Reliever of Gastric Ulcers – Famotidine
This is genius – Famotidine. Gastritis or ailments related to ulcers in the gastrointestinal tract are very much common in the modern day. The increased secretion of gastrointestinal acids causes it for a prolonged and continuous period which ultimately damages the stomach walls.
High usage of artificial ingredients, additives, and spices in the food, irregular feeding patterns and fast food culture combined with stress and mind problems have made many, victims of the Gastritis in this hectic world. Gastritis can cause serious pain to the victims and highlight other illnesses as well. The medicine is an inhibitor of the histamine H2 – receptors. In other words, it inhibits secretion of stomach acids. The clinically significant factor attributed to famotidine is that it suppresses both the volume and concentration of acid secreted. It also inhibits secretion stimulated by food in the stomach and pentagastrin.
This convenient medicine against gastric ulcers was patented in the year 1979 and was first marketed in the year 1981 under the brand name “Pepcid.” It was marketed by Mark and Johnson & Johnson, whereas by the late 1990s was available as a generic medication. Nowadays its lower doses such as 10mg and 20mg are available over the counter in many countries. When considering pharmacokinetics of Famotidine, it’s one of the more effective medications available for gastric ulcers.
After taking a pill orally, the antisecretion effect takes place within one hour normally. The duration of the effect lasts for about 10-12 hours according to clinical trials. When it comes to famotidine, it has an elimination half-life around 2.5/3.5 hours. However, the bioavailability of Famotidine is relatively low. The reason behind this is the poor solubility of famotidine in the low pH levels of the stomach.
Famotidine is mainly used as a medicine for gastric ulcers or else sores or wounds that are developed on the lining of the intestinal tract and stomach. It is used for the therapy of active ulcers as well for therapy after healing at lower dosages. Further, this compound is also used for the treatment of pathological conditions namely endocrine adenomas and Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.
What Famotidine does is that it inhibits the mechanism of binding histamine to H2 receptors in the stomach cells reducing the secretion of gastric acids. The compound also decreases gastric acid secretion stimulated through factors such as food, caffeine, pentagastrin. Famotidine inhibits secretion of pepsin, through the indirect effect of reducing the total gastric juice volume. Furthermore, the compound may influence the healing gastromucosal cells damaged due to gastrointestinal acids and also protect mucus layers from the effects of anti-inflammatory agents. As per any drug famotidine also has its contradictions.
Cross-sensitivity has been an identified issue with this type of compounds and hence instructed not to be used for therapy with patients having Hypersensitivity. When it comes to drug interactions, according to clinical trials, Famotidine does not show sufficient interaction with theophylline, warfarin, diazepam, propranolol or aminopyrine. Like every coin has two sides Famotidine also has its side effects and adverse effects.
Especially there are concerns regarding the use of medicine during pregnancy and lactation. Reproductive studies carried out using rats and rabbits as specimens have revealed no significant harms to fetus or fertility, but the threat is high as the data are deficient of clinical studies done on actual pregnant women. When it comes to lactation famotidine has been detected in human breast milk.
Similar to the situation as there are no proper studies carried on how the drug may affect infants the drug may be permitted considering the risk-benefit scenario considering the criticality of it to the mother. As mentioned before there are several side effects related to this medicine as well.
Most common of those side effects are dizziness, headache, constipation, and diarrhea. Vomiting, anorexia, dry mouth, nausea abdominal distress have also been reported infrequently. The dosages differ depending on the situation and the age of the patients. In case of self-medication as in a situation of sour stomach, oral dosage for an adult would be 20mg/day before meal (15 to 60 min prior).
However, this self-medication is not permitted for children under 12 years. In the case of ulcers and prescribed therapy, the dosage may go up to 200mg/day depending on the patients’ response. The drug is normally administered orally via solid tablets or liquid suspensions. However, there are times injectable administration is also applied depending on the situation of the patient. When storing it is advised to store in a cool, dry place. Protected from light and moisture at a controlled temperature around 66 – 77 degrees F would be the ideal conditions to store Famotidine.
From the late 1970s when it was invented up to now in a period close to four decades this drug has risen to one of the most popular in the world. According to stats, it’s the 125th most prescribed drug in the USA for the year 2016 with more than 5 million prescriptions.
Considering this being an over the counter drug it further highlights the popularity of the medicine. So that is the story of famotidine, the go-to medicine for millions of people to get a release from various gastritis related ailments around the world.