No, you should not stock up on heartburn medication. There is an ongoing clinical trial examining whether famotidine (the active ingredient in Pepcid) could help treat COVID-19. But for now there is no evidence that shows a benefit of taking this medication to fight COVID.
Additionally, the clinical trial’s patients are being given doses of famotidine that are much, much higher than anyone would take to treat heartburn. Like all medications, this drug can be harmful when it’s taken in quantities above its recommended dose, and it could hurt patients with certain medical conditions.
So, while famotidine is being tested for treatment of COVID-19, you should not rush to the pharmacy to buy heartburn medication. You should take heartburn medicine only as directed—that is, to treat heartburn.
If you, or someone you know, is concerned that you have taken more than the recommended dose of a heartburn medication, contact Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222.
Last update: May 1, 2020, 3:35 PM
Science Review: GSN, ERS