Stomach acid can be problematic. Excess of it can often lead to heartburn and acid reflux, eventually causing serious ailments like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is where Pantoprazole comes into the picture. It is an oral tablet that reduces the amount of acid produced in your body. In this article, we’ll discuss this drug in greater detail. Keep reading.
Table of Contents
- What Is Pantoprazole? How Does It Work?
- What Are The Uses Of Pantoprazole?
- What Are The Side Effects Of Pantoprazole?
What Is Pantoprazole? How Does It Work?
Pantoprazole is a prescription drug that is quite often used as an oral tablet. It also is available as an oral liquid suspension or in the intravenous form (where a healthcare provider injects it into your system).
It works to reduce the amount of acid your body produces. This can help treat ailments like GERD. The drug works by shutting off the acid-pumping cells in your abdomen. This way, it reduces the amount of stomach acid and offers relief from related ailments.
Let’s take a deeper look into how this drug can help you.
What Are The Uses Of Pantoprazole?
1. Fights GERD
A study shows that oral Pantoprazole may improve the quality of life in people with GERD (1). The drug is also found to be well tolerated among patients. This is especially true in the older population, which is at a higher risk of developing GERD.
In another study, Pantoprazole showed excellent relief and was well tolerated by subjects. Throughout the entire study, more than 90% of the patients showed improvement without any adverse effects. And just 4 patients had discontinued the treatment due to adverse effects (2).
Pantoprazole belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These are observed to be the most effective treatment for GERD (3). GERD occurs when the refluxed acid and pepsin come in contact with the esophageal mucosa.
2. Helps Treat Erosive Esophagitis
Though similar to GERD, this condition is characterized by an inflamed esophagus. This happens due to the increase in the number of a type of white blood cells in the lining of the esophageal wall. Thanks to its activity as a proton pump inhibitor, Pantoprazole can be a safe and effective treatment for erosive esophagitis (4).
GERD, if left untreated, can often lead to erosive esophagitis. This means treating the former can eliminate your risk of developing the latter.
3. Helps Cure Helicobacter pylori Infection
Helicobacter pylori (bacteria) can enter your body through the digestive tract and live there for years, leading to severe ulcers in the lining of your stomach and small intestine. The infection may also lead to stomach cancer in some people. But Pantoprazole may cure this infection.
In a German study, of the 52 patients treated with Pantoprazole, 47 had shown great decline in the levels of the Helicobacter pylori infection (5).
4. Aids Treatment Of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
This is a condition in which one or more tumors form on your pancreas or the upper part of your small intestine. These tumors secrete gastrin (a hormone) in large amounts, causing your stomach to produce excess acid. Eventually, all of this leads to peptic ulcers or even diarrhea.
Studies show that Pantoprazole, when administered in doses between 40 and 160 mg, can control acid hypersecretion in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (6). In the studies, Pantoprazole was also found to be well tolerated and caused minimal adverse effects.
5. Relieves Persistent Cough
Studies on proton pump inhibitors show some interesting results. Cough associated with GERD can show great improvement with PPIs (7). Persistent cough is often caused by untreated GERD. Since Pantoprazole plays an important role in treating GERD, it also helps relieve the associated cough (8).
These are the uses of Pantoprazole. Its activity boils down to reducing excess stomach acid. Given that GERD and the related ailments are on the rise today, Pantoprazole serves as the ideal drug to deal with these issues.
But wait, before we go ahead singing praises of this prescription medicine, let’s take a look at the other side too.
What Are The Side Effects Of Pantoprazole?
Some common side effects include diarrhea, headache, gas, dizziness, joint pain, and nausea or vomiting (9). If any of these persist, please consult your doctor.
Serious side effects of Pantoprazole include:
Using proton pump inhibitors, like Pantoprazole, for more than three months in a row can cause magnesium deficiency (10). Symptoms include tremors, muscle weakness, seizures, and dizziness.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Using Pantoprazole for more than three years can make it difficult for your body to absorb vitamin B12. Symptoms include nervousness, numbness, improper muscular coordination, and changes in your menstrual cycle. Studies show that the nonjudicious use of such proton pump inhibitors can lead to nutrient deficiencies, including that of vitamin B12 (11).
Other Serious Side Effects
These include bone fractures and kidney damage (characterized by changes in urination and pain in your side and back).
Pantoprazole may interact with certain drugs. These include HIV drugs like Atazanavir and Nelfinavir, anticoagulants like Warfarin, and drugs affected by stomach pH like Ketoconazole, Ampicillin, and iron salts.
If you experience any of these serious side effects, please consult your doctor right away.
Pantoprazole works great for GERD and other related issues. But do check with your doctor regarding this – more so if you are already on any other medication.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
What is the dosage of Pantoprazole?
The dosage can vary from 20 mg to 40 mg. But, this depends on your health condition. Hence, it is best to check with your doctor.
What is the best time to take Pantoprazole?
Ideally, you must take it once a day, first thing in the morning. If you are to take it twice a day, you can take once in the morning and once in the evening. Taking Pantoprazole at least an hour before meals works best.
Can you take antacids with Pantoprazole?
Yes, you can. But to be on the safe side, please check with your doctor.
How long does Pantoprazole take to work?
You should start feeling better in as little as 2 to 3 days. And for the medication to show its complete effects, it might take up to 4 weeks.
What drugs are similar to Pantoprazole?
As discussed, Pantoprazole belongs to a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Other similar drugs include Lansoprazole, Rabeprazole, and Omeprazole.
Is there a generic version for Pantoprazole?
Yes, and it is called Protonix. It is available with the active ingredient pantoprazole.
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- “Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease”. Brown University, Patient Education Series.
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