to get checked out to make sure you do not have a serious stomach condition.

Common concerns from people taking Pepcid (famotidine)

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Pregnancy
Interactions
  • Few drug interactions.
Kidneys and liver
  • Can cause more serious side effects for people with kidney disease. Ask your doctor to give you a lower dose or choose a different option.
  • Because Pepcid (Famotidine) is processed by the kidney it can cause some worrisome side effects for people with kidney problems. These include confusion, delirium, and a dangerous irregular heartbeat known as QT prolongation. If you have kidney problems, you may need a different dose to prevent this increased risk for side effects.