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By Cindy Diep, The University of Texas at Austin College of Pharmacy

Curist delivers medicines to your door at a fraction of the price of traditional brands. We hope everyone stays safe and healthy during this time.

Exploring optimal heartburn treatment can be crucial to those battling acid reflux. In this article, we will compare two medications: Pepcid and Pepcid Complete.

What are the Differences Between Pepcid vs Pepcid Complete?

Pepcid and Pepcid Complete contain different active ingredients. The active ingredient in Pepcid is famotidine, which is a histamine-2 blocker that works by reducing the production of stomach acid. Pepcid Complete contains three active ingredients: famotidine, calcium carbonate, and magnesium hydroxide. Calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide are both antacids that neutralize stomach acid. Furthermore, Pepcid begins to work in 15 to 30 minutes. However, Pepcid Complete provides more immediate relief because it contains an antacid that starts neutralizing acid in your stomach in seconds. 

Can I Switch from Pepcid to Pepcid Complete? Can I Switch from Pepcid Complete to Pepcid?

The difference between Pepcid and Pepcid Complete is the antacid component in Pepcid Complete. Switching between Pepcid and Pepcid Complete can be done, but it is important to do so under the guidance of a healthcare professional. Speak to a healthcare professional before making any changes to your medication regimen as they can help ensure a smooth transition and monitor for any potential side effects.

Can I Take Pepcid and Pepcid Complete Together?

Taking Pepcid and Pepcid Complete together is generally not recommended as they have duplicate therapy interactions. Both medications contain famotidine, so taking them together could increase the dose of famotidine beyond what is considered safe. When famotidine is not dosed correctly, you are likely to experience symptoms of famotidine overdose that may include  headache, dizziness, and constipation.

Which is Stronger, Pepcid or Pepcid Complete?

In terms of strength, Pepcid and Pepcid Complete contain the same strength for the active ingredient, which is famotidine 10 mg. However, Pepcid Complete also contains calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide, which allows for additional immediate relief. Although Pepcid Complete offers quicker relief due to the antacid ingredients, the overall strength between Pepcid and Pepcid Complete is comparable.

Which is Best for Treating Heartburn: Pepcid vs Pepcid Complete?

The choice between Pepcid and Pepcid Complete depends on individual preferences and specific needs. Pepcid is a good option for those looking for relief from heartburn and acid reflux because it contains famotidine. Pepcid Complete contains famotidine as well as calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate, so it might be better for those seeking more immediate relief. The “best” option depends on the severity and frequency of your symptoms and personal preferences.

When is the Best Time to Take Pepcid? When is the Best Time to Take Pepcid Complete? 

The recommended best time to take Pepcid to prevent symptoms is 30 minutes to 1 hour prior to eating. You can also take it at the onset of heartburn symptoms. Pepcid Complete can be taken as needed for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms. However, Pepcid Complete is often taken before a meal if you anticipate that you might have symptoms and want to prevent them.

Which is Safest for Long Term Use: Pepcid or Pepcid Complete? 

Both Pepcid and Pepcid Complete should not be used for longer than 14 days in a row. This is the maximum amount of time that is recommended for anyone to take this kind of medication without a doctor’s supervision. Reach out to a healthcare professional if you feel the need to use Pepcid or Pepcid Complete for longer than two weeks or if you have long-term heartburn. 

Is Pepcid or Pepcid Complete Safe for Pregnancy? Is Pepcid Complete or Pepcid Safe for Breastfeeding?

If pregnant or breastfeeding, ask a healthcare professional before using Pepcid or Pepcid Complete. Studies have shown that the drug crosses the placenta or becomes present in breast milk. However, there is a limited amount of data and studies regarding this topic. It is essential for pregnant and breastfeeding individuals to consult their healthcare providers before using these medications to ensure safety for both themselves and their infants. 

When Should You Stop Taking Pepcid? When Should You Stop Taking Pepcid Complete?

When self-medicating, you should consult a healthcare professional prior to using any of these medications if you have heartburn for more than three months. In addition, these medications should only be used for a maximum of 14 consecutive days. Consult a doctor if you need to use these medications for more than 14 days or if the condition continues or worsen. Stop taking Pepcid or Pepcid Complete and speak with a doctor or get medical help if you experience serious side effects such as dizziness, fainting, fast or abnormal heartbeat, signs of allergic reactions, and/or muscle weakness.

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This content is for informational use only and does not replace professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for and should not be relied upon for specific medical recommendations. Please talk with your doctor about any questions or concerns.