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Reviewed by Dr Roy Kedem, MD
Information last reviewed 11/29/19
Pantoprazole (Protonix) is in a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors, which function to reduce acid production in the stomach. It is frequently prescribed to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); the condition responsible for heartburn. Pantoprazole is also prescribed to treat inflammation in the esophagus, ulcers in the esophagus and stomach, and other rare conditions that result from excess acid production.
Acid reflux, also known as gastresophageal disease (GERD), is a common condition characterized by a burning pain in the lower chest area. Symptoms frequently occur after eating. If you suffer from GERD, the sphincter muscles at the bottom of your esophagus may be relaxing at the wrong time, allowing acid from the stomach to travel upward into your throat. This in turn can lead to heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and a persistent cough. Taking Pantoprazole will help alleviate these symptoms and allow your stomach and esophagus to heal.
Pantoprazole belongs to a class of drugs called “proton pump inhibitors” (PPIs). PPIs block a specific enzyme in the wall of the stomach, which normally leads to acid production. By decreasing acid production, Pantoprazole alleviates the symptoms of GERD and allows inflammation in the stomach and esophagus to resolve.
Pantoprazole begins to work within 30 minutes of ingestion, however, the maximum effect can take several days. Best results are seen when the medication is taken continuously, and not as needed, for a period of time until GERD, esophagitis or gastritis have time to heal (usually 8 weeks).
Pantoprazole contains the active ingredient pantoprazole sodium at a concentration of 20mg, or 40mg.
It also contains the following inactive ingredients: calcium stearate, crospovidone, hypromellose, iron oxide, mannitol, methacrylic acid copolymer, polysorbate 80, povidone, propylene glycol, sodium carbonate, sodium lauryl sulfate, titanium dioxide, and triethyl citrate
Though it is rare, Pantoprazole can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people. You should look out for any of these allergic reaction symptoms: hives/rash, itching, finding it hard to breathe or dizziness. If you notice any of these after taking Pantoprazole, you should get immediate emergency medical attention right away.
Always take Pantoprazole exactly as prescribed by your doctor.
To treat acid reflux in adults and adolescents (12 years and over), the recommended dosage is usually 40mg (1 tablet) per day. Take the tablet orally (by mouth) with a glass of water at approximately the same time each day. Do not break, chew, or crush the tablet. If the 40mg tablet is too big for you to swallow, you can request the 20mg tablet and take 2 instead of 1. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may increase the dosage to 2 tablets a day. In this case, take one dose in the morning and one in the evening. The treatment for acid reflux usually lasts between 4 to 8 weeks, but may vary depending on your doctor’s recommendation.
The dose of Pantoprazole is 20mg to 40mg once daily for up to 8 weeks. The lower dose (20mg once daily) has been used successfully to treat mild GERD.
If you miss a dose of Pantoprazole, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you forgot and take your next scheduled dose at the usual time. Do not double the dose to make up for the one you missed.
If you have taken too much Pantoprazole, call the Poison Control Center 1-800-222-1222.
Stop taking these tablets and tell your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following serious side effects:
Some possible common side effects include:
Pantoprazole may interact with other medications. Patients taking Rilpivirine for the treatment of HIV should not take Pantoprazole.
Pantoprazole is not recommended with the following medications:
In some cases. it may be necessary to take one or more of these medications when also taking Pantoprazole. If the medications are prescribed together, your doctor may need to adjust the dosages accordingly.
If you are pregnant, considering becoming pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding, ask your doctor for advice before taking Pantoprazole.
It is contraindicated to take Pantoprazole in the following cases:
Although they are not the same medication, they work in the same way and are used to treat the same conditions. They are created by different manufacturers. Pantoprazole also comes in an intravenous form which is used in the hospital setting for upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
In general, significant anxiety is not a known side effect of Pantoprazole.
There is a list of medications that interact with Pantoprazole. You can also avoid foods that make your symptoms worse (spicy, acidic foods or large meals). Please consult with your doctor or pharmacist about all the medications and supplements you are taking.
Pantoprazole is readily and easily absorbed in the upper GI tract.
Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. You and your physician will determine if and how you should take any medication prescribed to you following a medical consultation.
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