When your pup is suffering from heartburn and similar problems, it’s not a good day. Wouldn’t you agree? Such medical conditions can make your pup feel absolutely awful.
In order to help your dog feel much better, a vet may be able to prescribe famotidine for the treatment of stomach-related conditions. Many people have never even heard of this medication. Here are the most important pieces of information about famotidine for dogs.
Famotidine: What Exactly Is It?
Often referred to as the brand name Pepcid, famotidine is characterized as an antihistamine drug. Contrary to many common antihistamines like Benadryl, this drug binds with H2 receptors that are in the stomach (1). As a result, famotidine is frequently nicknamed “H2 receptor antagonist.”
Did you know that the first H2 antagonist was called cimetidine? This drug was created in the 1960s. Cimetidine was an extremely effective drug, paving the way for similar medications to be produced.
Since the drug was first developed in the late 1970s, famotidine has slowly garnered attention for being one of the best H2 antagonists available. Much research suggests that the drug is much more effective than ranitidine and cimetidine.
Famotidine is often used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and similar ailments by significantly decreasing the amount of stomach acid. When there is less stomach acid production, the esophagus is unlikely to be the home to a lot of stomach acid. The drug should not affect the pH of stomach acid, but many other medications do.
How Safe Is Famotidine For Dogs?
Although famotidine is not FDA-approved for dogs, this medication is generally considered safe. When it comes to this drug’s use in pets, it’s regarded as “off-label”, though. If you decide to give this medication to your pup with a vet’s approval, you should definitely be aware of all the potential side effects.
Which Dogs Should Avoid Famotidine?
Most pups can be given famotidine without any problems, but some dogs really shouldn’t take this medication. For whatever reason, pups who typically have a negative reaction to H2 antagonists shouldn’t be taking famotidine. Pups with liver, kidney, and heart problems probably shouldn’t consume famotidine either.
If your pup is currently taking ketoconazole, itraconazole, or fluconazole, you should let your vet know as soon as possible because famotidine may compromise the efficacy of these drugs. Just to be on the safe side, make sure to inform a vet of all the medications that your pup is taking to avoid an adverse reaction or even death.
Can You Get This Medication Without A Prescription?
Most experts would not recommend getting famotidine without a prescription. Why? As it was previously mentioned, this medication isn’t FDA-approved for use in pups. Famotidine is available over-the-counter, but when you decide to purchase it without prescriptions, you could be putting your dog at risk. This is because you always need to consult with vets first when it comes to dog medications. The good news is that the FDA does allow vets to prescribe this medication in an off-label fashion.
How Much Famotidine Does Your Pup Need?
When determining how much of this medication you should give your dog, you should definitely adhere to your vet’s recommendation.
Most vets will suggest a dosage of 0.25 mg to 0.5 mg for every kg body weight. So, if your dog is around 100 pounds, a vet may prescribe 50 to 100 milligrams of this medication. In this instance, famotidine should be given twice a day or every twelve hours.
What Happens If You Give Your Pup Too Much Famotidine?
Just because this medication has been deemed safe doesn’t imply that you should give your pup more than what the vet recommended.
Sometimes mistakes happen, though. If you accidentally gave your pup too much famotidine, it may be suffer from these symptoms: agitation, vomiting, increased heart rate, and many more.
Call a vet as soon as possible if your pup is experiencing a famotidine overdose. You may also need to take your pup to see a vet.
What Are The Potential Side Effects?
Many vets would agree that famotidine for dogs is unlikely to cause any serious side effects. If your pup does experience a major adverse reaction, you’ll want to look out for these side effects:
- Severe Drowsiness
- Trouble Sleeping
- Poor Appetite
- Upset Stomach
- Headache (yes, dogs get headaches!)
Please note: Be sure to contact a vet immediately if your pup is experiencing seizures, wheezing, and/or trouble breathing.
Do You Want To Explore Similar Medications?
Most vets prefer to prescribe famotidine for pups who are suffering from ulcers, acid reflux, or heartburn, but it’s not the only drug that can effectively treat these symptoms.
The most common alternatives to this drug are nizatidine, ranitidine, lafutidine, and roxatidine. Only ranitidine and nizatidine are currently available in the United States, though.
Where Can You Purchase Famotidine For Dogs?
Like many medications for pups, famotidine is available over the counter. While your first instinct might be to buy this medication at a close retail outlet, you should definitely consult with your vet before making the purchase.
During the consultation, your vet may give you a prescription for this medication so that you can purchase it directly from the veterinarian clinic. The drug typically comes in 10-milligram tablets, but you could possibly receive 20-milligram tablets.
If you are like many people, you may be tempted to save some money by purchasing famotidine for dogs from sources that aren’t reputable. As a responsible dog owner, it’s a good idea to think twice before doing so because you may receive tainted famotidine that could potentially harm your pup.
When should you give your dog famotidine?
Famotidine is highly recommended for pups who suffer from any of the following gastrointestinal problems: stomach ulcers, heartburn, gastritis, and acid reflux.
The drug works by altering the level of stomach acid production, meaning there will be less stomach acid in your dog’s body.
Will famotidine hurt my dog?
According to many vets, famotidine for dogs can be used to treat gastrointestinal problems safely. Most vets actually prefer famotidine over similar medications. Just make sure to be on the lookout for the potential side effects of famotidine.
How much famotidine can I give my dog?
Generally speaking, vets will prescribe 0.25 to 0.5 mg/lb.
When giving your pup medication, you should always adhere to a vet’s exact guidelines.
Which is better famotidine or omeprazole?
Famotidine and omeprazole are both effective for treating gastrointestinal problems in pups. The most effective one will depend on a pup’s condition and medical history.