What is Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole is a type of medicine called a proton pump inhibitor. It acts in the stomach to decrease the production of stomach acid. The active ingredient pantoprazole works by reducing the production of stomach acid and hence the amount of acid in the stomach. This helps reduce irritation to the lining of the stomach, which relieves stomach pain, acid reflux and bloating. Pantoprazole is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Pantoprazole used for?
Acid inhibitors such as Pantoprazole are used to treat stomach problems such as stomach pain, gastro-oesophageal reflux (acid produced in the stomach that flows back into the food pipe), heartburn, peptic ulcers and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (excessive secretion of stomach acid due to a tumour or enlargement of the pancreas). Pantoprazole can also be used as a stomach coater to prevent stomach problems that can occur as a side effect of certain drugs.
How to use Pantoprazole
Pantoprazole tablets have a special coating to protect them from the acidic contents of your stomach. Breaking or chewing the tablet will damage this coating. Pantoprazole should be swallowed whole with water on an empty stomach, at least one hour before eating. The number of tablets to take, how often and for how long will depend on the condition being treated. It is important to follow the instructions given by your doctor. If your symptoms have not improved in two weeks, you should talk to your doctor.
Pantoprazole is available in tablets of 20 mg and 40 mg. Unless otherwise advised by your doctor, the recommended dose for stomach problems is:
- Adults and children aged 12 and above: one to two 20-mg tablets a day.
The appropriate dose for treating peptic ulcers and stomach conditions should be decided by a doctor. Pantoprazole is not suitable for children under the age of 12. Read the package leaflet before use.
Medicines and their possible side effects can affect individual people in different ways. Side effects that are known to be associated with Pantoprazole are rare, but may include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms;
These side effects will disappear within a few days once the body adjusts to the medicine. Consult a doctor if the side effects are persistent. For more information, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Pantoprazole
Pantoprazole is not suitable for everyone and should not be used if:
- You are allergic to pantoprazole, other drugs that contain proton pump inhibitors or any of the active ingredients in this medicine.
Consult a doctor before using this medicine if you have a severe liver disorder, a shortage of vitamin B12 or are taking the anti-HIV medicine atazanavir. Pantoprazole is known to interact with some medicines. It is therefore important to tell the doctor what medicines you are already taking to make sure the combination is safe.
Pantoprazole should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women without consulting a doctor first.
Pantoprazole may cause dizziness, especially during the first days of treatment. In most cases, the dizziness will go away on its own. Stay out of traffic if you are less alert or feel dizzy.
Alcohol irritates the stomach. Limit or stop drinking alcohol while taking this medicine.