Gastrointestinal conditions are attributed to the excessive secretion of gastric acid. Various medications are presently used to manage and control the excessive secretion. This includes Pepcid AC, brand name for famotidine, which has been used for treating patients with duodenal ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease and gastric ulcers, apart from Zollinger Ellison syndrome. The histamine H2 receptor antagonist is considered as potent and effective when compared with other medications, and is preferred choice among users. However, it is not free from possible undesirable effects, that may require a basic level of caution among users. Here is an in depth look at Pepcid ac side effects and simple measures to prevent or mitigate the possible undesirable effects.
Overview of famotidine and Pepcid ac side effects
As mentioned above, Pepcid AC belongs to the category of histamine H2 receptor antagonist, that works by inhibiting excessive gastric acid secretion. Gastrointestinal conditions are attributed to the excessive secretion, and one of the reasons for the high popularity of Pepcid AC is the mechanism of action. It is known be highly selective in its action, thereby resulting in greater potency and desired outcomes. Before we look at Pepcid ac side effects it is necessary to understand the mechanism of action of the medication and its uses. This will help identify the circumstances or situations where the medication is used. It has been proven to be highly effective if treating conditions arising out of hypersecretion. Available as prescription medication, and as OTC formulations, it is typically used either alone or as part of combination medications. It is administered as tablets, as oral suspensions and is also administered as injections in hospitals.
Mechanism of action of famotidine
Histamine is responsible for stomach acid secretion or stimulation due to a sequence of actions. Histamine work s on H2 cells and following this, the proton pumps are activated on the parietal cells. This results in the release of protons into the stomach, triggering increased secretion of acid into the stomach. In individuals with certain conditions, the secretion is uncontrolled and unregulated, resulting in excessive secretion. This is responsible for various conditions mentioned above. Famotidine blocks the actions of Histamine, and by virtue of this mechanism of action on the H2 receptors, the medication helps in controlling the secretion of stomach acid. When used in combination with other medications or regimen, the patient’s condition is controlled effectively, in addition to offering considerable symptomatic relief.
Dosage information to prevent Pepcid ac side effects
One of the most common reasons for Pepcid ac side effects or undesirable effects from any medication is excessive dosage. This is especially true in the case of medications that are available as OTC formulations. Most individuals tend to consider OTC medications as some kind of authorization to overuse medications without the need for control or schedule. Certain formulations are just popped frequently, in an effort control symptoms or experience symptomatic relief. However, this is an erroneous decision, unless specifically advised. All tablets, oral suspensions and injections can only be administered as per a schedule or an upper limit, as determined by the treating physician. Available as a generic formulation, Pepcid AC is available as chewable tablets in addition to oral tablets, for treating heartburn and acid reflux. As mentioned above, the various conditions treated by the medication include GERD, damage to the lining in the esophagus, stomach ulcers, duodenal ulcers and the Zollinger Ellison syndrome.
Ideal dosage recommendations
Here is a look at the ideal dosages for specific conditions. It is necessary to bear in mind that the recommended dosages are for the purpose of reference and is not to be considered as specific advice regarding actual dosage. Patients with various conditions are typically recommended dosages that are determined by various factors, including the age of the patient, the condition being treated, the severity of the condition, and other existing ailments, apart from medications being used to treat various conditions. The information shared below is only for the purpose of understanding the average recommended dosages for certain conditions.
Conditions treated with recommended dosages
Pepcid AC oral tablets are typically available in strengths of 20 mg and 40 mg. Patients diagnosed with duodenal ulcer are recommended a dosage of 20 mg twice a day for a period of two months. The medication is ideally taken during bedtime, and depending on the duration of the treatment, the dosage may differ. For instance, long term treatment may typically comprise 20 mg, while short term treatment may comprise 40 mg dosages per day. The dosage for children does not differ considerably and in the case of children with a body weight that is near to that of adults, the dosage may be the same. Dosages are reduced for individuals diagnosed with kidney ailments are reduced, as the kidneys will not be in a position to process the drugs effectively, thereby resulting in the medication remaining in the body for a longer period, causing undesirable effects. Similarly, elders above the age of 65 years are prescribed lower dosages to prevent Pepcid ac side effects.
Patients diagnosed with gastric ulcer are also recommended similar dosages for a similar period. To avoid Pepcid ac side effects among individuals with kidney ailments or aged individuals, specialists are known to either reduce the dosage or adjust the frequency of intake. For instance, the medication may be prescribed to be taken once in two days instead of daily intake. The dosage period for patients diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease is lesser compared to the above two conditions. It is typically recommended for a period of six weeks. However, when the condition is linked to esophagitis, the dosage may be extended for as long as three months. The strongest dosage or increased frequency of administering the medication is reserved for hypersecretory conditions, with patients typically asked to take a dose of 20 mg once every six hours. The dosage actually depends on the severity of the condition and in some cases, the dosage may increase to as much as 160 mg every six hours.
Commonly reported Pepcid ac side effects
With all the required information about precautionary measures, here is a look at the commonly reported Pepcid ac side effects. The type of effects that may be experienced include mild, moderate or serious undesirable effects. Mild effects may not require any form of medical intervention, while moderate or serious side effects may require medical attention depending on the condition or its persistent/severe nature. Most mild effects are known to typically subside naturally in a short period, while the persistent effects may require appropriate remedial action. It is important to bear in mind that Pepcid ac side effects mentioned herein are not exhaustive in nature, but are only a broad outline of the possible types of effects. Similarly, it is also necessary to bear in mind side effects may not be experienced by all users of the medication.
Serious Pepcid ac side effects
Commonly reported Pepcid ac side effects in adults includes throbbing headache, bouts of diarrhea, and possible constipation. There is also the possibility of the individual experiencing dizziness as a result of the undesirable effects of the medication. Side effects that are considered as serious in nature include the possibility of an abnormal change in heart rate and heart beat rhythm. Symptoms that are indicative of complications in the heart include unusual dizzy feelings or fainting that is not attributed to other conditions. The individual is likely to experience shortness of breath, in addition to irregular heart rate. A section of users has also reported pain in the muscles that is not linked to other conditions or trauma. This is indicative of undesirable effects of the medication on the muscles, that could also result in weakness.
Neurological complications and impact on sexual ability
Other Pepcid ac side effects include the onset of fever, and neurological complications. This includes agitated conduct, and feelings of anxiety. Such behavior may not be consistent with the behavior of the individual prior to the treatment regimen. Patients are also known to enter into episodes of depression, while others may experience difficulty in falling asleep. Seizures are another commonly reported condition among individuals with neurological side effects. A section of patients has also reported a rapid decline in sex drive, that severely affects sexual relations among partners. In addition to the above-mentioned Pepcid ac side effects that are regarded as serious in nature include complications in the liver. Symptoms that are indicative of this include unusual weakness that is not attributed to any specific condition. A rapid decrease in appetite, accompanied by pain in the stomach are also indicative of undesirable effects that require medical attention. Discoloration of the urine, or a clearly discernible change in the color of the skin or the whites of the eyes are also indicative of complications in the liver.
Drug interactions : Pepcid ac side effects
Apart from known and unknown Pepcid ac side effects, the medication is also likely to result trigger drug interactions with other medications. Drug interactions may impact the outcome of other prescription medications, OTC products, herbal remedies and natural supplements. Patients are advised to intimate the treating specialists about existing medical conditions or medications being used as part of treatment regimen. For instance, in certain patients, the efficacy or desired outcomes of other medications may be reduced considerably. In other instances, the side effects may be aggravated as a result of the combination. Depending on the type of medications and existing conditions, patients may be required to alter dosages or change the schedules to ensure that drug interactions do not occur.