Pantoprazole – Uses, Side Effects, and More- Pantoprazole is a prescription medication used to reduce stomach acid and treat conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, and Zollinger–Ellison syndrome. It belongs to a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Pantoprazole works by blocking acid production in the stomach, helping to reduce the symptoms of stomach acid–related conditions. Common side effects of pantoprazole include headache, diarrhea, and nausea. More serious side effects, such as liver damage and C. difficile infection, are also possible with long–term use. It is important to discuss your risk with your healthcare provider before taking pantoprazole. This blog post will provide an overview of pantoprazole, including its uses, side effects, and more.
What is Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole oral tablet is a prescription drug that’s available as the brand-name drug Protonix. It’s also available as a generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less than the brand-name version. In some cases, they may not be available in all strengths or forms as the brand-name drug.
Pantoprazole comes in three forms: an oral tablet, an oral liquid suspension, and an intravenous (IV) form that’s injected into your vein by a healthcare professional.
Why is Pantoprazole Used
Pantoprazole is used to treat damage from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and possible injury of the esophagus (the tube between the throat and stomach) in adults and children 5 years of age and older.
Pantoprazole is used to allow the esophagus to heal and prevent further damage to the esophagus in adults with GERD. It is also used to treat conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome in adults. Pantoprazole is in a class of medications called proton-pump inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of acid made in the stomach.
Uses of Pantoprazole
Pantoprazole is used to treat certain stomach and esophagus problems (such as acid reflux). It works by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach makes. This medication relieves symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and cough. It helps heal acid damage to the stomach and esophagus, helps prevent ulcers, and may help prevent cancer of the esophagus. Pantoprazole belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
How does Pantoprazole work
Pantoprazole belongs to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. It works to shut off the acid-pumping cells in your stomach. It reduces the amount of stomach acid and helps to reduce painful symptoms related to conditions such as GERD.
Who can and cannot take pantoprazole
Adults and children aged 12 years and over can take pantoprazole.
Pantoprazole is not suitable for some people. To make sure it’s safe for you, tell your doctor if you:
- have ever had an allergic reaction to pantoprazole or any other medicine
- have liver problems
- are pregnant, trying to get pregnant or breastfeeding
- are due to have an endoscopy
If you’re going to have an endoscopy, ask your doctor if you should stop taking pantoprazole a few weeks before your procedure. This is because pantoprazole may hide some of the problems that would usually be spotted during an endoscopy.
How to take pantoprazole
This dosage information is for pantoprazole oral tablet. All possible dosages and forms may not be included here. Your dose, form, and how often you take it will depend on:
- your age
- the condition being treated
- the severity of your condition
- other medical conditions you have
- how you react to the first dose
Forms and strengths
- Form: oral tablet
- Strengths: 20 mg and 40 mg
- Form: oral tablet
- Strengths: 20 mg and 40 mg
Dosage for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
Typical dosage: 20 mg to 40 mg per day, taken once a day with or without food, depending on severity.
Child dosage (ages 5–17 years)
- Typical dosage: 1 mg to 2 mg per kilogram of body weight per day to a maximum of 40 mg per day.
Dosage for excess acid production, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Adult dosage (ages 18 years and older)
- Typical dosage: Initial dose of 80 mg twice daily, with or without food, up to a maximum of 240 mg per day.
Child dosage (ages 0–17 years)
A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established for children in this age range.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this list includes all possible dosages. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your doctor or pharmacist about dosages that are right for you.
Take as directed
Pantoprazole oral tablet may be prescribed for either short-term or long-term use. How long you take it will depend on the type and severity of your condition. It comes with serious risks if you don’t take it as prescribed.
If you don’t take it or stop taking it: If you don’t take the drug at all or stop taking it, you risk decreased ability to control your symptoms of GERD.
If you don’t take it on schedule: Not taking pantoprazole every day, skipping days, or taking doses at different times of day may also decrease your control of GERD.
What to do if you miss a dose: If you miss a dose, take the next dose as planned. Do not double your dose.
How to tell if the drug is working: You can tell that pantoprazole is working if it reduces your GERD symptoms, such as:
- difficulty swallowing
- sensation of a lump in your throat
Important considerations for taking pantoprazole
Keep these considerations in mind if your doctor prescribes pantoprazole oral tablet for you.
- You can take this form with or without food. Take it at the same time every day for the best effects.
- Don’t cut, crush, or chew this medication.
- Store this drug at room temperature between 68°F and 77°F (20°C and 25°C).
- You can store it for a short time at temperatures as low as 59°F (15°C) and as high as 86°F (30°C).
A prescription for this medication is refillable. You should not need a new prescription for this medication to be refilled. Your doctor will write the number of refills authorized on your prescription.
Pantoprazole can lower magnesium levels in certain people. Your doctor may suggest having your blood magnesium levels monitored if you’re treated with pantoprazole for 3 months or more.
When traveling with your medication:
- Always carry your medication with you. When flying, never put it into a checked bag. Keep it in your carry-on bag.
- Don’t worry about airport X-ray machines. They won’t damage your medication.
- You may need to show airport staff the pharmacy label for your medication. Always carry the original prescription-labeled container with you.
- Don’t put this medication in your car’s glove compartment or leave it in the car. Be sure to avoid doing this when the weather is very hot or very cold.
Are there any alternatives?
Possible alternatives to the oral tablet include:
Talk with your doctor about other drug options that may work for you.
What side effects can Pantoprazole cause?
Pantoprazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if any of these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- joint pain
Some side effects may be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately, or get emergency medical help:
- blistering, peeling, or bleeding skin; sores on the lips, nose, mouth, or genitals; swollen glands; shortness of breath; fever; or flu-like symptoms
- rash hives; itching; swelling of the eyes, face, lips, mouth, throat, or tongue; difficulty breathing or swallowing; or hoarseness
- irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeat muscle spasms; uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body; excessive tiredness; lightheadedness; dizziness; or seizures
- severe diarrhea with watery stools, stomach pain, or fever that does not go away
- new or worsening joint pain; rash on cheeks or arms that is sensitive to sunlight
- increased or decreased urination, blood in urine, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, rash, or joint pain
Pantoprazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while taking this medication.
People who take proton pump inhibitors such as pantoprazole may be more likely to fracture their wrists, hips, or spine than people who do not take one of these medications. People who take proton pump inhibitors may also develop fundic gland polyps (a type of growth on the stomach lining). These risks are highest in people who take high doses of one of these medications or take them for one year or longer. Talk to your doctor about the risks of taking pantoprazole.
Pantoprazole may interact with other medications
Pantoprazole oral tablet can interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you might be taking. That’s why your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. If you’re curious about how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
To help avoid interactions, your doctor should manage all of your medications carefully. Be sure to tell your doctor about all medications, vitamins, or herbs you’re taking. To find out how this drug might interact with something else you’re taking, talk with your doctor or pharmacist.
Examples of drugs that can cause interactions with pantoprazole are listed below.
Taking certain HIV drugs with pantoprazole is not recommended. Pantoprazole may significantly decrease the amount of these drugs in your body. This can reduce their ability to control HIV infection. These drugs are:
Some people taking warfarin with pantoprazole can experience increases in INR and prothrombin time (PT). This can lead to an increased risk of severe bleeding. If you take these drugs together, your doctor should monitor you for increases in INR and PT.
Drugs affected by stomach pH
Pantoprazole affects stomach acid levels. As a result, it can reduce your body’s absorption of certain drugs that are sensitive to the effects of decreased stomach acid. This effect can make these drugs less effective.
Examples of these drugs include:
- iron salts
- mycophenolate mofetil
Taking methotrexate with pantoprazole may increase the amount of methotrexate in your body. If you’re taking high doses of methotrexate, your doctor may have you stop taking pantoprazole during your methotrexate therapy.
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs interact differently in each person, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible interactions. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always speak with your healthcare professional about possible interactions with all prescription drugs, vitamins, herbs and supplements, and over-the-counter drugs that you’re taking.
Pantoprazole oral tablet comes with several warnings.
Though it’s rare, pantoprazole can cause an allergic reaction. Symptoms may include rash, swelling, or breathing problems.
This allergic reaction can progress to interstitial nephritis, a kidney disorder that can lead to kidney failure. Symptoms of this condition include:
- nausea or vomiting
- blood in your urine
- elevated blood pressure
If you experience any of these symptoms, call your doctor right away. If your symptoms seem severe or life threatening, go to an emergency room or call 911.
Warnings for people with certain health conditions
For people with osteoporosis: Pantoprazole can increase a person’s risk for osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle. Tell your doctor if you have a history of osteoporosis.
For people with low blood magnesium (hypomagnesemia): Pantoprazole can decrease the amount of magnesium in your body. Tell your doctor if you have a history of hypomagnesemia.
For people being tested for neuroendocrine tumors: Pantoprazole can cause incorrect results in these tests. For this reason, your doctor will have you stop taking this drug at least 14 days before you have this testing. They may also have you repeat the testing if needed.
How to cope with side effects of Pantoprazole
What to do about:
- Headaches – make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. It’s best not to drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Headaches usually go away after the first week of taking pantoprazole. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.
- Diarrhoea – drink plenty of water or squash by having small, frequent sips to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor. If diarrhoea does not get better, talk to your doctor.
Pantoprazole and pregnancy
Pantoprazole is not usually recommended if you’re pregnant because there is little information about its use during pregnancy. Your doctor may recommend a similar medicine called omeprazole instead as there is more safety information available.
You may wish to try to treat your symptoms without taking medicine. You can try eating smaller meals more often, and avoiding fatty and spicy foods. Sit up straight when you eat, as this will take the pressure off your stomach.
If you get symptoms at night, you could prop your head and shoulders up when you go to bed. This helps to stop stomach acid coming up while you sleep.
Pantoprazole and breastfeeding
If your doctor or health visitor says your baby is healthy, it’s OK to take pantoprazole while you’re breastfeeding.
There is a little information available which shows that pantoprazole passes into breast milk in tiny amounts and your baby will not absorb a lot into their body from the breast milk.
It is unlikely that pantoprazole will cause any side effects in your baby.