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What is the use of Famotidine for dogs?

Home » What is the use of Famotidine for dogs?
Blake Quinn
Written By Blake Quinn

May 25, 2022

Famotidine for dogs

You can train a dog to sit, stand, run and do other tricks for you, but not to fart and burp. It is most likely to get caught up in a situation when you are chilling with your house guests, and your dog ruins the vibe of your house with its noisy burps or farts. We want to tell our fellow pooch moms and dads that it is ok for your dog to get gassy sometimes.

It is common as dogs easily swallow air during eating, and sometimes, their bad eating habits also contribute to a poor stomach. However, if the gastric problems of your dog are more than usual, you shouldn’t mind choosing an antacid for dogs like Famotidine. You must have used Famotidine for your own use, but you can also give it to your dog. It is quite a safe drug, and vets prescribe it for dogs with gastrointestinal problems. Keep reading if you want to have better insight regarding the use of Famotidine medication for dogs.

What is Famotidine? What is its use in Dogs?

Famotidine is an H2-receptor antagonist drug used as an “extra-label” or “off-label drug” in dogs, cats, and other small mammals. This drug is used to control the stomach acid levels that are secreted in excess in conditions such as;

  • Gastrointestinal ulcers,
  • Acid reflux,
  • Esophagus inflammation,
  • Stomach inflammation caused due to stress and kidney dysfunction.

Other than this, Famotidine can also be used to treat

  • Nausea/Chronic vomiting
  • Canine parvovirus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease

Veterinarians prescribe it as an “off-label” for dogs because the FDA still hasn’t approved the use of Famotidine for dogs.

Famotidine® (Apo-Famotidine®) is the generic version of the drug popular with other brand names like Pepcid® and Pepcid AC® in the market. It is available in the form of;

  • Pills in the concentration of 10 mg, 20 mg, and 40 mg.
  • Powdered material for suspension at 50 mg/5 ml.
  • Injectable mainly at 20 mg/50 mL.

How does Famotidine work?

As already mentioned, Famotidine is a drug that belongs to the histamine receptor-2 (H-2) antagonist class. Specialists keep it under this class due to its unique mode of functioning. The cell membrane of the stomach cell contains the H-2 receptors, which release gastric acid on stimulation. But, they can become the cause of distress when they secrete gastric acid in surplus on excessive stimulation.

However, with the intake of Famotidine/ Pepcid medication, the release of gastric acids slows down and gives time for stomach ulcers to heal. Famotidine is also used to treat nausea and vomiting due to its action in the chemoreceptor trigger zone.

What is the appropriate Famotidine/ Pepcid dosage for dogs?

The Pepcid dose for dogs depends on your dog’s body weight. We suggest you give famotidine pills to your dog only at the suggestion of a veterinarian. Only a health professional can tell whether or not to provide a particular medication to your dog, depending on its current situation and medical history. Famotidine dose for dogs, basics:

  • Vets recommend famotidine dosage for dogs about 0.25 to 0.5 mg per pound (0.5 to 1.0 mg/kg) weight of dog.
  • You should wait for the next dosage for at least 12 to 24 hours.
  • Avoid giving the medication at mealtime as food hinders the working of Famotidine.
  • Medication won’t work with the same efficiency after two weeks if given regularly.

You should keep the tablet form of Famotidine at room temperature away from direct light for safe storage. However, you should keep the liquid formulations at a temperature lower than 30°C but not frozen.

What are the Famotidine side effects in dogs?

If you are thinking, “what are the side effects of Famotidine?” Then let us tell you, like every other medicine, Famotidine also has some harmful effects on the body. If your dog is allergic to Famotidine, for sure, the after-effects of its intake would be harmful to your dog. However, the possibility of Famotidine allergy is relatively low. Basically, the Pepcid side effects in dogs can be any or mixture of the following;

  • Dry and rough skin
  • Dehydrated mouth
  • Facial swelling
  • Difficulty in Breathing
  • Puking
  • Loose bowels
  • Constipation
  • Lethargy
  • Headache
  • A decline in the WBC count
  • Poor appetite
  • Pale Gums
  • Slowed heart rate (From injectable)

If your dog shows any of the side effects mentioned above, you should take it to the Veterinarian as soon as possible.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pepcid?

Pepcid is the brand name of Famotidine, an H2-receptor antagonist drug used to control gastric acid levels in the stomach. It is an FDA-approved drug for use in humans. However, vets also prescribe it as an off-label or extra-label drug in dogs and cats.

When should I give Pepcid to my dog?

It is better to give Pepcid first thing in the morning when it hasn’t eaten anything.

What is the difference between Pepcid and Pepcid AC?

Pepcid and Pepcid AC are both brand names of Famotidine drugs. Both have the same constituent, but the difference lies in the fact that the Pepcid AC is an over-the-counter, low-strength version of Pepcid that you can buy without the prescription of a health professional.

What is the difference between Famotidine and Ranitidine?

Famotidine is available as Pepcid, and Ranitidine is available with the brand name Zantac in the market, but both belong to H2 receptor antagonists. The fundamental difference between both is that Famotidine is about 8* more effective than Ranitidine. That’s why Famotidine can give better results if taken just once or twice a day, whereas Ranitidine might need more than two dosages to show better results. Another difference is that Ranitidine affects the hepatic microsomal enzyme systems and gastric motility, whereas Famotidine shows no such activity.

What are the possible drug interactions with Famotidine?

Till now, Famotidine has been shown to interact with the following drugs and affect their action;

  • Iron supplements
  • Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors like fluoxetine
  • Other acid reflux medications like cisapride
  • Heart medications like digoxin
  • Azole antifungal medications like fluconazole, ketoconazole,
  • Immunosuppressants like cyclosporine
  • Few antibiotics like cefuroxime, cefpodoxime

Therefore, if the vet prescribes Famotidine to your dog, it is better to discuss other medications you are already giving to your dog so that the vet can estimate any possible harmful drug interaction in advance.

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2 Comments
  1. Rupertaen Gessor

    is it safe to give a dog famotidine while pregnant?

    Reply
    • Tracy Deslaurier

      Famotidine can easily pass through the breast milk. For that very reason, like most medicines, Famotidine isn’t safe to give to pregnant or nursing doggo mothers.

      Reply

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