Famotidine is both an over-the-counter and a prescription medication used to treat conditions of the stomach, esophagus, and intestines. The over-the-counter form is used to treat and prevent heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour or upset stomach. The prescription form is used to treat ulcers, GERD, erosive esophagitis, and other conditions. This medication page refers to the prescription form of famotidine.
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Take famotidine exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully. Most ulcers will heal within 4-8 weeks and famotidine treatment can be stopped. For patients with severe cases this may be extended up to 12 weeks. In some cases a maintenance dose of 20 mg once a day at bedtime may be prescribed to prevent ulcers from coming back. Reduced dosages may be required in younger patients or in those with moderate to severe kidney disease. For active peptic or gastric ulcers (ulcers in the small intestine or stomach): A typical starting dose is 40 mg once a day at bedtime. This can be split into 20 mg twice a day. Maintenance therapy of healed ulcers is typically 20 mg once daily at bedtime. For reflux disease (GERD): A typical starting dose is 20 mg twice a day for up to 6 weeks. This may be increased to a maximum of 40 mg twice a day for up to 12 weeks depending on the severity of the condition.