GENERIC NAME: Rabeprazole

COMMON BRANDS: Aciphex, Aciphex Sprinkle

Rabeprazole is an oral prescription drug belongs to a class of medication known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s). This drug acts by reducing the amount of acid produced in your stomach. Rabeprazole is available as an oral capsule and tablet, both capsule and tablet are delayed-release forms (releases slowly in the stomach). It is available as the brand-name “Aciphex” and also as generic drug. Generic drugs usually cost less.

What is the drug Rabeprazole used for?

It is used in healing and maintenance of Erosive or Ulcerative Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD occurs when acid in your stomach backs up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and persistent cough, sour taste in the mouth or burping.

It is used for short-term treatment in the healing and symptomatic relief of duodenal ulcers.

It is used for the long-term treatment in hypersecretory conditions, like Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.

How to use Rabeprazole?

Before you start your treatment with Rabeprazole, 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. In children, the dose of the drug is based on their weight.

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.

If you are taking sucralfate or any antacids, take rabeprazole at least 30 minutes before taking sucralfate or antacid. Swallow the capsules whole without breaking, crushing or chewing.

Continue this medication even if you feel better until the course of the treatment is completed.

Ask your doctor, if your condition does not improve or if it gets worse. The risk of side effects increases by time. Ask your doctor about how long you should use this medication.

What are the side effects of taking Rabeprazole?

The most common side effects observed with the use of rabeprazole such as pain in the stomach, constipation, sore throat from pharyngitis, gas, infection, headache, diarrhoea and vomiting. If any of the above effects remain or get worse, tell your doctor or pharmacist promptly.

Hypomagnesemia (low blood magnesium levels) may occur with prolonged use (more than one year). Report any incidence of hypomagnesemia symptoms such as tetany, arrhythmias, and seizures to the doctor, signs of lupus (such as a rash on nose and cheeks, new or worsening joint pain)

This drug rarely causes a severe intestinal infection caused by Clostridium difficile (a type of bacteria). Avoid using any anti-diarrhoea or opioid medications as these products may make them worse. Tell your doctor right away if you observe symptoms such as stomach pain/cramping, persistent diarrhoea, fever, blood/mucus in your stool.

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 muscular coordination, nervousness, tingling or numbness in hands and feet and changes in menstruation may occur.

Allergic reaction to this medicine is very rare. 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 Rabeprazole?

Before using this drug, inform your doctor or pharmacist if you are allergic to it or if you have any other allergies.

Discuss with your doctor about medical history, mainly of liver disease, kidney problems, or lupus (an autoimmune disease).

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.

If you are using this medication as over-the-counter, get medical help right away if you notice any of these signs of a severe condition like bloody vomit, vomit that looks like coffee grounds, pain/trouble swallowing food, bloody/black stools, recurrent wheezing (especially with heartburn), heartburn for over 3 months, frequent chest pain, nausea/vomiting, abdominal pain.

Rabeprazole (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 Rabeprazole?

Rabeprazole 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.

Rabeprazole may interact with some HIV medications like atazanavir, nelfinavir, or rilpivirine and can cause low levels of these drugs in your body. As a result, they won’t work as well.

Rabeprazole may interact with methotrexate (at high-dose treatment).

Some medications need stomach acid to absorb them properly in the body. Rabeprazole decreases stomach acid, thereby it may reduce the efficacy of these medications some of the examples of medicines are azole antifungals (like itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole) are among others.

This medication may intervene with specific lab tests, resulting in a false test. Assure that all your doctors and lab personnel know you use this drug.

WARNING:

Severe diarrhoea warning: Rabeprazole may raise your risk of severe diarrhoea. Infection of the intestines causes by bacteria (Clostridium difficile) results in severe diarrhoea. Inform to your doctor if you have watery stool, stomach pain, or a fever that doesn’t go away.

Hypomagnesemia (low blood magnesium levels): This may occur with prolonged use (more than one year). Report any incidence of hypomagnesemia symptoms such as tetany, arrhythmias, and seizures to the doctor.

Bone fractures warning: If you take multiple daily doses of rabeprazole for an extended period (more than one year), you are at high risk for fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. This drug should be used for the shortest duration at the lowest possible dose.

Fundic gland polyps warning: Long-term use (more than one year) of rabeprazole can cause fundic gland polyps. Polyps are extra growths on the lining of your stomach which can become cancerous. To help prevent these polyps, you should use this drug for a short duration.

What are the forms and strengths of Rabeprazole?

Generic: Rabeprazole
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 20mg

Brand: Aciphex
Form: Oral tablet
Strengths: 20mg

What is the dosage of Rabeprazole?

For Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):

Adult (18 years and above):

Typical dose: Take 20mg once daily.

Length of treatment depends upon your condition. It will be different for acid-related damage in the esophagus, or heartburn symptoms caused by GERD.

Pediatric:

Children (12 to 17 years):

Typical dose: Take 20mg once daily for up to 8 weeks.

Children (0 to 11 years):

It is confirmed that rabeprazole tablet is safe and effective to treat GERD in children younger than 12 years.

For Duodenal Ulcers:

Adult (18 years and above):

Typical dose: Take 20mg once daily after the morning meal for up to 4 weeks.

Children (0 to 17 years):
It is not confirmed that rabeprazole is safe and effective to treat duodenal ulcers in people younger than 18 years.

For Ulcers by Helicobacter pylori:

Adult (18 years and above):

Typical dose: Take 20mg twice daily with morning and evening meals up to 7 days.

Note: To treat ulcers caused by H. pylori, this drug is used in combination with amoxicillin and clarithromycin.

Children (0 to 17 years):

It has been confirmed that rabeprazole is safe and effective to treat duodenal ulcers caused by the bacteria H. pylori in people below 18 years.

For Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (conditions that cause the stomach to make too much acid):

Adult (18 years and above):

Initial dose: Take 60mg once daily, and your prescriber may increase your dose if needed.
Maximum dosage: 100mg once daily, or 60mg twice daily.

Children (0 to 17 years):

It is not confirmed that rabeprazole is safe and effective to treat stomach acid problems in people below 18 years.

Most common questions asked about Rabeprazole / Q&A’s:

Which is better Pantoprazole or Rabeprazole?

According to the research conducted by “David Geffen School of Medicine” at UCLA, USA on rabeprazole and pantoprazole in the control of nocturnal acid production and intragastric acidity, it is found that, on day 1, oral rabeprazole which has the highest pKa of all PPIs, inhibited acid production to a greater extent and for a more extended period than pantoprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole and the intragastric pH was significantly higher for rabeprazole than for pantoprazole over the first 8.3 hours. In older parietal cells (epithelial cells that produce hydrochloric acid (HCl) and intrinsic factor), rabeprazole can be as much as 10 times more potent than other proton pump inhibitors.

Disclaimer

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.