What Does AC Mean In Pepcid AC?

In our latest question and answer, the pharmacist discusses the meaning of 'AC' in 'Pepcid AC'.

Question

I was wondering if you know what AC stands for in Pepcid AC?

Asked by Jeremy On Jul 09, 2018

Answered by
Medical Content Reviewed By PharmacistAnswers Staff

On Jul 09, 2018

The 'AC' in Pepcid AC stands for 'Acid Controller', which makes sense since Pepcid AC is used to treat conditions caused by excess stomach acid, including heartburn, indigestion and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).


Pepcid AC belongs to a family of medications known as H2 blockers. Other over the counter H2 blockers include:

  • Zantac (ranitidine)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)


H2 blockers work via two mechanism:

  • Decrease the amount of stomach acid produced.
  • Reduce our bodies acid producing response to certain stimuli, like food.


All over the counter H2 blockers have similar effectiveness but Pepcid AC is thought to have significantly fewer potential drug interactions than Tagamet.

About the Pharmacist

Dr. Brian Staiger Pharm.D

Dr. Brian Staiger is a licensed pharmacist in New York State and the founder of PharmacistAnswers.com. He graduated from the University At Buffalo with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree in 2010. He has been featured in numerous publications including the Huffington Post as well as a variety of health and pharmacy-related blogs. Please feel free to reach out to him directly if you have any inquiries or want to connect! He's answered thousands of medication and pharmacy-related questions and he's ready to answer yours! Brian.Staiger@PharmacistAnswers.com Office: 716-389-3076

About Pepcid (Famotidine)

Pepcid (famotidine) is an histamine type 2-receptor antagonist (i.e. H2 blocker) used in the treatment of gastrointestinal disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and heartburn. It works by blocking the binding of histamine to H2-receptors in the stomach which lowers the amount of acid your stomach produces and also decreases the gastric acid response to stimuli such as food and caffeine. Pepcid can be taken with or without food, but has the best effects if taken 15 to 60 minutes before food. While H2 blockers like Pepcid aren't as effective as reducing stomach acid in the long term as PPI medications are (e.g. Prilosec), they provide more immediate relief, working in as few as 15 minutes.

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