pantoprazole, Protonix

  • Pharmacy Author:
    Omudhome Ogbru, PharmD

    Dr. Ogbru received his Doctorate in Pharmacy from the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy in 1995. He completed a Pharmacy Practice Residency at the University of Arizona/University Medical Center in 1996. He was a Professor of Pharmacy Practice and a Regional Clerkship Coordinator for the University of the Pacific School of Pharmacy from 1996-99.

  • Medical and Pharmacy Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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What is pantoprazole, and how does it work (mechanism of action)?

Pantoprazole is in a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), 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.

What is pantoprazole?

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.

The FDA approved Pantoprazole in February 2000.

What brand names are available for pantoprazole?

Protonix

Is pantoprazole available as a generic drug?

GENERIC AVAILABLE: Yes

Do I need a prescription for pantoprazole?

Yes

What are the side effects of pantoprazole?

Pantoprazole like other PPIs is well-tolerated. The most common side effects are:

Rare side effects include:

High doses and long-term use (1 year or longer) of pantoprazole 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.

Proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection. High doses and long-term use (1 year or longer) may increase the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Prolonged use also reduces absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).

Long-term use of PPIs has also been associated with low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia). Analysis of patients taking PPIs for long periods of time showed an increased risk of heart attacks.

Therefore, it is important to use the lowest doses and shortest duration of treatment necessary for the condition being treated.

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What is the dosage for pantoprazole?

  • For the treatment for GERD and healing erosive esophagitis the recommended dose for adults is 40 mg daily for 4-8 weeks.
  • The dose for treating Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is 40 mg twice daily.
  • 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.

Which drugs or supplements interact with pantoprazole?

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.

Pantoprazole may increase blood level of methotrexate (Trexall, Methotrexate).

Proton pump inhibitors reduce blood levels of atazanavir (Reyataz) or nelfinavir (Viracept), reducing their effect.

Proton pump inhibitors may also increase the action of warfarin (Coumadin), increasing the risk of bleeding.

False positive urine screening tests for tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) may occur in patients receiving proton pump inhibitors. An alternative confirmatory method should be considered to verify positive results.

Is pantoprazole safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?

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

Pantoprazole has not been studied in females who are nursing.

What else should I know about pantoprazole?

What preparations of pantoprazole are available?

Tablets (Delayed Release): 20, 40 mg. Suspension: 40 mg. Injection: 40 mg

How should I keep pantoprazole stored?

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

Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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Summary

Pantoprazole (Protonix) is a PPI prescribed for the treatment of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), ulcers of the stomach and duodenum, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Side effects, drug interactions, pregnancy safety, and warnings and precautions should be reviewed prior to taking any medication.

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See more info: pantoprazole on RxList
Reviewed on 7/13/2015
References
Reference: FDA Prescribing Information

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