GENERIC NAME: Pantoprazole
COMMON BRAND: Protonix
Pantoprazole is an oral prescription drug that belongs to a class of medication known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s). It works by inhibiting (blocking) the excess release of acid in your stomach. It is available as an oral tablet form, which is a delayed-release drug (releases slowly in the stomach), with brand-name “Protonix”, liquid oral suspension, intravenous (IV) form, which is only given by a healthcare provider, and as a generic drug.
What is Pantoprazole used for?
Pantoprazole is used to treat stomach and esophagus problems (such as acid reflux, ulcers). It works by reducing the excess amount of acid production in your stomach. It helps in relieving symptoms like heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, and a persistent cough. This medication helps heal stomach and esophageal damage caused due to excessive stomach acid, thereby preventing ulcers, and also prevent the development of esophageal cancer.
Pantoprazole is used for the treatment of certain conditions such as:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – Acid reflux is caused when stomach contents move backward toward the esophagus.
- Erosive esophagitis -Esophagus damage caused by excess acid.
- Gastro-duodenal ulcers- Ulcers on stomach and duodenum (the upper part of small intestine).
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (ZES) – A rare condition characterized by the formation of tumors on the digestive tract (especially duodenum).
- Helicobacter pylori – Stomach infections caused by a type of bacteria.
- This drug also prevents stomach ulcers caused by excessive use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
This drug is used alone or in combination with other medications.
How to use Pantoprazole?
Before you start your treatment with pantoprazole, and each time you get a refill, read the patient information guideline if available from your pharmacist.
Take this medication once a day orally, on an empty stomach, at least 30 minutes before meals. The treatment depends on your medical condition and treatment response. Avoid increasing your dose or taking it frequently unless your doctor’s recommendation. Ask your doctor/pharmacist for further information this drug.
Do not take pantoprazole along with antacids or sucralfate. If you are taking any antacids, take pantoprazole at least 30 minutes before or after taking antacids, and at least 30 minutes before taking sucralfate. Swallow the tablets whole without breaking, crushing or chewing.
Take this drug regularly to get the full benefit from it. Preferably take this medicine at the same time each day to avoid missing any dose. Continue this medication even if you feel better until the course of the treatment is completed.
The risk of side effects increases by time. Ask your doctor, if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse or for how you should use this medication.
What are the side effects of taking Pantoprazole?
The side effects of pantoprazole are slightly different for children and adults.
The common side effects observed in an adult such as a headache, didiarrhea, nausea, flatulence (passing gas), constipation, stomach pain and dry mouth. Whereas, in children, side effects contain the above, plus upper respiratory infection (URI). Take your doctor’s advice if any of these side effects continue or worsen.
Using this drug for a prolonged duration more than three years can make vitamin B-12 absorption difficult, resulting in vitamin B-12 deficiency. Symptoms of vitamin B-12 deficiency such as neuritis (inflammation of a nerve), poor muscle coordination, nervousness, numbness or tingling of hands and feet and changes in the menstrual cycle may occur.
Get medical assistance promptly if you notice any severe side effects, such as signs of lupus (like a rash on nose and cheeks, new or worsening joint pain), symptoms of a low magnesium blood level (like an unusually fast/slow/irregular heartbeat, persistent muscle spasms, seizures).
This drug rarely causes a severe intestinal infection caused by Clostridium difficile (a type of bacteria). Avoid using any anti-diarrhoeal or opioid medications as these products may make the infection worse. Tell your doctor right away if you observe symptoms such as stomach pain/cramping, persistent diarrhoea, fever, blood/mucus in your stool.
Allergic reaction to this medicine is not very common. However, get medical help promptly if you notice any symptoms of a severe allergic reaction, itching/swelling (face/tongue/throat), such as rash, breathlessness.
This is not a full record of all possible side effects. If you mark other effects not listed above, contact your doctor or pharmacist.
What are the precautions while using Pantoprazole?
Before using this drug, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.
Get medical assistance promptly if you have heartburn with lightheadedness/dizziness/sweating, chest pain radiating to jaw/arm/shoulder (especially with shortness of breath, unusual sweating), sudden unexplained weight loss.
Discuss with your doctor about medical history, mainly of liver disease, kidney problems, or lupus (an autoimmune disease).
Pantoprazole (proton pump inhibitors) may increase your risk for bone fractures, mainly when used for a more extended period, higher doses, and in older adults. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about how to prevent bone loss/fracture, such as by taking calcium and vitamin D supplements.
In pregnancy, use this drug only when benefits outweigh the risk. Discuss with your doctor for further details about the risks and benefits.
This medication may cross into breast milk. The effects of this drug are unknown on a nursing infant. Consult your doctor before breastfeeding.
What are the drug interactions of Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole may interact with other medications, herbs, or vitamins you may be using. A drug interaction is when a substance changes the way a drug works which can be harmful or hinder the drug from working well.
Do not start, stop, or alter the dose of the drug without discussing your doctor because your doctor may be monitoring you for possible drug interactions.
Pantoprazole may interact with methotrexate (especially high-dose treatment).
Some medications need stomach acid to absorb them properly in the body. Pantoprazole decreases stomach acid so it may hinder work of these products. Some of the affected medicines like ampicillin, nelfinavir, pazopanib, atazanavir, erlotinib, rilpivirine, certain azole antifungals (itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole), among others.
Pantoprazole may intervene with some laboratory tests such as a urine test for tetrahydrocannabinol-THC, a blood test to find certain tumours, possibly resulting in a false test. Inform to laboratory personnel and all your doctors that you are using this drug.
Allergy: Pantoprazole can cause a severe allergic reaction in some people Such as rashes, face swelling, throat tightness or trouble breathing. Call an emergency if notice any of these effects.
Pregnant women: No established evidence proves this drug is safe in pregnancy. Notify to your doctor before using this drug if you are pregnant.
Breastfeeding women: Pantoprazole passes into breast milk. Inform your doctor if you breastfeed. You may need to choose whether to stop taking this medication or stop breastfeeding. Consult your doctor immediately if you become pregnant while using this drug.
Carcinogenic: Prolonged use of pantoprazole is known to cause stomach cancer in animal studies. However, there are no established studies on humans that prove this drug does not cause cancer. Avoid prolonged use of this drug.
For children: Avoid using this drug in children below 16 years as the studies are not established yet in this age group.
For seniors: The dose of the drug depends on your kidney function as with the ageing kidney function decrease, and your body may metabolise this drug more slowly. At the start of the therapy, your doctor may prescribe you a low dose to avoid accumulation of this drug in your body which can be dangerous.
What are the forms and strengths of Pantoprazole?
Form: Tablet delayed-release
Strength: 20mg, 40mg
Form: Oral suspension
Form: Powder for injection
What is the dosage of Pantoprazole?
For Erosive Esophagitis associated with GERD:
Treatment: 40 mg orally every day for 8-16 weeks.
Maintenance dose: 40 mg orally every day.
Alternative dose: 40 mg intravenous every day for 7-10 days.
Children (below 5 years): Safety and efficacy not established.
Children (above 5 years): Dosage depends on weight in this age group.
Children (15 kg to 40 kg): 20 mg orally every day for up to 8 weeks.
Children (40 kg or above): 40 mg orally every day for up to 8 weeks.
For Short-Term Treatment of GERD:
Oral therapy inappropriate or not possible: 40 mg intravenous infusion over 15 minutes every day for 7-10 days; switch to oral medication once the patient can swallow.
For Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome:
40 mg orally every day; up to 240 mg/day administered in some patients
80 mg intravenous infusion every 8-12 hours up to 7 days; switch to oral medication once the patient can swallow.
For Peptic Ulcer Disease (Off-label):
Duodenal ulcer: 40 mg orally every day for 2 weeks.
Gastric ulcer: 40 mg orally every day for 4 weeks.
Most common questions asked about Pantoprazole / Q&A’s:
Does pantoprazole cause weight gain?
Yes, but sudden or unusual weight gain is not very common in patients using proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) such as pantoprazole. Weight gain is seen in patients using this drug for a prolonged duration. Check with your doctor if you observe sudden or unusual weight gain.
TheMedPharma has made every effort to make sure that all the information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up-to-date. However, this website should not be considered as a substitute for the advice, knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or licensed health care professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subjected to changes if required. The lack of warnings or other information for a given drug does not mean that the drug or its combination is safe, effective or appropriate for use in all patients.