What is Pantoprazole? Pantoprazole is an acid reducer and anti-emetic drug that lowers the natural acid production in the stomach. It belongs to a family of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Pantoprazole is sold under various trade names, some of which are Protonix and Pan (made by Alkem). Pantoprazole is advised primarily for erosive esophagitis caused by stomach acid which flows into esophagus and for similar conditions characterized by excessive amount of natural acid production in the stomach like Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Pantoprazole will however, not give you quick relief from heartburn. This medication may also be used for conditions that are not described here. Important Information about Pantoprazole You must not take Pantoprazole antacid and anti emetic medication if you are allergic to it or to any other benzimidazole drugs such as albendazole, or mebendazole. This medication will not give you instant relief if you have heartburn due to acid reflux. Notify your doctor beforehand if you have severe liver disease or magnesium deficiency so that he or she can judge whether it is safe for you to take Pantoprazole. This medication is not recommended if you are already taking medications for HIV or AIDS like atazanavir or nelfinavir. Let your doctor know about it if you are taking them. Initial symptoms of heart attack are often misunderstood as heartburn. Get immediate and urgent medical attention if you have chest pain with pain advancing to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling. Certain conditions require long term treatment with Pantoprazole. Prolonged use of this medication in animal studies is known to cause stomach cancer in them, but the same has not been proven in case of humans. Consult your doctor about your specific risk of stomach cancer. Prolonged Pantoprazole treatment may also lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency as this drug makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamin B-12. Ask about this to your doctor. Pantoprazole usage may cause you to fail on a drug-screening test giving a false positive result. Remember to notify the laboratory personnel about your Pantoprazole usage while giving your urine sample for drug testing. Always store Pantoprazole medication in a cool and dry place. Before taking Pantoprazole Take care of all precautions and points mentioned above before taking Pantoprazole acid reducer and anti emetic medication (Protonix, Pan) and discuss them with your doctor and clarify any doubts you may have about it. Taking a proton pump inhibitor like Pantoprazole may put you on a risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine. This side effect has been observed in people who have taken the medication for a long time or at high doses, and in those who are 50 years or age or more. It is not known properly if Pantoprazole is the actual reason behind the risk of bone fractures. Make sure to inform your doctor if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density). Pantoprazole is an FDA pregnancy category B drug which means it is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby if it is taken during pregnancy. Notify your doctor about your pregnancy or any plan to become pregnant in the near future. Pantoprazole can pass into breast milk and harm a nursing baby. Don’t take this medication without your doctor’s advice if you are breast feeding. How should I take Pantoprazole? Take Pantoprazole acid reducer and anti emetic medication (Protonix, Pan) strictly as directed by your doctor or according to the instructions printed on the medication label. Do not alter the dosage in any way unless your doctor advises you to do so. Also do not take it for a longer than recommended period. You may take Pantoprazole tablets with or without food. Swallow the entire tablet without crushing, breaking, or chewing it. What if I miss a dose? If you miss a dose of Pantoprazole, take it as soon as you remember. Don’t take the missed dose if the time to take the next dose is almost up. Taking multiple doses near to each other can lead to excess medication in your body which can be harmful. What if I overdose? In case of an overdose of Pantoprazole, get emergency medical attention or call the Doctor immediately. Things and Activities to avoid while taking Pantoprazole Pantoprazole medication (Protonix, Pan) can cause diarrhea, which may indicate a new infection. If you have a watery or bloody diarrhea, stop taking this medication and seek medical help immediately. Don’t take medication for diarrhea without your doctor’s advice. Your doctor may advise some restrictions regarding food, beverages and activities while taking Pantoprazole. Obey him or her strictly. Side Effects of Pantoprazole Get emergency medical help if you get some allergic reactions to Pantoprazole (Protonix, Pan) like skin hives, breathing difficulty, swelling in face, lips, tongue, or throat. Pantoprazole may lead to low magnesium, symptoms of which are dizziness, confusion, feeling jittery, irregular and fast heart rate, jerking muscle movements, watery or bloody diarrhea, muscle cramps or weakness, limp feeling, cough or choking, or seizure. Stop taking Pantoprazole if you get those symptoms and contact your doctor right away. Some less serious side effects of Pantoprazole are headache, rapid or irregular heartbeat, unexplained weight changes, upset stomach, gas, stomach pain, insomnia, nausea, vomiting or mild diarrhea. The side effects mentioned above are not all the side effects reported or experienced due to Pantoprazole. You may notice other side effects as well. Pantoprazole Dosing Information Pantoprazole dosage will be fixed by your doctor after examining you properly. Dosage may depend on a range of factors like age, sex, drug allergies, or seriousness of the condition among several other factors. Stick to your doctor’s prescription or instructions that come with medication strictly. Interaction with other Drugs These drugs can interact with Pantoprazole (Protonix, Pan) anti-emetic medicine: atazanavir, ampicillin, digoxin, iron medication, methotrexate, ketoconazole, a blood thinner like warfarin, or a diuretic. The drugs mentioned thus are not all the drugs which can possibly interact with Pantoprazole. There may be others as well. Share the list of all types of medications and related products which you are using with your doctor and never start a new medication without his or her advice.
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