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Reviewed by Dr Yasmin Aghajan, MD
Information last reviewed 07/31/19
Rabeprazole is a medication of the “proton pump inhibitor” class. When taken orally, the medication works by blocking the proton pump (hydrogen-potassium (H-K) ATPase pump) in the stomach, which pumps Hydrogen ions (acid) into the stomach. Thus, it reduces the amount of stomach acid in the stomach.
Acid reflux, also known as heartburn, acid indigestion, or pyrosis, is a common condition that is characterized by a burning pain in the lower chest area, often after eating. Acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows up into the food pipe (esophagus).
Rabeprazole works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. This is achieved with the proton pump inhibitors contained in Rabeprazole, which block the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is typically diagnosed when acid reflux occurs more than twice a week.
Rabeprazole works within one hour of taking it (up to 4 hours if taken with food) and the effect lasts around 24 hours.
PPIs taken at the standard dose for eight weeks relieve symptoms of GERD and heal esophagitis in up to 86 percent of patients with erosive esophagitis. Rabeprazole and other PPIs are very effective in treating GERD, and are considered more effective than H2-blockers medications such as Ranitidine.
Rabeprazole tablet 20mg contains the active ingredient rabeprazole sodium at a concentration of 20mg.
Rabeprazole also contains the following inactive ingredients: carnauba wax, crospovidone, diacetylated monoglycerides, ethylcellulose, hydroxypropyl cellulose, hypromellose phthalate, magnesium stearate, mannitol, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, sodium stearyl fumarate, talc, and titanium dioxide. Iron oxide yellow is the coloring agent for the tablet coating. Iron oxide red is the ink pigment.
Please note: different generic versions of Rabeprazole may contain different inactive ingredients to those listed here.
Severe allergic reactions to Rabeprazole have been reported in the past. Though this type of medication, an anti-acid, has a good safety profile, it can cause swelling of the face, hives, itching, trouble breathing and dizziness. Please seek emergency medical attention if you experience any of these symptoms after taking the medication.
For the treatment of acid reflux associated with GERD, take one tablet of Rabeprazole 20mg orally (by mouth) with a glass of water before a meal, usually first thing in the morning. You should take one tablet every day for usually up to 4 weeks.
If your doctor prescribes Rabeprazole twice a day, take one dose in the morning and one dose in the evening.
Swallow the tablet whole. Do not chew, crush, or split the drug as this may increase the risk of side effects.
The dose of Rabeprazole (Aciphex) is 20mg once a day. This is an extended-release pill form that provides long-lasting coverage throughout the day.
If you are within twelve hours of the missed dose, take the missed dose at that time. If you are due for your next dose, do not double up the doses. Simply skip the missed dose, and resume the next dose.
If you take too much Rabeprazole, call the poison control center at 800-222-1222 for further instructions.
Get immediate medical help if you experience signs of an allergic reaction to Rabeprazole: skin rash (which may be itchy), swelling of your face, lips, tongue, throat; difficulty breathing.
Common side effects include:
If any of these side effects persist or cause distress, talk to your doctor.
Rare but serious side effects include:
If you experience any of these rare but serious side effects, seek immediate medical help.
Rabeprazole is contraindicated if you suffer from any of the following conditions:
Some medicines should not be taken in combination with Rabeprazole. Do not use Rabeprazole in combination with anti-diarrhea products or narcotic pain medications (painkillers) as Rabeprazole may worsen the symptoms you seek to treat. Call your doctor if you develop persistent diarrhea, abdominal stomach pain/cramping, fever, or blood/mucus in your stool. Also, do not use Rabeprazole in combination with the following medicines as they may increase the risk of side effects: Digoxin (for heart conditions), antifungal medicines (Itraconazole, Ketoconazole, Posaconazole), Methotrexate (for cancer and conditions like psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis), HIV drugs, Rifampicin (antibiotic), or antidepressants. Before taking Rabeprazole, inform your doctor of all the medicines you are currently taking.
Rabeprazole is generally well-tolerated and safe; it is important to always tell your doctor or pharmacist your other medical conditions and what medicines you take, as Rabeprazole can interact with other medications. In addition, symptom improvement after taking Rabeprazole doesn’t mean there is no underlying serious stomach disease which needs medical evaluation. You should follow up your symptoms regularly with your health provider.
Rabeprazole is dosed once a day, and is generally well-tolerated. It is FDA approved for treatment of GERD, duodenal ulcers, and as part of treatment for H. Pylori.
The brand name Aciphex is made by Eisai pharmaceuticals and was introduced in 1999. It is also available as a generic form.
It is not recommended to take Rabeprazole longer than necessary. Most treatment courses are 4 to 8 weeks long. Long-term use can increase the risk of complications including infectious diarrhea, Vitamin B12 deficiency, and osteoporosis.
Depression is not a known side effect of Rabeprazole.
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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