About your treatment
Your doctor has ordered famotidine to decrease the amount of acid your stomach makes. It is used to treat and prevent ulcers and to treat other conditions in which the stomach makes too much acid. The drug will be either added to an intravenous fluid that will drip through a needle or catheter placed in your vein for at least 15 minutes, once or twice a day, or administered by constant infusion over 24 hours. This medication is sometimes prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
Your health care provider (doctor, nurse, or pharmacist) may measure the effectiveness and side effects of your treatment using laboratory tests and physical examinations. It is important to keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. The length of treatment depends on how you respond to the medication.
Before administering famotidine,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to famotidine, cimetidine (Tagamet), nizatidine (Axid), ranitidine (Zantac), or any other drugs.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications you are taking, including vitamins.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had kidney or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding. If you become pregnant while taking famotidine, call your doctor.
Administering your medication
Before you administer famotidine, look at the solution closely. It should be clear and free of floating material. Gently squeeze the bag or observe the solution container to make sure there are no leaks. Do not use the solution if it is discolored, if it contains particles, or if the bag or container leaks. Use a new solution, but show the damaged one to your health care provider.
It is important that you use your medication exactly as directed. Do not change your dosing schedule without talking to your health care provider. Your health care provider may tell you to stop your infusion if you have a mechanical problem (such as a blockage in the tubing, needle, or catheter); if you have to stop an infusion, call your health care provider immediately so your therapy can continue.
Famotidine may cause side effects. Tell your health care provider if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
Storing your medication
- Your health care provider probably will give you a several-day supply of famotidine at a time. If you are receiving famotidine intravenously (in your vein), you probably will be told to store it in the refrigerator or freezer.
- Take your next dose from the refrigerator 1 hour before using it; place it in a clean, dry area to allow it to warm to room temperature.
- If you are told to store additional famotidine in the freezer, always move a 24-hour supply to the refrigerator for the next day's use.
- Do not refreeze medications.
Store your medication only as directed. Make sure you understand what you need to store your medication properly.
Keep your supplies in a clean, dry place when you are not using them, and keep all medications and supplies out of reach of children. Your health care provider will tell you how to throw away used needles, syringes, tubing, and containers to avoid accidental injury.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call your local poison control center at 1-800-222-1222. If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call local emergency services at 911.
Signs of infection
If you are receiving famotidine in your vein or under your skin, you need to know the symptoms of a catheter-related infection (an infection where the needle enters your vein or skin). If you experience any of these effects near your intravenous catheter, tell your health care provider as soon as possible:
- Pepcid® I.V.