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Famotidine – uses, health risks, and side effects at

Wednesday, September 05, 2018 by

Famotidine is the generic name of a drug that reduces the amount of acid the stomach produces. Sold as both prescription medicine and an over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, famotidine belongs to a class of drugs called histamine-2 (H2) blockers.

Famotidine is used to treat ulcers (or sores in the stomach lining/small intestine), gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD, when stomach acid irritates the esophagus, resulting in heartburn and other problems), and some tumors in the pancreas or the small intestine (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome).

Famotidine is sold under the following brand names:

  • Heartburn Relief
  • Leader Acid Reducer
  • Mylanta AR
  • Pepcid
  • Pepcid AC
  • Pepcid AC Maximum Strength
  • Pepcid RPD

Known health risks or side effects of famotidine

Famotidine may cause common side effects such as:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • A headache
  • Insomnia
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Other side effects of famotidine may include anemia, confusion, easy bruising or bleeding, hair loss, or a rash.

You may require immediate medical attention if you experience severe side effects such as:

  • Depression
  • Hallucinations
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Jaundice/yellowing of the skin or eyes
  • Visual changes

List of organs that might be affected by famotidine

An overdose of famotidine may cause complications like agitation, confusion, seizures, or severe muscle pain.

It can also cause an allergic reaction. Signs of an allergic reaction may include difficulty breathing; hives; or the swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat.

If you think you’ve taken too much of this drug, consult a healthcare professional. If your symptoms are severe, go to the nearest emergency room immediately.

Food items or nutrients that have similar effects to famotidine

The following foods or nutrients have similar effects to famotidine, and they can help soothe acid reflux:

  • Ginger – Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory, and it can help treat heartburn and other gastrointestinal problems. Eat a piece of sliced ginger root or drink ginger tea to ease symptoms.
  • Healthy fats – Minimize your intake of foods with saturated fats and trans fats and replace them with unsaturated fats, which are healthier. Sources include avocados, flaxseed, olive oil, sesame oil, sunflower oil, and walnuts.
  • Noncitrus fruits – Skip acidic fruits and snack on noncitrus fruits, which won’t trigger reflux symptoms. Sources include apples, bananas, melons, and pears.
  • Vegetables – Naturally low in fat and sugar, vegetables can help reduce stomach acid. Try eating some asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, cucumbers, green beans, leafy greens, or potatoes if you have acid reflux.

Treatment and management options for the side effects of famotidine

The following treatments and management options can help prevent the side effects associated with famotidine, like diarrhea:

  • Apple cider vinegar (ACV) – If a bacterial infection causes diarrhea, drink some apple cider vinegar mixed with water. ACV has antibiotic properties, and it contains pectin that can help ease intestinal spasms.
  • The “BRAT” diet – The BRAT diet includes bananas, (plain) rice, applesauce, and (dry) toast/tea. Eat these foods if you have diarrhea so you can keep your energy up.
  • Chamomile Chamomile tea can ease the discomfort caused by diarrhea. It can soothe intestinal spasms and address inflammation.
  • Fresh orange peel tea – Orange peels can help treat diarrhea and stimulate digestion. Use organic oranges, which are free from dyes and pesticides, to make orange peel tea. To make the tea, peel an orange and chop it finely. Put the orange peel in a pot and cover with a pint of boiling water. Keep the pot covered and let the mixture steep until cool. Strain the mixture then add some honey to sweeten it before drinking.

Where to learn more


Famotidine is the generic name of a drug that reduces the amount of acid the stomach produces.

Famotidine may cause common side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue.

An overdose of famotidine may cause complications like agitation, confusion, seizures, or severe muscle pain.

Ginger, healthy fats, noncitrus fruits, and vegetables have similar effects to famotidine, and they can help soothe acid reflux.

Apple cider vinegar, the BRAT diet, chamomile, and orange peel tea can help prevent the side effects associated with famotidine, like diarrhea.

Sources include: 1 2


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