Pepcid AC

Pepcid-AC treats heartburn due to acid indigestion. Stop taking this medication and tell your doctor if you need to take it for more than 14 days.

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Pepcid AC Overview

Reviewed: November 25, 2014

Pepcid-AC is an over the counter medication used to treat heartburn due to acid indigestion in adults and children 12 years and older. Pepcid-AC belongs to a group of drugs called H2 blockers. These work by decreasing the amount of acid made by the stomach.

This medication comes in tablet form and is taken 15 to 60 minutes before eating food or drinking beverages that cause heartburn.

Common side effects of Pepcid-Ac include headache dizziness and constipation.


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What are you taking for?

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  • Other
  • Duodenal Ulcer
  • Dyspepsia
  • Esophagitis, Peptic
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage
  • Heartburn
  • Helicobacter Infections
  • Stomach Ulcer
  • Urticaria
  • Zollinger-ellison Syndrome

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  • Less than a week
  • A couple weeks
  • A month or so
  • A few months
  • A year or so
  • Two years or more

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Pepcid AC Cautionary Labels


Uses of Pepcid AC

Famotidine is a prescription medication used to treat digestive ulcers, reflux disease (GERD), and other diseases that causes the stomach to make too much acid such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome and gland tumors.

This medication may be prescribed for other uses. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.


Pepcid AC Drug Class

Pepcid AC is part of the drug class:

Side Effects of Pepcid AC

Common side effects of famotidine include:

  • headache
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • diarrhea

This is not a complete list of famotidine side effects. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Pepcid AC Interactions

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

No specific drug interactions with famotidine have been identified.

This is not a complete list of famotidine interactions. Ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.

Pepcid AC Precautions

Famotidine can cause dizziness. Do not drive or operate heavy machinery until you know how this medication will affect you.

Famotidine liquid for injection has the preservative benzyl alcohol which can cause serious reactions in newborn children. This should not be used in newborns or in pregnant women unless in a single-dose vial.

Do not take famotidine if you:

  • are allergic to any component of famotidine products
  • have a history of allergy to other H2-receptor blockers, such as cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), and nizatidine (Axid)

Pepcid AC Food Interactions

Medicines can interact with certain foods. In some cases, this may be harmful and your doctor may advise you to avoid certain foods. In the case of famotidine there are no specific foods that you must exclude from your diet.


Inform MD

Before taking famotidine, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions. Especially tell your doctor if you have or have had:

  • moderate to severely poor kidney function

Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.

Pepcid AC and Pregnancy

Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.

The FDA categorizes medications based on safety for use during pregnancy. Five categories - A, B, C, D, and X, are used to classify the possible risks to an unborn baby when a medication is taken during pregnancy.

Famotidine falls into category B. Studies in animals have failed to demonstrate a risk to the unborn baby and there are no well-controlled studies in pregnant women.

Pepcid AC and Lactation

Tell your doctor if you are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed.

You should not take famotidine if you are breastfeeding. It may be excreted in your breast milk and may harm your nursing child.

Pepcid AC Usage

Take famotidine exactly as prescribed.

Famotidine comes as a tablet that is usually taken by mouth 1 to 4 times daily, with or without food. Most conditions improve within 4 to 8 weeks and so the medication may be stopped at that time.

The suspension form should be shaken well before each use and unused liquid should be thrown away after 30 days.

If you miss a dose, take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take two doses of famotidine at the same time.

Pepcid AC Dosage

Take famotidine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully.

Most ulcers will heal within 4-8 weeks and famotidine treatment can be stopped. For patients with severe cases this may be extended up to 12 weeks.

In some cases a maintenance dose of 20 mg once a day at bedtime may be prescribed to prevent ulcers from coming back.

Reduced dosages may be required in younger patients or in those with moderate to severe kidney disease.

For active peptic or gastric ulcers (ulcers in the small intestine or stomach):

  • A typical starting dose is 40 mg once a day at bedtime.
  • This can be split into 20 mg twice a day.
  • Maintenance therapy of healed ulcers is typically 20 mg once daily at bedtime.

For reflux disease (GERD):

  • A typical starting dose is 20 mg twice a day for up to 6 weeks.
  • This may be increased to a maximum of 40 mg twice a day for up to 12 weeks depending on the severity of the condition.

For hypersecretory (extremely high amount of excretion) diseases such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:

  • Typical starting dose is 20 mg every 6 hours.
  • Dosing may vary according to the individual. Doses of up to 160 mg every 6 hours have been given to some patients with severe Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

Pepcid AC Overdose

If you take too much famotidine, call your healthcare provider or local Poison Control Center, or seek emergency medical attention right away.


Other Requirements

  • Store famotidine tablets at room temperature and protect from light.
  • Store famotidine dry powder and liquid suspension at room temperature.
  • Famotidine powder for suspension should be mixed with the amount of water specified on the package. Shake the liquid suspension well before each use and discard unused suspension after 30 days.
  • Store famotidine liquid for injection in a refrigerator.
  • Keep this and all medicines out of the reach of children.