Anyone taken Famotidine for reflux? - Asthma UK communi...

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Anyone taken Famotidine for reflux?

JustR profile image

I was prescribed famotidine 20mg last week by my GP to help with really bad reflux. I already take omeprazole 20mg morning and night. He said to take famotidine in addition to this.

Just wondering if anyone who’s taken famotidine experienced any side effects? I felt quite drowsy when waking up for the past week and a little tighter chested. It soon passes as the day goes on but my brains working overtime thinking could it be the side effects of famotidine?

17 Replies

No (helpful 😆🤣) but I googled it (as never heard of it) and fatigue and chest tightness are 2 possible side effects. Ok obviously not everyone gets the side effects and just because they're listed doesn't mean they were actually caused by the drug.....but as they're new for you since taking it it could well be linked?

Has it helped the reflux?

JustR profile image
JustR in reply to twinkly29

Hey Twinkly,

Yeah I don’t want to jump to the assumption that it’s the new tablets but it’s the only thing that’s changed to my daily meds. The drowsiness is definitely something new😕

The tablet has helped the reflux and it’s all settled now so I might get in touch with GP and check If I can stop taking it and see if I’m ok without it?

twinkly29 profile image
twinkly29 in reply to JustR

Worth asking for sure, or a reduced dose maybe (no idea if that's possible!)

And yes that was my thinking, that although often symptoms are coincidental (like every symptom in the world being linked to a new inhaler 🤦‍♀️😆) does sound quite plausible that it's linked to your new meds.

JustR profile image
JustR in reply to twinkly29

It’s like a lottery draw every time you take something new these days🙈

Hopefully I won’t need to be on it long term if my reflux has settled now🤞

I’m not on famotidine but I am on cimetidine for reflux which is the same class of drugs, and fatigue is listed as a symptom for that and I have certainly found myself tiring more easily since I have been on it.

There is a forum for Acid reflux support on HealthUnlocked. You could post this question there as well to see if anyone has experienced similar issues.

JustR profile image
JustR in reply to MaggieHP

Thank you, I’ll have a look at the forum.

I sure that the extra grogginess and fatigue is linked to the new tablet but suppose in won’t know for sure until o stop taking it. It has helped clear the acidity in my stomach, my reflux hasn’t been that bad in many years.

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to JustR

I’ve been struggling with it for the past seventeen months. I’ve actually had digestive issues for thirteen odd years (including reflux) but it’s been sporadic though I’ve had to be careful about diet to reduce the risk of a flare. Since November 2019 it’s become more of a constant and there is a strong suspicion that there’s an asthma connection (I’m now under consultant led care for respiratory as well as gastro). It’s known there can be a link between the two conditions, but it’s still not well understood what the link is yet.

478breath profile image
478breath in reply to MaggieHP

So interesting, as my asthma returned aggressively after a fifteen year absence in March 2020. Since then my indigestion is worse and now reflux is horrendous. I feel it’s asthma related and just to add to the possibility, I definitely feel all are possible menopausal symptoms?

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to 478breath

I started getting digestive issues within a couple of years of obvious peri-menopause symptoms. When that really kicked off it then continued for 5+ years but despite my age I was never asked about it by my then gastro cons. I did flag it up in notes and charts showing a history of my digestive issues + diet that I drew up when I switched gastro consultants. The new consultant assured me he would read all the information provided (along with a very condescending “Look at all the colours” comment when he looked at the graph). It took a further year before he acknowledged I might have a point, but even then it came with “But you’re 56! That’s really late to be entering the post menopause stage” which was completely wrong - it’s actually in the normal range though at the older end of it ( just one more example of how bad medical doctors can be at understanding the concept of normal variation). The one good thing was that my asthma remained stable throughout this period but I’m now on the brink of becoming 60 and still getting hot flushes at times despite being post menopausal for some years - again, not unusual.

The possible link to asthma is not well understood (other than the obvious reflux irritating the airways resulting in an asthma type response - but that can happen in non asthmatics). My understanding is there is at least one ongoing study to try to find out why reflux is not uncommon in asthmatics but I don’t think anything definite has been found yet to explain it.

478breath profile image
478breath in reply to MaggieHP

Great informative reply thank you...really hope your health improves. All the best

peege profile image
peege in reply to MaggieHP

This is really interesting MaggieHP, my very mild asthma took a downturn in my 40s coinciding with early menopause . It's never occurred to me that there was a link. And you're right about doctors ideas of range, my daughter suffered terribly in late 30s with early menopause & it didn't occur to them to test hormone levels. It was a dreadful few years before they did 😡

Luckily for me my female gp was on the ball and insisted I went on HRT immediately after she discovered that I started late at 17. She explained that it was vital for bone density due to too few years of estrogen building density - thank goodness for her, now years of steroids in inhalers and pred. I've had 11 fractures since 40s & it could have been many more. P

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to peege

So sorry to hear about your fracture history - that’s awful.

It’s interesting to note that it was a female GP who was so on the ball with you. The gastro cons I’ve seen have all been male. My female GP when I raised my shock that the consultant did not seem to get that 56 wasn’t late for entering post menopause tried to excuse him by saying he was a gastro cons, not one specialising in gynaecology. A friend of mine who happens to be a vet was rather more scathing. “That’s basic! Send him back to med school if he doesn’t know that!” was her reaction.🤣🤣

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to peege

As I said, my asthma was not affected by the menopause (or hasn’t been thus far) but my digestive system almost certainly has been. Mind you, I’ve known for decades that my bowel in particular responded to the hormonal fluctuations associated with the menstrual cycle., so perhaps it’s not so surprising. What is astonishing is that the different gastro cons I have seen never mentioned it, until eventually I raised it verbally - it being obvious that the written warning I had made of a possible link had apparently been overlooked or ignored.

The different attitudes of consultants towards observation made by patients never ceases to amaze me. The best of them take them seriously: I once had an orthopaedic consultant ask me if he could keep a copy of notes of observations I had made during what he described as a textbook recovery from an accident. The worst of them just don’t want to know.

EmmaF91 profile image
EmmaF91Community Ambassador

I’m on famotidine (or cimetidine when famotidine is unavailable). I can’t take PPIs like omeprazole cause they give me reflux 🤦‍♀️, but I found initially I had some tiredness with famotidine. But over time it calmed down.

But it’s definitely worth speaking to your GP about it, and maybe switching if you/they think it’s a good idea

MaggieHP profile image
MaggieHP in reply to EmmaF91

I sympathise with the PPI issue. I used to get rebound from them so now refuse to have them.

JustR profile image
JustR in reply to EmmaF91

Do you find the famotidine helps reduce the acidity in your stomach?

I know that’s a silly question but I find my reflux can either be actual reflux back up my food pipe😕

Or it can be like my stomach’s a washing machine is just swirling with acid!

I want to try and stick to famotidine or something similar (depending on side effects) as omeprazole does nothing for me anymore🙈

So I’ve stopped taking it for a couple of days and I’ve noticed the difference straight away. It must be the famotidine!

I’m waiting for my GP to calm me back and I’ll try and discuss an alternative hopefully🤞

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