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Updated March 06, 2008

Generic Name:

  • Famotidine
Brand Name:
  • Pepcid
  • Pepcid-AC
  • Pepcid-AC Gelcaps
  • Pepcid-AC Maximum Strength
  • Pepcid Complete
  • Pepcid I.V.
  • Pepcid RPD
Pepcid is available in prescription and over-the-counter forms.

Why is Pepcid prescribed?

Pepcid is in a class of medications called H2 Blockers. It decreases the amount of acid made in the stomach. Prescription Pepcid has been prescribed in the treatment of peptic ulcers (along with a course of antibiotics), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), esophagitis, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter Pepcid has been prescribed by doctors for the treatment and prevention of of acid indigestion-related heartburn and sour stomach. Many doctors only prescribe prescription-strength H2 Blockers for the treatment of ulcer and esophagitis symptoms, and have their patients use over-the-counter forms for relief of symptoms of GERD, acid indigestion, and sour stomach.

Special precautions to follow when taking Pepcid

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to Pepcid or any other drugs.

  • Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking Pepcid, call your doctor.

  • Tell your doctor if you have phenylketonuria (PKU, a disease present at birth in which mental retardation develops if a specific diet isn't followed) or kidney disease.

  • Tell your doctor if you have or ever had trouble swallowing.

  • Tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications or vitamins you are taking.

What if you forget a dose?

Consult your physician before taking a missed dose. Your doctor will be able to determine if it is safe to do so, or if you should wait until your next scheduled dose. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Possible side effects of Pepcid

Pepcid may cause some side effects. For most people experiencing side effects, they usually disappear after a few doses. If, however, any of the following symptoms are severe or do not go away, call your doctor:
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
Some side effects can be serious. The following symptoms are uncommon, but if you experience any of them, call your doctor immediately:
  • Hives
  • Skin rash
  • Itching
  • Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
  • Hoarseness
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing
Call your doctor at any time if you experience any unusual problems while taking this medication.

Storage conditions needed for Pepcid

Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom). Do not allow the liquid to freeze. Throw away any medication that is outdated or no longer needed, and throw away unused Pepcid liquid after 30 days. Talk to your pharmacist about the proper disposal of your medication.



"Understanding Some of the Medications Often Prescribed for GERD & Ulcers." Common GI Problems: Volume 1. American College of Gastroenterology. 24 Apr 2007.

Kenneth R. DeVault M.D., F.A.C.G., and Donald O. Castell M.D., M.A.C.G., "Updated Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease." doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2005.41217.x. American College of Gastroenterology. 24 Apr 2007.

"Effectiveness of Therapies for GERD" American College of Gastroenterology. 24 Apr 2007.

Related Video
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  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Heartburn / GERD
  4. Meds / Remedies
  5. H2 Blockers
  6. Pepcid - H2 Blocker - Treatment for Acid Reflux

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