GERD Home > Pepcid

Pepcid is used to treat conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines -- which can include GERD, heartburn, and ulcers. The medication is available in both over-the-counter and prescription forms. It can be taken once or twice a day, or as needed. Pepcid works by blocking the action of histamine receptors in the stomach, which reduces the amount of acid produced. Potential side effects of the medicine can include diarrhea, nausea, and dizziness.

What Is Pepcid?

Pepcid® (famotidine) is a medication that is available in both prescription and over-the-counter forms. It is used to treat several conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Pepcid is part of a class of drugs known as H2 blockers.
Pepcid is also available in the following over-the-counter forms:

Who Makes Pepcid?

Prescription Pepcid tablets are made by Merck and Company, and prescription Pepcid for oral suspension (liquid) is made by Salix Pharmaceuticals. Over-the-counter Pepcid AC and Pepcid Complete are made by Johnson & Johnson. Generic Pepcid is made by several manufacturers.

What Is It Used For?

Some uses of prescription Pepcid include:
  • Duodenal ulcers (ulcers in the first part of the intestine after the stomach) -- It can be used to treat a duodenal ulcer and also to prevent ulcers from coming back.
  • Gastric ulcers (stomach ulcers) -- It is approved to treat benign (noncancerous) gastric ulcers.
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) -- It can be used to treat GERD, helping to relieve heartburn and heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) due to GERD.
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions -- It helps to treat these conditions (which occur when too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Over-the-counter Pepcid AC and Pepcid Complete are approved to treat the following conditions:
  • Heartburn
  • Acid indigestion
  • Sour stomach.
Over-the-counter Pepcid AC and Pepcid Complete can be used to treat these problems once they have started. Also, Pepcid AC can be used to prevent these problems if taken before eating or drinking foods that cause heartburn.
(Click Pepcid Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses.)
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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