Famotidine, also known by its brand name (Pepcid), is a drug that treats various gastrointestinal conditions in dogs.
It reduces the production of stomach acid, which can treat acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and gastritis in dogs.
A vet can prescribe Pepcid AC safely.
You should follow the veterinarian’s instructions to ensure there are no issues when you administer Pepcid AC to your dog.
Can I Give Pepcid AC to My Dog?
Famotidine is a histamine blocker — it blocks histamine from creating allergic reactions in the dog’s body.
A vet often prescribes it when the dog is likely to develop stomach irritation or ulceration.
The dog can experience these conditions when it has parvovirus, a Helicobacter infection, or inflammatory bowel syndrome.
The veterinarian can also prescribe a Pepcid AC regimen when your dog ingests a toxin, such as Tylenol.
This toxin can cause stomach ulcers.
The drug can also be appropriate for dogs on meds that cause stomach irritation.
The medication coats the dog’s stomach, preventing irritation and allowing the drug to pass without harming your dog’s stomach.
Is Pepcid AC Safe?
It is safe to give Pepcid AC to your dog if you follow your vet’s instructions.
The veterinarian will prescribe a safe dosage for your dog.
They will also consider the dog’s pre-existing conditions before they recommend this drug.
Pepcid AC may not be the best drug for dogs with pre-existing kidney and liver conditions.
These organs will struggle to metabolize this substance.
Furthermore, Pepcid AC may not be ideal for dogs with stomach cancer or those that are sensitive to other H2 receptor antagonist substances.
How Does Pepcid AC Help Dogs With Upset Stomachs?
Pepcid AC is ideal for dogs’ duodenal and stomach ulcers.
These conditions may be due to side effects caused by steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or a secondary complication caused by various conditions, such as mast cell tumors or acute kidney failure.
Preventively, a vet can prescribe Famotidine to reduce injury to the esophagus caused by exposure to excess acid from chronic vomiting, an overdose of aspirin, or megaesophagus.
Pepcid AC belongs to a class of anti-ulcer drugs called histamine H2 receptor antagonists.
These medications prevent the dog’s stomach from producing acid. Acetylcholine, gastrin, and histamine control acid production in the dog’s stomach.
Pepcid AC blocks the histamine H2 receptors that control for acid production.
Pepcid AC can treat ulcers in dogs and prevent future ulcers from forming.
The vet can prescribe Pepcid AC with other gastrointestinal protectants, including sucralfate, for the ulcers.
The Efficacy of Pepcid AC
Famotidine is among the leading effective stomach acid suppressants for dogs.
It has few interactions with other medications and causes few side effects.
A vet can prescribe it to treat these conditions and symptoms:
- Chronic vomiting
- Acid reflux
- Ingestion of an ulcerating toxin
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Canine parvovirus
- Megaesophagus (enlargement of the esophagus)
- Erosion or inflammation of the dog’s stomach lining
Pepcid AC is a short-acting drug that lasts about 24 hours in the dog’s system.
The substance can last longer in dogs with liver or kidney disease.
What are in Pepcid AC Ingredients?
Famotidine is the active ingredient in Pepcid AC.
This component is an antihistamine that prevents stomach acid secretion.
Other ingredients in Pepcid AC are:
- Microcrystalline cellulose
- Red iron oxide
- Magnesium stearate
- Hydroxypropyl cellulose
- Pregelatinized starch
- Titanium dioxide
- Carnauba wax
These ingredients facilitate easy swallowing, add color, increase Pepcid AC’s presence in the dog’s body, and prevent caking.
How Much Pepcid AC Should I Give My Dog?
You must follow the veterinarian’s prescription as you administer Pepcid AC to your dog.
Generally, you may give your dog Pepcid AC once or twice daily.
You may also give this medication to your dog on an empty stomach about 30 minutes before you administer the irritating medication to protect the dog’s stomach.
Famotidine can’t coat the dog’s stomach if there is food in its stomach.
Therefore, the dog might experience irritation.
Generally, dogs get 0.25–0.5 mg of Pepcid AC per pound of body weight.
You may get some forms of this drug as over-the-counter medication.
However, don’t administer it to your dog without a vet’s prescription.
The typical Pepcid AC tablet is 20 mg.
However, some pills weigh 10 mg.
Dogs weighing under 20 pounds get a 1/4 tablet.
Dogs weighing 20–60 pounds get half a tablet, while those weighing over 60 pounds get an entire tablet.
Your vet will recommend the best tablet size for your dog.
Side Effects of Pepcid AC in Dogs
Dogs often don’t experience side effects when on Pepcid AC.
Vets prefer it for this reason.
The rare side effects in dogs are:
- Loss of appetite
Pepcid AC isn’t the best medication for dogs with liver or kidney conditions, stomach cancer, and sensitivity to similar drugs.
Pepcid AC can pass from dogs via breast milk.
Therefore, it may not be ideal for dogs that are nursing or pregnant.
Pepcid AC overdoses are rare.
Your dog might have overdosed on this drug if you notice signs of diarrhea, vomiting, or breathing difficulties.
Contact your vet for guidance.
Allergic reactions to Pepcid AC are rare.
However, your dog may experience an allergic reaction to Pepcid AC if you notice some signs, such as fever, rash, difficulty breathing, and facial swelling.
Contact your veterinarian to get help.
Never give your dog leftover Pepcid AC.
You should also monitor the dog’s hydration once you administer this antacid.
Pepcid AC interacts with few drugs.
It may interact with other H2 antihistamines, such as ranitidine and cimetidine.
It may also interfere with how the dog’s body absorbs these substances:
- Antibiotics (cefpodoxime, cefuroxime)
- Iron salts
- Antifungal medications (ketoconazole, fluconazole, and other -azole antifungal drugs)
- SSRIs (fluoxetine)
- Immunosuppressants (cyclosporine)
- Heart medications (digoxin)
- Other acid reflux medications (cisapride)
The vet can recommend that you give these medications to your dog about an hour before giving it Pepcid AC.
Inform your veterinarian of all the OTC drugs, supplements, and prescription drugs that you are giving your dog to enable them to guide you on how you can safely give it Pepcid AC.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does Pepcid AC treat other allergies in dogs?
Pepcid AC’s active ingredient, famotidine, works differently from other antihistamines that treat nasal and skin allergies in dogs.
Famotidine in Pepcid AC is an H2 blocker.
Nasal and skin allergies arise when histamine attaches to H1 receptors.
2. How Do I store Pepcid AC?
Store Pepcid AC at room temperature away from light in tight containers.
You should store the powder used to create the liquid suspension in a tight container in a dry area below 104°F (40°C).
Store the liquid suspension below 86°F (30°C) and discard it after 30 days.
Don’t freeze the suspension. You should follow the storage instructions written on the container.
3. What If I Miss Giving My Dog a Pepcid AC Dose?
Give the dog Pepcid AC when you remember if you miss a dose.
However, skip the dose and give it to the dog in the next scheduled period if there’s little time before the next dose.
You may return to the usual dosing schedule. You shouldn’t give your dog extra doses or two doses at once.
Pepcid AC can treat some conditions that your dog may have.
However, you should only use it when a vet prescribes it for your dog.
Follow the veterinarian’s instructions and reach out if you notice any side effects.