What is the most important information I should know about famotidine?
Follow all directions on the label and package. Use exactly as directed.
What is famotidine?
Famotidine is used to treat and prevent ulcers in the stomach and intestines. It also treats conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Famotidine also treats gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions in which acid backs up from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn.
The Zantac 360 brand of this medicine does not contain ranitidine, a medicine that was withdrawn from market in the United States.
Famotidine may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking famotidine?
Heartburn can feel like a heart attack. Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder.
You should not use this medicine if you are allergic to famotidine or similar medicines such as ranitidine (Zantac), cimetidine (Tagamet), or nizatidine (Axid).
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if this medicine is safe to use if you have:
- kidney disease;
- liver disease;
- cancer stomach; or
- long QT syndrome (in you or a family member).
Ask a doctor before using this medicine if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
How should I take famotidine?
Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Famotidine oral is taken by mouth.
Famotidine injection is given in a vein if you are unable to take the medicine by mouth.
You may take famotidine oral with or without food.
Measure liquid medicine with the supplied syringe or a dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
Most ulcers heal within 4 weeks of famotidine treatment, but it may take up to 8 weeks of using this medicine before your ulcer heals. Keep using the medication as directed.
Call your doctor if the condition you are treating with famotidine does not improve, or if it gets worse while using famotidine.
Your treatment may also include changes in diet or lifestyle habits. Follow all instructions of your doctor or dietitian.
Store at room temperature away from moisture, heat, and light. Do not allow the liquid medicine to freeze.
Throw away any unused famotidine liquid that is older than 30 days.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking famotidine?
Drinking alcohol may increase the risk of damage to your stomach.
Avoid taking other stomach acid reducers unless your doctor has told you to. However, you may take an antacid (such as Maalox, Mylanta, Gaviscon, Milk of Magnesia, Rolaids, or Tums) with famotidine.
What are the possible side effects of famotidine?
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficult breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using famotidine and call your doctor at once if you have:
- confusion, hallucinations, agitation, lack of energy;
- a seizure;
- fast or pounding heartbeats, sudden dizziness (like you might pass out); or
- unexplained muscle pain, tenderness, or weakness especially if you also have fever, unusual tiredness, and dark colored urine.
Some side effects may be more likely in older adults and in people who have severe kidney disease.
Common side effects may include:
- dizziness; or
- constipation or diarrhea.
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect famotidine?
Famotidine oral can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines you take by mouth. Tell your doctor if you are taking:
- fosamprenavir; or
- tizanidine (if you are taking famotidine liquid).
This list is not complete. Other drugs may affect famotidine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Where can I get more information?
Your doctor or pharmacist can provide more information about famotidine.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
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