Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Pantoprazole sodium
Why is this drug prescribed: Protonix blocks the production of stomach acid. It is prescribed to heal a condition called erosive esophagitis (a severe inflammation of the passage to the stomach) brought on by a persistent backflow of stomach acid (gastroesophageal reflux disease). Later, it may be prescribed to maintain healing and prevent a relapse. It is also used in the treatment of conditions marked by constant overproduction of stomach acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome. Protonix is a member of the "proton pump inhibitor" class of acid blockers, which includes AcipHex, Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid.
Most important fact about this drug: Protonix is highly effective. In most patients, stomach acid secretion drops 85 to 95 percent after a single week of treatment.
How should you take this medication: Protonix may be taken with or without food. Do not chew, crush, or split the delayed-release tablets. If you are taking antacids you may continue to do so. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take two doses at once. --Storage instructions... Store Protonix at room temperature.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Protonix. More common side effects may include: Diarrhea, headache Less common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, burping, gas, nausea, vomiting Rare side effects may include: Insomnia, rash
Why should this drug not be prescribed: If Protonix gives you an allergic reaction, you'll be unable to use it.
Special warnings about this medication: Protonix has been proven safe and effective for periods of up to 16 weeks, but hasn't been tested for longer periods and isn't currently recommended for long-term use. Protonix has been known to cause several extremely rare--but very serious--side effects, including severe allergic reaction, severe swelling of the face and throat, eye damage, dangerous skin reactions, and inflammation of the pancreas. Seek emergency care immediately if you begin to have difficulty breathing or swallowing, or begin to develop blisters, eruptions, or peeling skin. If you have a liver condition, make sure the doctor is aware of it. A dosage adjustment may be needed for anyone with serious liver disease. Protonix has not been tested for safety or effectiveness in children.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Protonix is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Protonix with the following: Ampicillin (Omnipen) Iron Ketoconazole (Nizoral)
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: Although no harmful effects during pregnancy are known, there's no definite proof of safety either. Protonix is therefore recommended during pregnancy only if clearly needed. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, inform your doctor immediately. There is a possibility that Protonix may appear in breast milk, causing serious side effects in the nursing infant. If you have to take the drug, you should not plan on breastfeeding.
Recommended dosage: Erosive Esophagitis The usual dose is 40 milligrams once a day for up to 8 weeks. If your esophagus hasn't healed in that time, your doctor may prescribe an additional 8-week course of therapy. The same dose is used to maintain healing. Overproduction of Stomach Acid The usual starting dose is 40 milligrams twice a day. The doctor may increase the dose if necessary. Doses as high as 240 milligrams per day have been used. Treatment may continue for years.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. Although little is known about Protonix overdose in humans, in animal studies it interferes with coordination and reduces activity. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately.