GERD Home > What Is Famotidine Used For?

What is famotidine used for? Famotidine is used to treat conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Some of these conditions include GERD, ulcers, and pathological hypersecretory conditions. The medicine blocks the action of specific histamine receptors in the stomach. This causes the stomach to produce less acid and can also heal damage done to the esophagus over time. In addition, famotidine can be used off-label to prevent acid-related pneumonia during surgeries and treat H. pylori infections.

What Is Famotidine Used For? -- An Overview

Famotidine (Pepcid®) is a medication that is available both in prescription and over-the-counter forms. It is used to treat conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Some specific famotidine uses include the treatment or prevention of the following conditions:
  • Duodenal ulcers
  • Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers)
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions (which occur when too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Famotidine is also approved for the following conditions in people ages 12 years and older:
  • Heartburn
  • Acid indigestion
  • Sour stomach.

Famotidine Uses for Ulcers

Ulcers can occur in several places in the digestive tract. One common place is in the duodenum (the upper part of the intestine just after the stomach). This type of ulcer is called a duodenal ulcer. Another common place to have an ulcer is the stomach. This is called a stomach ulcer or gastric ulcer. "Peptic ulcer" is a term that includes both duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers.
There are many causes of ulcers, including medications, infections, and diseases. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin or ibuprofen are a common cause of stomach ulcers. The bacteria Helicobacter pylori (or H. pylori) can also cause ulcers. Certain conditions that cause increased stomach acid production cause ulcers as well.
Some common ulcer symptoms include abdominal pain (or stomach pain) and heartburn symptoms -- both of which are especially common at night -- and loss of appetite. Symptoms of bleeding ulcers can include dizziness, vomiting blood, and blood in the stool (seen as dark-colored stools). However, some people may not have any symptoms of an ulcer.
Famotidine is approved to help heal both duodenal and stomach ulcers. However, duodenal ulcers are the only type of ulcers that famotidine is approved to help prevent.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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