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Pepcid AC, Acid controller comarketed by Johnson & Johnson and Merck, is a combination of the H2-blocker famotidine (10 mg) with the antacids calcium carbonate (800 mg) and magnesium hydroxide (165 mg). It is administered as chewable tablets and used to treat heartburn.
An equivalent UK product, Pepcidtwo, has identical quantities of active ingredients and is marketed by McNeil Ltd, a Johnson & Johnson company. It is sold in packs of 6 or 12. It is noted that each tablet contains 155 mg sucrose and 62 mg lactose and hence the product is not suitable for people intolerant to those sugars. The same product is also marketed in various European Economic Area countries under the following brands: Pepcid Duo (Finland, Sweden), Pepcidduo (France, Norway), Pepciddual (Germany, Italy), Pepcidtwo (Ireland, United Kingdom).
Pepcid AC is often used as a "treatment" to Alcohol Flush Syndrome because it reduces the symptoms associated with it; however, there are potentially serious side effects associated with use of this drug. Dr. Ann Manzardo, a professor and behavioral pharmacologist at the University of Kansas Medical Center, notes the risks of mixing these specific medications with alcohol: “H2 (histamine) blockers slow the metabolism of alcohol, increasing peak blood alcohol concentration to potentially dangerous levels.” In other words, antihistamines increase the rate at which blood alcohol levels rise, and can cause you to reach your limit much more quickly. If you’re not careful, you can reach toxic levels more quickly than you anticipate, making it more likely to experience alcohol poisoning and requiring hospitalization.
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