Famotidine Side Effects

by on March 11, 2012


Famotidine is a relatively safe medication that is also marketed under the brand name, Pepcid and is available in both prescription and over the counter forms.   The most common side effects of famotidine medications like Pepcid are mild and may include dizziness, constipation, and diarrhea. Serious side effects are rare, but they may include signs of infection, depression, hallucinations, and others. Additionally, famotidine side effects can occur when the drug is taken by special populations or in combination with other medications or the treatment of other diseases. Information about these famotidine side effects is discussed at length.

Common Famotidine Side Effects

Famotidine is a relatively safe medication, but some side effects may be experienced in patients. These side effects are relatively common and are not a reason to concern unless they worsen or persist. In those cases, patients should contact their pharmacist or doctor for advice on whether to discontinue the medication. These common side effects of famotidine include the following:

  • Dizziness
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headache

Serious Famotidine Side Effects

pepcid famotidine Since famotidine (Pepcid) is an over-the counter medication, it is relatively safe for all users. The most common serious side effects of famotidine are due to an allergic reaction. If this occurs, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Some of the most common serious side effects include:

  • Rash
  • Swelling of the skin
  • Hives
  • Swelling of the tongue, lips, face, and mouth
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Difficulty breathing

In addition to the risk of an allergic reaction, other rare but serious side effects may occur. These symptoms also need immediate medical treatment:

  • Hallucinations
  • Seizure
  • Fever
  • Signs of infection
  • Easy bleeding or bruising
  • Irregular, slow, or fast heart beat
  • Depression

Famotidine (Pepcid) With Other Conditions

Before patients begin taking famotidine, it is important that they discuss their medical history with their doctor or pharmacist. Side effects in patients with certain illnesses can actually be a sign of a more serious condition. The most important conditions to be aware of when taking famotidine include:

  • Kidney problems
  • Liver problems
  • Ashtma
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Stomach problems, including tumors

Side effects with these diseases or impairments can be a serious health concern. People with these illnesses should be sure to consult their physician immediately if they suffer any of the following symptoms:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Pain that spreads to the shoulders, neck, and arms
  • Shoulder, jaw, or chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Heartburn combined with dizziness, sweating, or lightheadedness

Famotidine (Pepcid) in the Elderly

Famotidine is removed from the body by the kidneys and kidney function typically declines as a person ages. Therefore, elderly patients are the age group with the highest likelihood of experiencing side effects when taking this drug. This is especially true with side effects like dizziness and confusion. Caution should be taken when this drug is prescribed to elderly patients because of their added sensitivity to potential side effects, and if any side effects are experienced, elderly patients should consult with their primary care physician immediately.

Famotidine and its brand name medication Pepcid have should significant success in the treatment and prevention of stomach and intestinal ulcers. Treatment using this medication can also relieve the pain and uncomfortable symptoms associated with excess stomach acid. In order for these products to be used effectively, it is important that patients discuss any other medication or health concerns they may be experiencing. Specific concern should be given to pregnant women and the elderly to ensure that when taking this medication the benefits outweigh any possible risks.