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Famotidine tablets are used to treat the symptoms of peptic ulcer disease and gastroesophageal disease (GERD), which is more commonly known as reflux or heartburn. The best famotidine tablets will be recommended by a doctor according to the symptoms and severity of the condition being treated. The dosage and schedule will also differ accordingly.
Gastric acid is a chemical that is produced in the stomach. It plays an essential role in the digestive process. There is an extremely sensitive acid-base balance in the stomach that is controlled by the gastric acid and buffers. These buffers are also released in the duodenum to prevent hyperacidity in the small intestine. The stomach produces mucus, which protects the stomach lining from being damaged by the gastric acid.
In the case of GERD, acid is pushed up the esophagus, causing pain and discomfort. In severe cases the stomach lining may become damaged, causing gastric or duodenal ulcers that may be very painful. There are a number of possible causes, including damaged mucus lining, over-secretion of gastric acid, under-secretion of buffers, and physiological problems, for example with the gastroesophageal sphincters. The underlying cause may be investigated by a doctor.
One of the chemicals involved in stimulating release of gastric acid in the stomach is histamine. The histamine binds to H2 receptors in the stomach lining and stimulates acid secretion. Famotidine tablets decrease the secretion of acid by blocking the H2 receptor and thereby stopping the stimulation of secretion.
Famotidine tablets are known by different trade names in different countries, according to their manufacturer. Depending on indication, they may be available over-the-counter or only by prescription. The best famotidine tablet will be recommended by the pharmacist or prescribing doctor after taking symptoms and the severity thereof into account.
Depending on the indication, famotidine tablets may be given long term, or for a short period. Usually they are taken as a once or twice daily dose. They may be given initially as a higher dose until symptoms have resolved, and then the dose may be decreased to a lower long-term maintenance dose. The dose and dosage schedule recommended by the doctor should not be exceeded. If symptoms continue despite treatment, medical attention should be sought.
As with any medication, famotidine tablets may interact with other drugs or be contraindicated in some patients with concomitant conditions. These should be discussed with the doctor or pharmacist before initiating treatment. Pregnancy, desired pregnancy and lactation should also be discussed. Adverse effects may occur, most commonly headache.
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