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Famotidine is prescribed to individuals suffering from conditions created by the production of too much stomach acid. As the medication works to block the production of stomach acid, many famotidine side effects are gastrointestinal. These can include abdominal cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea or constipation.
Many famotidine side effects that develop when first taking the medication are mild and disappear as the body adjusts to the medication. These include the gastrointestinal distress, headaches, joint pain, a dizzy feeling, and a sense of nausea. The medication has been approved for use in infants and small children, and may result in irritability.
An individual can suffer an allergic reaction as one of the famotidine side effects, especially if he or she is allergic to other medications that might be used to treat the same condition. This allergic reaction usually manifests with symptoms such as difficulty breathing that may be made worse by facial swelling or the appearance of hives or a rash. If this occurs, the medication should not be taken again, and a medical professional should be made aware of the situation.
Some individuals have developed severe famotidine side effects soon after starting the medication. Changes to the skin may include jaundice or the development of bruises and edema in extremities. Rarely, an individual may also develop a rash unrelated to an allergic reaction. Some of the most severe side effects are cognitive and can include confusion, hallucinations, or a persistent dizzy feeling. Although it is rare, these can also lead to seizures or a loss of consciousness, so many medical professionals will recommended avoiding potentially dangerous activities until it is understood how the medication will react in the body.
Famotidine side effects can be made worse by pre-existing conditions. If the individual has been diagnosed with kidney disease or any type of liver malfunction, dosage may be adjusted to try to cut down on side effects. Other stomach ailments such as ulcers, tumors, or cancer can impact the function of the medication and development of side effects.
In some cases, taking the medication may expose other health problems. It is commonly administered for heartburn or acid reflux disease. If these conditions still exist even after taking the medication, it may mean that there is an underlying problem such as heart disease. A heavy feeling in the chest, severe vomiting or abdominal pain, fatigue, or pain through the arms and shoulders can all be signs that there is something else wrong.