Famotidine £59.95


Famotidine reduces acid production in the stomach, and therefore prevents stomach ulcers.

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What is Famotidine?

Famotidine is among the medicines known as H2-receptor antagonists or H2 (Histamine2) blockers. It reduces the amount of acid secreted by cells lining your stomach. Food in the stomach leads to the release of the naturally-produced chemical histamine, which stimulates the special stomach cells to release acid. Famotidine blocks the H2 receptors on these cells, thus preventing the cells from responding to histamine, thereby reducing the amount of acid in the stomach.

Famotidine may be prescribed for people who need protection from or treatment of stomach or gut problems. The stomach needs acid to digest food and kill bacteria, and is protected from damage by the acid by a protective mucus coat. If the mucus barrier is damaged then acid can attack the stomach lining, causing an ulcer in the stomach (gastric ulcer) or in the part of the intestine called the duodenum (duodenal ulcer). The stomach can also become irritated and inflamed by acid flowing back into the food tube (oesophagus), a condition called reflux oesophagitis. In rare cases, stomach acid can cause Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which is when ulcers and tumours keep occurring in the stomach/intestine. By reducing the quantity of acid produced in the stomach, famotidine protects the stomach lining from damage and/or enables the damaged stomach lining to heal. You may be prescribed Famotidine if you are taking medicines known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) that can damage the stomach lining.

How to use Famotidine

Famotidine is a tablet, available as 20 mg or 40 mg tablets. They are taken swallowed whole with water; if you have problems swallowing, the tablet can be broken down the tablet’s score line, but it must not be crushed or chewed. Your doctor will tell you exactly how much medicine to take, when to take it, and how long to take it, as this will depend on your symptoms. Do not stop taking the medicine without consulting your doctor as symptoms may return. If you forget to take a famotidine dose, then take it when you remember; if it is almost time for the next dose, then only take the next dose as scheduled. Only ever take one dose (never take a double dose because you forgot a dose), and contact your doctor immediately if you take too many tablets.

Who can use Famotidine?

Famotidine can be taken by adults, including people with kidney disease or on dialysis (but at a reduced dose) and those who are over 65 years old. It cannot be taken if you are allergic to famotidine, other H2-receptor antagonists or any ingredients in the formulation (note that this medicine contains the sugar, lactose). Famotidine must not be taken by children and women who are breast feeding. Do not take if you are pregnant (unless told to by a doctor) and consult your doctor if you suspect/are planning pregnancy.

Before taking famotidine, your doctor will want to know if you have a stomach tumour (cancer), a stomach infection such as Helicobater pylori, or problems with your stomach or kidneys. Your doctor will also want to know about all medicines, including non-prescription and alternative therapies, you are taking, might or intend to take, or have recently taken. This especially includes calcium carbonate (for high blood phosphate levels when on dialysis), antacids (for indigestion), sucralfate (for prevention/treatment of ulcers), probenecid (for gout), ketoconazole (for fungal infections), and atazanavir (for HIV) because these medicines will interact with famotidine affecting the way either medicine works.

Famotidine side effects

Allergic reactions may occur with Famotidine, with symptoms including swelling of the face, tongue and throat; breathing difficulties and/or inflamed lungs; dizziness; and severe blistering of the skin, eyes, mouth and genitals - get medical advice immediately if these symptoms occur.

Commonly, people experience headache, dizziness, constipation, and/or diarrhoea. Some symptoms occur infrequently, including nausea/vomiting, loss of appetite, dry mouth, altered taste, stomach pain, wind and feeling bloated, tiredness, rash, itching, and wheals. Rarely, liver problems causing yellowish skin and eye whites occur. Very rarely the following symptoms have been reported: reductions in some blood cell types (meaning you may feel weak, bruise easily, more frequently get infections); psychiatric disturbances such as hallucinations (which are reversible), confusion, anxiety disorders, depression, restlessness, and sleeplessness; liver problems; slow heart rate (heart beat); muscle cramps, and joint pain; hair loss; reduced libido, erectile dysfunction, and men may develop breasts (but this may not be due to famotidine). Most patients do not get side effects. Talk to your doctor if you are worried about any of these symptoms.

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