Pantoprazole is a medication that reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes. It is commonly prescribed for acid reflux, indigestion, heartburn, and stomach ulcers.
What is Pantoprazole?
- Your stomach makes acid to help you digest food
- Stomach acid also kills any bacteria that could make you unwell
- The acid could damage the lining of the stomach, but a mucous barrier stops this from happening
- In some people, the mucous barrier breaks down and inflammation or an ulcer can occur once the acid starts to damage the stomach lining
- Pantoprazole works to stop the stomach from producing too much acid, helping to relieve symptoms
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Pantoprazole Work?
Pantoprazole is part of a group of medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs work by stopping the cells that line the stomach from producing too much acid. This helps to prevent ulcers from forming. If damage or an ulcer are already present, pantoprazole assists with the healing process.
In some people, acid reflux occurs when acid escapes from the stomach up into the oesophagus (food pipe). Acid reflux leads to heartburn, a painful burning sensation in the centre of the chest. It can also leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. As pantoprazole reduces the amount of acid being produced, it can also help to prevent acid reflux.
How do I take Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole is a gastro-resistant tablet that should be swallowed whole with some water. The tablets should not be crushed or chewed. Pantoprazole is usually taken just once per day, one hour before a meal.
What is the dosage of Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole 20mg / 40mg
For reflux or heartburn, a common dose is 20mg of pantoprazole per day.
For oesophagitis (inflammation of the oesophagus or food pipe), the recommended dose is 20mg daily. This can be increased to 40mg if a relapse occurs after healing.
However, patients with liver disease should not exceed a dose of 20mg daily.
What are the side effects of Pantoprazole?
Like all medications, pantoprazole can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Nausea or vomiting (feeling sick or being sick)
- Dry mouth
- Abdominal pain
- Rash or itching
- Sleep disorders
- Tiredness or malaise
- Changes to liver function on blood testing.
These side effects are likely to settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
The risk of benign stomach polyps is increased in patients taking pantoprazole. You should speak to your doctor if you are concerned about this.
Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
What warnings does Pantoprazole come with?
Pantoprazole may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:
- Have severe liver disease
- Have other symptoms such as weight loss, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, or vomiting blood – in this situation another cause for your symptoms should be investigated prior to starting pantoprazole
- Have low magnesium levels
- Are awaiting an endoscopy (camera test into the stomach)
- Have ever had an allergic reaction to a medication
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding.
Your prescriber can then advise whether pantoprazole is a suitable medication for you.
Some medications can interact with pantoprazole. You may be advised that pantoprazole will not suit you if you already take:
- Medications for HIV or AIDS
- Vitamin B12
- Anticoagulants including warfarin
- St John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum).