Famotidine to reduce stomach acid

  • Famotidine reduces the amount of acid produced by your stomach.
  • Side-effects are not common but may include diarrhoea, dizziness and tiredness. These effects are usually mild and do not last long.

About famotidine

Type of medicine H2-receptor antagonist
Used for Treatment of conditions caused by too much acid being produced in the stomach
Available as Tablets

Famotidine is used to treat certain conditions caused by too much acid being produced in the stomach, such as stomach ulcers (gastric ulcers), ulcers of the upper part of the intestine (duodenal ulcers), acid reflux or heartburn (reflux oesophagitis), and indigestion.

Acid is produced naturally in your stomach to help to digest food. Excessive amounts of acid can irritate the lining of your stomach causing inflammation, ulcers and other conditions. Famotidine works by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach, relieving pain and helping to repair any damage.

Famotidine is available on prescription, or you can buy it at pharmacies, without a prescription, for the relief of indigestion.

Before taking famotidine

To make sure this is the right treatment for you, before you start taking famotidine it is important that your doctor or pharmacist knows:

  • If you are pregnant, trying for a baby or breast-feeding.
  • If you have kidney problems.
  • If you have any of the following symptoms: bleeding, difficulty swallowing, being sick frequently, or unexplained weight loss.
  • If you are taking other medicines, including those available to buy without a prescription, herbal and complementary medicines.
  • If you have ever had an allergic reaction to any medicine.

How to take famotidine

  • Before you start this treatment, read the manufacturer's printed information leaflet from inside your pack. The leaflet will give you more information about famotidine and a full list of possible side-effects from taking it.
  • Take famotidine exactly as your doctor has told you. Your doctor or pharmacist will tell you how many tablets to take and when to take them. Your dose will also be on the label of the pack. It is usually taken once or twice a day.
  • Try to take famotidine at the same time(s) each day. This will help you to remember to take all of your doses.
  • You can take famotidine tablets before or after meals.
  • If you forget to take a dose, take it as soon as you remember (unless it is nearly time for your next dose, in which case leave out the missed dose). Do not take two doses together to make up for a forgotten dose.

Getting the most from your treatment

  • Your doctor may have prescribed you a course of treatment lasting a number of weeks. Keep your regular doctor's appointments so your progress can be checked.
  • Some foods may make your symptoms worse. Foods and drinks that have been suspected of this include: peppermint, tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods, hot drinks, coffee, and alcoholic drinks. If it seems that a food is aggravating your symptoms, try avoiding it for a while to see if your symptoms improve. Also, try avoiding eating large meals, as these can make your symptoms worse too.
  • If you are overweight, it puts extra pressure on your stomach and encourages the symptoms of acid reflux. Losing some weight and eating a healthy balanced diet may help you.
  • Smoking increases the amount of acid produced by the stomach and may make your symptoms worse. If you are a smoker, speak with your doctor or pharmacist about how to quit.

Can famotidine cause problems?

Along with their useful effects, most medicines can cause unwanted side-effects although not everyone experiences them. These usually improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine, but speak with your doctor or pharmacist if any of the following side-effects continue or become troublesome.

Famotidine side-effects include: What can I do if I experience this?
Diarrhoea or constipation Drink plenty of water
Headache Ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller
Feeling or being sick, wind Stick to simple foods - avoid rich or spicy foods
Dizziness, skin rash, tiredness, dry mouth, changes in the way things taste If any of these become troublesome, let your doctor or pharmacist know

If you experience any other symptoms which you think may be due to famotidine, speak with your doctor or pharmacist.

How to store famotidine

  • Keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
  • Store in a cool, dry place, away from direct heat and light.