Pros: Works for 12 hours
Pregnancy and heartburn seem to go hand in hand. I suffered quiet a while with my first pregnancy, taking Tums by the handful. Unfortunately all the calcium I was ingesting was probably somewhat responsible for the awful leg cramps that were waking me at night. At that point my doctor recommended Pepcid AC.
Pepcid AC is a small uncoated pink pill that comes in a blister pack. The active ingredient in each pill is 10mg of Famotidine, which is an acid reducer. Pepcid AC is indicated for the relief of heartburn and acid indigestion. There are a few warnings on the box, which you should read before taking this (or any medication). The usual dosage is 1 tablet and no more than 2 in 24 hours. Pepcid AC can be taken to relieve existing heartburn or can be taken 15 to 60 minutes before eating foods that may cause heartburn.
I have suffered from heartburn for as long as I can remember. In college I even participated in a study to help determine the effectiveness of over-the-counter dosages of another acid reducing medication, Tagamet. But for the most part I treated my symptoms as they cropped up with chewable Tums.
While pregnant heartburn is my constant companion. I dont fool around and wait for heartburn to happen, I take my little Pepcid AC every 12 hours like clockwork. For the most part these pink pills completely take care of my heartburn. Occasionally I need to supplement these pills with a couple of chewable antacids. That generally occurs only when I eat something that I know always gives me heartburn, like bananas or turkey. I find that my relief usually lasts the full 12 hours. While on bed rest my heartburn was particularly bad and I did find that sometimes by the 10th hour I was waiting for that next dose.
Now that The Little Guy is out and no longer constantly trying to push my stomach into my lungs I no longer need to take Pepcid AC as a regular part of my day. I take it only as needed. When I know that I am going to eat something that is likely to bother my stomach I try and remember to take it before I eat. That way I avoid the heartburn all together. However, when I forget or heartburn just happens I get relief from the pill in about 30 minutes. For particularly bad bouts of heartburn I sometimes do have to take a chewable antacid while I wait for the Pepcid AC to kick in.
I havent experienced any side effects from taking Pepcid AC although it is recommended not to take antacids within 1 hour of taking Pepcid AC, as it may reduce the effectiveness. I do try and avoid this and wait for it to kick in, but sometimes Im just not willing to suffer that long. I have not noticed any reduction in my heartburn relief when I do this.
Like most name brand medication this is an expensive one, 90 tablets runs about $22. So, as is the case with most medications, I only buy this as a brand name medication when I cant make it to Costco for their generic equivalent. However, when I need it I have no problem paying whatever they charge for Pepcid AC since it works so well for me.