Asian Flush and Antacids (Pepcid, Zantac, etc)


A lot of people with alcohol flush reaction often partake in the off-label use of antacid medication such as Pepcid AC and Zantac Forte to reduce symptoms when drinking alcohol.

Please share your experiences with taking these medications.

Note: these are just anecdotal accounts of people using antihistamine medications to counter their Asian flush symptoms. This is not to be construed as medical advice and we do not in any way condone the off-label use of any medication for any purpose.


I get this reaction so bad…my friends make fun of me too, but in a good way… I can’t get Pepcid where I live, it’s so annoying…where do you guys buy it? online?

One of my friends takes zantac before she drinks… she says that it helps a little depending on how many you take… haven’t tried it yet but will this weekend! I’ll let you all know how it goes.


I never take Pepcid for my Asian flush… I used to and then I developed a stomach ulcer that the doctor linked to Famotidine over exposure… I was taking 3 tablets of the stronger kind of Pepcid, I believe AC, and partying though the weekend, so I guess it could have been overdoing it a bit. I’d be careful not to take it too regularly.


Holy cr*p that’s worrying, I had no idea pepcid had that side effect! I use it regularly to help with my flushing, but other then getting drunk A LOT quicker (a friend told me this is due to a blood thinning effect of Pepcid) I haven’t come across any other issues. Will definitely be limiting my use of it now though, the 1 time I had a stomach ulcer it was no joke!


I tried it. To be honest i liked getting drunk quicker after taking Pepcid, made my night cheaper :wink: but it didnt really do much for my flushing - maaaaaaybe a little reduction…but what bugs me the most is that it is just masking things… I prefer to get to the bottom of what is wrong and fix that.


There’s a bit of evidence floating around that points to H2 receptor antagonists, like Pepcid AC and Zantac, having some pretty unwanted side effects.

Iron absorbtion is the one that popped up on my radar, as I personally deal with low Iron levels anyway. But there’s a few others, some a little more serious than lowering your iron levels too.

Here’s a study that looked at a few of the side effects:


I read somewhere that using antacids/antihistamines for asian flush just deals with the red flushing but doesn’t do anything for all the stuff happening internally. So it’s just a fake solution, basically. No thanks, I’ll pass!


I used to use Zantac quite a lot until my doctor cautioned me about it. Basically you’re right, it does nothing for the underlying problem and only offers mild symptomatic relief. The key to getting relief from Asian flush is to concentrate on acetaldehyde reduction - which these antacids don’t do. Compounds like NAC, Quercetin and L-Theanine are great for this as they help bind to acetaldehyde and increase the body’s ability to synthesis glutathione, which also helps to break down acetaldehyde.