GERD Home > Treating Various Conditions With Famotidine and How It Works

Famotidine Uses for GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is caused by acid reflux into the esophagus. Acid reflux is a term referring to the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. The stomach is designed to be able to handle the acid it produces; the esophagus, however, is not. If too much stomach acid is in contact with the esophagus for too long, damage to the lining of the esophagus occurs, causing the symptoms of GERD. (Click What Is GERD? for more information.)
A few of the more common GERD symptoms include:
  • Heartburn
  • The sensation that food is stuck in your throat
  • A choking sensation
  • Acidic or sour taste in the mouth
  • Chest pain.
Famotidine is approved to treat the symptoms of GERD. It works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. It also works to heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) caused by GERD.

Famotidine Uses for Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions

Several conditions can cause the stomach to produce too much acid. Some of these conditions include:
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
  • Multiple endocrine adenomas
  • Systemic mastocytosis
  • "Short-gut" syndrome.
Famotidine helps treat these conditions by decreasing the production of stomach acid.

How Famotidine Works

Famotidine is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers. It works by blocking a certain type of histamine receptor (Type 2). Histamine is a chemical that has several different effects in the body. In the stomach, it causes an increase in the production of stomach acid. Because famotidine blocks the action of histamine in the stomach, it decreases stomach acid production. In addition to decreasing the amount of stomach acid produced throughout the day, famotidine also helps control the increase in stomach acid that usually happens after meals.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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