Pepcid AC is commonly used to treat acid indigestion, heartburn, and sour stomach. Both over-the-counter and prescription strengths are available. The drug works by blocking specific histamine receptors, which reduces the amount of acid the stomach produces. Pepcid AC may be taken once or twice a day, or just as needed. Possible side effects include headache, dizziness, and diarrhea.
Pepcid AC® (famotidine) is an over-the-counter medication used to treat heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach in adults and children age 12 and up.
Brand-name Pepcid AC is made by Johnson & Johnson. Generic Pepcid AC is made by several manufacturers.
(Click Pepcid Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses and uses for prescription-strength Pepcid.)
Pepcid AC is an "H2 blocker" that works by blocking a specific kind of histamine receptor. Histamine is a chemical released by that body that has several effects. In the stomach, it causes more acid to be produced. By blocking histamine in the stomach, Pepcid AC reduces the amount of acid produced. This is why Pepcid AC is known as an "acid reducer" or "acid controller."
General considerations for when and how to take the medication include the following:
- It comes in tablet, gelcap, and chewable tablet form. It can be taken ahead of time to prevent heartburn or indigestion, or can be used to relieve symptoms when they start.
- To prevent heartburn, take Pepcid AC 10 to 60 minutes before eating or drinking the foods that cause heartburn (up to twice a day).
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. It will not work if you stop taking it.