Famotidine. An updated review of its pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic properties, and therapeutic use in peptic ulcer disease and other allied diseases.

Famotidine is a highly selective histamine H2-receptor antagonist. In healthy volunteers and patients with acid hypersecretory disease it is approximately 20 to 50 times more potent at inhibiting gastric acid secretion than cimetidine and 8 times more potent than ranitidine on a weight basis. As shown in placebo-controlled trials, famotidine is effective in healing both duodenal and gastric ulcers. Famotidine 20mg twice daily or 40mg at bedtime achieves healing rates and symptom relief similar or superior to those achieved by cimetidine 800mg daily or ranitidine 300mg daily in patients with peptic ulcer disease. Results of 1 placebo-controlled study suggest that famotidine prevents recurrence of duodenal ulcer, but comparative trials are needed to establish its relative efficacy in maintenance therapy. The few non-comparative trials conducted to date also suggest that famotidine 10 to 20mg twice daily may be effective in the treatment of gastritis and reflux gastro-oesophagitis. In comparative trials, famotidine was similar in efficacy to cimetidine in the treatment of upper gastrointestinal bleeding and to ranitidine in the prevention of pulmonary aspiration of acid. In patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, the potency and long duration of action of famotidine may confer an advantage over other H2-receptor antagonists--in individualised doses (mean 0.33 g/day) famotidine successfully controlled acid secretion for up to 72 months in 1 study of such patients. Accumulated clinical evidence confirms that famotidine is very well tolerated and is free of the antiandrogenic effects infrequently reported with cimetidine. Moreover, famotidine is not associated with altered hepatic metabolism of drugs. Thus, famotidine is an effective, well-tolerated alternative to cimetidine and ranitidine. Famotidine is also promising as maintenance therapy for preventing recurrence of duodenal ulcer and as initial or maintenance treatment of gastric hypersecretory disorders, but further clinical experience, particularly in the long term, is needed to define the relative efficacy and tolerability of famotidine in these indications.
AuthorsH D Langtry, S M Grant, K L Goa
JournalDrugs (Drugs) Vol. 38 Issue 4 Pg. 551-90 (Oct 1989) ISSN: 0012-6667 [Print] UNITED STATES
PMID2573505 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Review)
Chemical References
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists
  • Famotidine
  • Famotidine (pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Histamine H2 Antagonists (pharmacokinetics, pharmacology, therapeutic use)
  • Humans
  • Peptic Ulcer (drug therapy, physiopathology)

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