pantoprazole, Protonix

GENERIC NAME: pantoprazole

BRAND NAME: Protonix

DRUG CLASS AND MECHANISM: Pantoprazole is in a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI) which block the production of acid by the stomach. Other drugs in the same class include lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec) and rabeprazole (Aciphex). Proton pump inhibitors are used for the treatment of conditions such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome that are caused by stomach acid. Pantoprazole, like other proton-pump inhibitors, blocks the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. By blocking the enzyme, the production of acid is decreased, and this allows the stomach and esophagus to heal.

GENERIC AVAILABLE: No

PRESCRIPTION: Yes

PREPARATIONS: Tablets: 40 mg . An intravenous form of pantoprazole is expected soon.

STORAGE: Store at room temperature, 15-30 C (59-86 F). Keep away from moisture.

PRESCRIBED FOR: Although pantoprazole is approved for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), like other PPI's it also is used for treating ulcers of the stomach and duodenum, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

DOSING: For GERD the recommended dose for adults is 40 mg daily for 4-8 weeks.

It generally is recommended that tablets be taken approximately 30 minutes prior to meals for maximal effectiveness. Tablets should be swallowed whole and should not be crushed, split or chewed.

DRUG INTERACTIONS: Pantoprazole is less likely than omeprazole to interact with other drugs.

The absorption of certain drugs may be affected by stomach acidity, and, as a result, pantoprazole and other PPIs that reduce stomach acid also reduce the absorption and concentration in blood of ketoconazole (Nizoral) and increase the absorption and concentration in blood of digoxin (Lanoxin). This may lead to reduced effectiveness of ketoconazole or increased digoxin toxicity, respectively.

PREGNANCY: Use of pantoprazole in pregnant women has not been adequately evaluated.

NURSING MOTHERS: Pantoprazole has not been studied in nursing women.

SIDE EFFECTS: Pantoprazole like other PPIs is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, rash and headaches. Dizziness, nervousness, abnormal heartbeat, muscle pain, weakness, leg cramps and water retention rarely occur.

High doses and long-term use (1 year or longer) may increase the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Therefore, it is important to use the lowest doses and shortest duration of treatment necessary for the condition being treated.

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information


Last Editorial Review: 1/4/2011




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