Pepcid AC is an over-the-counter medication used to treat heartburn, indigestion, and acid reflux. It is used to relieve heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. It contains famotidine as its active ingredient. Famotidine belongs to a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. It works by reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.
Famotidine can start to relieve heartburn symptoms in as little as 10 minutes and is effective for up to 12 hours. It can be used both short-term and long-term for the prevention and relief of these symptoms. It is used to prevent and treat heartburn and other symptoms caused by too much acid in the stomach (acid indigestion). Pepcid AC is also used to treat and prevent ulcers of the stomach and intestines.
Uses and Dosage
Pepcid AC is a tablet that can be taken by mouth with or without food, as directed by a doctor, usually once or twice daily. If taken once daily, take the tablet right before bedtime. The medication should be taken regularly at the same time(s) every day to get the most benefit from it, and the dose should not be increased or taken more often than prescribed. It is important not to stop taking this medication without a doctor’s approval, or it may delay the healing of an ulcer.
Adults and children aged 12 years and older:
- Prevent heartburn: The typical dose is to take 10 mg to 20 mg by mouth 10 to 60 minutes 15 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking liquids that can cause heartburn. The maximum daily dose ranges from 20 mg to 40 mg of famotidine.
- Treat heartburn: The typical dose is 10 mg to 20 mg by mouth when you feel heartburn symptoms. The maximum daily dose ranges from 20 mg to 40 mg of famotidine.
Common Side Effects of Pepcid AC (Famotidine – non-Rx):
- Dry mouth
- Dry skin
- Upset stomach
Serious Side Effects of Pepcid AC (Famotidine – non-Rx):
- Lack of energy
- A seizure
- Fast or pounding heartbeats
- Sudden dizziness (like you might pass out)
- Unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have a fever
- Unusual tiredness
- Dark-colored urine
Form and Strength
Pepcid AC (Famotidine – non-Rx) is available in the following forms and strengths:
Pepcid AC: Tablet
- 10 mg
- Before taking famotidine or any other H2 blockers such as cimetidine or ranitidine, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it, or if you have any other allergies. It may contain inactive ingredients, which can cause allergic reactions or other problems.
- If famotidine (Pepcid AC) alone is not providing enough heartburn relief, ask a healthcare provider about taking an antacid or proton pump inhibitor (PPI) with famotidine (Pepcid AC) for better relief.
- Older adults may be more sensitive to the side effects of famotidine, especially mental/mood changes (such as confusion), seizure, or unusual tiredness. Talk to a doctor or pharmacist about any potential risks or side effects before taking any medication, especially if you are an older adult.
- Do not to use famotidine to treat children younger than 12 unless directed by a doctor. Follow the advice and directions given by your doctor or pharmacist when taking any medication.
- Famotidine (Pepcid AC) can interact with many medications that require an acidic environment for better absorption. Inform your healthcare provider about all the medications you are taking before starting famotidine (Pepcid AC). Do not start any new medications while taking famotidine (Pepcid AC) without consulting your provider or pharmacist first to ensure their safety for your condition.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How does Famotidine work?
Famotidine works by blocking the release of stomach acid. This helps to reduce the irritation and inflammation of the stomach lining and intestines, which in turn can help to prevent and treat ulcers.
Can I take Famotidine with other medications?
You should talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking Famotidine with other medications, as some drugs may interact with it. Additionally, you should avoid alcohol and caffeine while taking Famotidine, as these substances can increase the amount of acid in your stomach.
How long should I take Famotidine?
The length of time that you will need to take Famotidine will depend on your specific condition and its severity. You should follow your doctor’s instructions regarding how long to take the medication.
Is Famotidine available over the counter?
Yes, Famotidine is available over the counter in the form of Pepcid AC. However, talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any medication, even if it is available without a prescription.