Famotidine oral forms dosage: A detailed guide
This article describes famotidine oral forms’ dosages, strengths, and details on how to use them. You’ll also find information on cost savings and coupon options for famotidine.
Prescription famotidine oral tablet and liquid suspension (mixture) is a generic version of the brand-name drug Pepcid. Famotidine also comes as an injection into the vein and an over-the-counter oral tablet, but those forms aren’t described in this article. To learn more about these forms, talk with your doctor. This article focuses on prescription famotidine oral forms.
If you want to know more about famotidine oral tablet, see this overview article. It covers details about the drug’s uses, side effects, ways to save on cost, and more.
Forms and strengths of famotidine
Prescription famotidine comes as follows:
Forms and strengths:
- Famotidine oral tablet:
- 20 milligrams (mg)
- 40 mg
- Famotidine oral liquid suspension (mixture):
- 40 mg per 5 milliliters (mg/mL)
Dosage of famotidine
This article describes the recommended dosages* for prescription famotidine oral forms.
If your doctor prescribes this medication, they’ll determine the dosage that’s best for you. Do not change your dosage of famotidine oral forms without your doctor’s recommendation.
* The drugmaker provides these recommended dosages. If your doctor prescribes famotidine, be sure to take the dosage they prescribe for you.
Usual recommended dosages of famotidine in adults
The information below describes the dosages of famotidine oral forms that are commonly prescribed in adults. That said, always take the dosage your doctor prescribes for you. Your doctor will determine the dosage that best meets your needs. Both famotidine oral tablet and liquid suspension (mixture) have the same dosages.
|Use||Acute (short-term) therapy dosage||Length of therapy|
|to treat a duodenal ulcer (sore)*||40 milligrams (mg) once per day at bedtime or 20 mg twice a day||usually 4 weeks, but in rare cases, 6 to 8 weeks|
|to treat noncancerous stomach ulcer||40 mg once per day at bedtime||up to 8 weeks|
|to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)||20 mg twice per day||up to 6 weeks|
|to treat esophagitis, including erosions and ulcers, with symptoms due to GERD||20 mg twice per day or 40 mg twice per day||up to 12 weeks|
|to treat conditions that cause high stomach acid,† such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome and tumors of the endocrine glands||20 mg every 6 hours||as recommended by your doctor|
|to lower the risk of a duodenal ulcer||20 mg once per day||1 year or as recommended by your doctor|
* For maintenance (long-term) therapy for duodenal ulcers in adults, the dosage is 20 mg once per day at bedtime.
† The dosage for this condition varies based on certain factors. In certain people, a higher starting dose may be needed. Your doctor will adjust your dose based on your needs. The max dose per day is 160 mg every 6 hours.
Pediatric dosages of famotidine
Famotidine is approved to treat peptic ulcers and GERD in certain children.
The information below describes dosages that are commonly prescribed in children. That said, always make sure your child takes the dosage their doctor prescribes for them. Your child’s doctor will determine the dosage that best meets your child’s needs.
The table below describes the recommended dosages of famotidine oral forms in children with peptic ulcers. Both famotidine oral tablet and liquid suspension have the same dosages.
|Age||Starting dosage||Maximum dosage||Length of therapy|
|1 to 16 years||0.5 mg per kilogram (kg)* of body weight once per day at bedtime or 0.25 mg/kg twice per day||1 mg/kg once per day at bedtime or 0.5 mg/kg twice per day, up to a maximum of 40 mg/day||8 weeks|
* One kg is about 2.2 pounds (lb).
The table below describes the recommended dosages of famotidine oral forms in children with GERD. Both famotidine oral tablet and liquid suspension have the same dosages.
|Age||Starting dosage||Maximum dosage||Length of therapy|
|less than 3 months of age||0.5 mg/kg once per day||1 mg/kg once per day up to a maximum dosage recommended by your child’s doctor||up to 8 weeks|
|3 months to less than 1 year||0.5 mg/kg twice per day||1 mg/kg once per day at bedtime or 0.5 mg/kg twice per day, up to a maximum of 40 mg per day||up to 8 weeks|
|1 to 16 years*||0.5 mg/kg twice per day||0.5 mg/kg twice per day, up to a maximum of 40 mg twice per day||6 to 12 weeks|
* For this age group, GERD can occur with or without esophagitis and ulcers.
Dosage adjustments for famotidine
Your doctor will prescribe your dosage and length of treatment of famotidine based on several factors. These include:
- the specific condition being treated and how severe it is
- your age
- other health conditions you may have
- your kidney function
If you have moderate or severe kidney disease, your doctor may start you on a lower dosage. Or they may recommend that you wait longer between famotidine doses based on your response to the drug. Do not change your dose of famotidine without first talking with your doctor.
If your child is taking famotidine, their doctor may adjust their dosage if they have moderate or severe kidney disease.
Missed dose of famotidine
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist right away if you realize you forgot a dose of famotidine. They may advise you to take the missed dose. Or they may advise you to skip it and take your next dose as scheduled.
For tips on how to plan your doses of famotidine and avoid missing a dose, read this article. You could also try:
- downloading a reminder app on your phone
- setting an alarm
- putting a note where you’ll see it, such as on your calendar, bathroom mirror, or bedside table
Frequently asked questions
Below are answers to some commonly asked questions about famotidine oral forms and dosage.
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Can I take my famotidine dose at night?
Yes, you may be able to take your famotidine dose at night depending on what your doctor recommends.
Depending on the condition you’re using famotidine to treat, you may need to take it once per day or twice per day. Your doctor can advise the best time to take your dose. Usually, it’s recommended to take a dose at night.
If you have questions about when you should take your famotidine dose, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Does famotidine have a 60 mg strength that I can take once a day?
No, famotidine does not come in a 60-milligram (mg) strength that you can take once per day. Famotidine tablets come in 20-mg and 40-mg strengths. And famotidine liquid suspension (mixture) comes in a 40 mg per 5 milliliters (mg/mL) strength.
If you have questions about the strengths or dosages of famotidine, talk with your doctor. To learn more about the usual doses of famotidine that you may take each day, see the “Dosage of famotidine” section above.
Should I take famotidine before or after meals?
The decision of whether to take famotidine before or after meals will depend on the condition you’re taking it for. For example, if you’re taking famotidine to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as heartburn, you can take the medication before a meal. The drugmaker recommends taking it with or without food.
Talk with your doctor if you have questions about when to take famotidine.
Is the dosage of prescription famotidine tablets different than the over-the-counter tablets?
Yes, the dosage of prescription famotidine tablets is different from the over-the-counter (OTC) tablets.
The dosage of prescription famotidine tablets can be 20 mg or 40 mg per day. The dosage of OTC famotidine tablets is 20 mg per day.*
Talk with your doctor to help determine whether OTC or prescription famotidine is right for you.
Is famotidine used long term?
Famotidine can be used as a short- or long-term treatment. This depends on the condition your doctor prescribes it for. If you and your doctor determine that it’s safe and effective for your condition, they can help determine how long to take the medication.
If you have questions about how long you’ll use famotidine, talk with your doctor.
How famotidine is taken
Prescription oral famotidine comes as a tablet and a liquid suspension (mixture). How you take it depends on the form your doctor prescribes. You’ll swallow it one to two times per day, depending on the condition you’re taking it for. You can take famotidine with or without food.
You’ll swallow famotidine tablets once daily or twice daily. If it’s hard for you to swallow tablets, view this article. It provides suggestions on how to swallow medications that come in pill form.
Also, be sure to talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you’re having difficulty taking your medication. They can offer recommendations about taking it.
Famotidine liquid suspension
Before receiving your medication, your pharmacist will prepare a liquid suspension of famotidine. You’ll receive a liquid medication that is smooth, off-white, and has an even consistency.
Below are tips for using and storing famotidine liquid suspension:
- Shake the bottle of famotidine oral suspension vigorously for 5 to 10 seconds before each dose.
- Swallow famotidine once per day before bedtime or twice per day (in the morning and before bedtime or as per your doctor’s recommendations).
- Store the liquid suspension at room temperature, 77°F (25°C). Do not freeze the medication. Discard any unused medication after 30 days.
If you have questions about how to use famotidine, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
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Overdose of famotidine
It’s important that you do not take more famotidine tablets or liquid suspension (mixture) than your doctor prescribes. Doing so can lead to serious side effects.
Symptoms of famotidine overdose
Symptoms of an overdose can include:
- low blood pressure
- increased heart rate
What to do if you take too much famotidine
If you think you’ve taken too much famotidine, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.
What to ask your doctor
This article describes the usual recommended dosages for prescription famotidine oral forms. If your doctor prescribes this medication, they’ll determine the dosage that’s best for you.
Do not change your dosage of famotidine oral forms without your doctor’s recommendation. You should take famotidine oral forms exactly as your doctor prescribes it.
Let your doctor know if you have concerns or questions about your treatment plan.
Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Can I split or crush famotidine tablets?
- Does my risk of side effects increase with a higher dosage of famotidine?
- Would my doctor increase my dosage if my current dosage is not working for my condition?
Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
- Famotidine, powder for oral suspension. (2021). https://nctr-crs.fda.gov/fdalabel/services/spl/set-ids/ad2eb55b-7471-4b7a-9418-6a81904af19a/spl-doc
- Famotidine, tablets, for oral use. (2023). https://nctr-crs.fda.gov/fdalabel/services/spl/set-ids/7c0f3fa5-0a44-4a98-bc43-8bff8e95c462/spl-doc
- Food and Drug Administration. (2023). Orange Book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/index.cfm