Pantoprazole is a substituted benzimdazole which is used for adults and children to assist with erosive esophagitis, both to assist in the healing process and to help reduce the chances of relapse. Those with daytime or nighttime symptoms can use pantoprazole equally to assist in the treatment of their symptoms.
Indications and Usage
Pantoprazole may be marketed as pantoprazole sodium, Protonix or Granule and is available in 2 strengths, a 40 mg tablet or a 20 mg tablet. These tablets are to be taken once a day to assist in the healing of erosive esophagitis, as well as assisting the patient in avoiding a relapse. Those with onset daytime or nighttime heartburn may also use pantoprazole to relief their symptoms.
Delayed release formulas of pantoprazole will be available in tablet or liquid form. Tablets can be taken with or without food around the same time every day. Tablets should not be crushed or chewed as this will allow the medication to enter into the patient's body too quickly. The liquid form can be mixed with applesauce or apple juice and taken around 30 minutes before the patient's next meal. Apple products are essential to creating the proper Ph balance for these tablets, so do not use other liquids. If you are allergic or have difficulty eating apples, talk with your doctor about how to proceed. Do not mix these doses in advance of the time you will be taking them.
Pantoprazole is also available in a delayed-release suspension form, which comes in granules. These should be mixed into a teaspoon of applesauce, stirred until the granules dissolve and swallowed immediately. Do not chew the granules or take them without an applesauce product to ensure the proper Ph balance.
Adults will typically receive one 40 mg tablet daily for up to 8 weeks. If symptoms continue beyond this eight week point, you will need to contact your doctor to determine the best course of action. Children may take between 20 to 40 mg of pantoprazole daily depending on their size and the severity of their symptoms. Those under the age of 5 should not use pantoprazole. The minimum effective dose of pantoprazole is 20 mg per day. Doses should not exceed 40 mg per day.
Pantoprazole has been shown to interfere with pregnancy, so you should talk to your doctor before beginning a regimen. This may be due to the fact that women seem to clear pantoprazole from their system more slowly than men. Talk with your doctor about how to adjust your dosage to make up for this issue. You should not take pantoprazole during pregnancy unless it can be determined that the potential benefits outweigh the risk.
Seniors appear to have a slight decrease in their ability to clear pantoprazole from their system compared to younger users. Doses are not usually restricted based on age difference, but you may need to monitor your condition more carefully if you appear to be developing side effects.
Those with renal impairment do not appear to have issues clearing pantoprazole from their system, but those undergoing hemodialysis will need to have their condition monitored to ensure that they are not developing side effects.
Pantoprazole Side Effects
The most common side effects to pantoprazole include headache, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, flatulence, insomnia, rash, burping, high blood sugar, vomiting or abnormal liver function tests. These side effects are not usually severe and tend to decrease in severity as the patient continues their use of the medication. Inform your doctor about any side affects you are experiencing. You may be told to alter your diet to help accommodate these symptoms to decrease the severity of your reaction.
Less common side effects, occurring in less than 1 percent of those in clinical trials include neck pain, gastroenteritis, high fat levels in the blood, migraines or headaches, flue syndrome, increased cough or chest pain, respiratory tract infections, sore throat or inflammation of the nasal passages. In some cases, pantoprazole can lead to an increased risk of bone fractures due to low blood magnesium. These side effects should be reported to a medical professional right away to help avoid a potentially serious condition. Your doctor will recommend any other medications or adjustments that may be necessary to limit these symptoms.
In very rare cases, patients have reported impotence, heat attack, goiter, confusion, weight gain, hepatitis, dry mouth, lack of appetite, ringing in the ears or depression while on pantoprazole. These side effects are quite serious and need to be reported to a medical professional as soon as possible. If at any point you feel as though your life is at risk, particularly if you may be having a heart attack, contact emergency medical services for assistance.
Pantoprazole is placed in pregnancy category B, meaning there is a chance that the drug may cause harm to the fetus, though no studies have currently been done on human subjects. It has been shown that nursing mothers can transfer this drug to their children, which increases the risk that the infant will suffer an adverse reaction or side effects. You should discontinue using pantoprazole during pregnancy and while breastfeeding to eliminate these risks.
Overdoses to pantoprazole are very rare, but in the case where they have been reported, ataxia, hunched sitting, lateral position, segregation, absence of ear reflex, tremors, hypo-activity and acute toxicity have been reported. Overdosing on pantoprazole also increases the user's risk of suicide. If you begin to notice these changes in a patient, contact emergency medical services right away. If you already have a tendency toward any of these conditions, inform your doctor before starting on pantoprazole to avoid a potentially negative reaction.
Drug interactions with pantoprazole have not been reported. It is essential that you mix the drug with the proper substances to ensure that it takes on the proper balance before entering the body. Those who suffer from hypersensitivity to any of the components in pantoprazole may suffer a reaction to this medication. If you have any medical allergies, especially a known allergy to substituted benzimidazole products, inform your doctor before you begin to take pantoprazole to help avoid a negative reaction to the drug.