23 Feb 2012

Self Medication Guide For Common Illnesses

Read this leaflet carefully before taking your medicine. Ask your pharmacist or doctor if you have any further questions about your medicine. 

1. Generic Name or Active Ingredient:


2. Uses:

This medicine is available in tablet form for the treatment of ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), heartburn caused by acid indigestion and   conditions that cause the stomach to produce too much acid. 

3. How This Medicine Works:

    It works by decreasing the amount of acid made by the stomach.

4. Do Not Take This Medicine If:

  • You are allergic to famotidine or to similar medicines such as ranitidine or cimetidine.
  • You are under 18 years of age.

5.    Before You Start To Take It:

  • Inform your pharmacist of doctor if you are allergic to any other medications.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you have kidney disease or liver disease.
  • Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are or plan to get pregnant, or are breastfeeding.
  • Consult a doctor before using this medicine in children. 

6.    Taking With Other Medication:

Inform your pharmacist or doctor if you are taking any other medication, vitamins, herbal preparations or supplements as they may interfere with this medicine.

7.    How To Take This Medicine:

Follow the directions on your medication label carefully, and ask your pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand (hyperlink).

a)    How to take

  • To treat heartburn, take the medicine with a full glass of water.  

b)   When to take

  • If you are taking one dose a day, take the tablet at night.
  • If you are taking two doses a day, take one tablet in the morning and one at night. 

c)    How long to take

  • Continue taking your medicine for as long as your doctor tells you.
  • Do not use for longer than 2 weeks at a time. If your symptoms persist after this period, consult your doctor. 

d)   If you forget to take

Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, wait until then to take the medicine. Do not double the dose.

8.    While Taking This Medicine: 

a)    Things you should do:

  • If your stomach discomfort continues, inform your pharmacist or doctor.
  • If your symptoms continue for more than 5 days, or your symptoms come back within two weeks of completing a course of famotidine, inform your pharmacist or doctor. 

b)   Things you must NOT do:

  • Do not stop taking your medicine or change the dosage without consulting your doctor. 

In case of overdose, seek immediate medical attention.

9. Side Effects:

All medicines may have some unwanted side effects. Sometimes they are serious, but most of the time they are not. Tell your pharmacist or doctor if you have any side effects which are severe or persistant.

Possible side effects are:

  • Allergic reaction: Itching or hives, swelling in your face or hands, swelling or tingling in your mouth or throat, chest tightness, trouble breathing.
  • Blistering, peeling, or red skin rash.
  • Dark-colored urine or pale stools.
  • Fast, pounding, or uneven heartbeat.
  • Fever, chills, cough, sore throat, and body aches.
  • Seizures.
  • Unusual bleeding, bruising, or weakness. 
  • Yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes. 

10. Storage and Disposal:

  • Store at room temperature and in a dry place.
  • Keep away from direct sunlight.
  • Keep out of reach of children.
  • Do not use after the expiry date has passed.
  • Return any unused or expired medication to the nearest pharmacy.

1.    Micromedex Healthcare Series 2.0

2.    Lexicomp’s Drug Information Handbook 19th edition

3.    Malaysian Index of Medical Specialities 2011

British National Formulary Vol. 60