For many heartburn sufferers the name Pepcid or Pepcid AC is well known. Pepcid AC is an antacid tablet that is used to relieve the pain of heartburn. The chemical drug name of Pepcid AC is Famotidine.
The use of Pepcid AC is for the short term treatment of an active duodenal ulcer. This is an ulcer that is found in the upper intestines. The period of treatment is about 4 to 8 weeks. For a gastric ulcer that is benign (not harmful) yet active the time length is 6 to 8 weeks. Pepcid AC is also recommended for GERD. GERD is a severe condition where the esophagus has become highly inflamed due to frequent acid reflux entering the esophagus.
Pepcid AC belongs to a group of drugs that are known as Histamine blockers, or H2 blockers, and is an over the counter drug that is used mainly to relieve and prevent future heartburn, acid indigestion and a sour stomach.
You should not expect Pepcid AC to begin with to relieve your heartburn problems immediately. It may take at least several days for the medicine to take effect. While you are using Pepcid AC, other antacids maybe used at the same time. Pepcid AC should be taken with water at least 1 hour before a meal that might cause heartburn. There is a course of treatment that you need to continue for Pepcid AC to be effective. Should you miss a dose and the time is near your next dosage, then you must only take the upcoming one tablet.
The most common side effect that you can experience is headaches. There are other less known side effects. A few of these are acne, breast development in males, depression, sleepiness and others.
For those heartburn sufferers who may have had an allergic reaction to Pepcid AC, or a another type of H2 blocker such as Tagamet, Zantac or Axid then you should not take Pepcid AC. Make sure that your doctor is aware of any drug reactions you have experienced due to this or similar drugs. Also those who have or suspect they may have stomach cancer should understand that Pepcid AC may relieve the cancer symptoms without curing the stomach cancer. Your doctor will be careful to rule out this possibility.
You need to take the recommended dose of tablets that your doctor will inform you of. You should not take more than 2 Pepcid AC tablets a day continuously for more than two weeks. This must be understood and followed unless you have other directions from your doctor.
Pregnant women need to understand that the effects of Pepcid AC are not known with regards to pregnancy. Like all medications it is best to consult with your doctor before you start using this drug. Your doctor will know if the use of this drug will be of help to you or if using it will cause harm, especially if you are pregnant.