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What is Lansoprazole?
Lansoprazole is a type of medicine called a proton pump inhibitor. It acts in the stomach to decrease the production of stomach acid. Stomach acid is necessary to digest food. However, an excess of stomach acid or stomach acid that comes in contact with open wounds in the stomach lining can cause symptoms such as reflux and stomach pain. The active ingredient lansoprazole reduces the production of stomach acid, which helps relieve or eliminate these symptoms. Lansoprazole is a prescription-only medicine.
What is Lansoprazole used for?
Stomach acid inhibitors are prescribed when antacids are not effective. Lansoprazole is used to treat stomach problems such as heartburn, gastro-oesophageal reflux (acid produced in the stomach that flows back into the food pipe), bloating, peptic ulcers and other stomach conditions. Lansoprazole can also be prescribed to prevent stomach problems that can occur as a side effect of certain drugs that irritate the stomach.
How to use Lansoprazole
Lansoprazole capsules should be taken whole with plenty of fluid, preferably in the morning on an empty stomach (about half an hour before breakfast). If you are taking Lansoprazole twice daily, try to take it in the morning and at night. The number of capsules to take, how often and for how long will depend on the symptoms. It is important to follow the instructions given by your doctor.
Lansoprazole is available as 15-mg and 30-mg capsules. A doctor should determine what strength you should use. In adults, the recommended dose for most stomach problems is:
- one 15-mg or 30-mg capsule a day.
The doctor may prescribe a different dose for certain stomach conditions. Always follow the prescribed dosage and read the package leaflet closely before use. Lansoprazole is not suitable for use in children.
Lansoprazole may have side effects, although not everybody gets them. The most commonly reported side effects of this medicine include:
- Gastrointestinal symptoms (nausea, vomiting, stomach ache, diarrhoea, constipation, flatulence);
- Dizziness, fatigue.
Most side effects are usually only temporary and will disappear once the body adjusts to the medicine. Consult a doctor if the side effects are persistent. For a complete list of possible side effects, see the package leaflet.
When not to use Lansoprazole
Lansoprazole is not suitable for everyone. This stomach acid inhibitor should not be used if:
- You are allergic to lansoprazole or any other ingredient in this medicine;
- You are allergic to other proton pump inhibitors;
- You are taking the anti-HIV medicine atazanavir.
Consult a doctor on the use of this medicine if you have a kidney disease or other serious health condition. It is also important that you tell the doctor what other medicines or nutritional supplements you are currently taking when you order. This is to avoid potential interaction and to make sure that the combination with Lansoprazole is safe. For more information, see the package leaflet.
Lansoprazole should not be used, or only with your doctor's approval, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Lansoprazole may cause drowsiness or sleepiness, especially in the initial phase of treatment. Stay out of traffic if you are less alert. Alcohol irritates the stomach. Drinking alcohol should be avoided while taking this medicine.