Pantoprazole is used to treat problems affecting the stomach and gut, such as indigestion, reflux and ulcers. Find out how to take it safely and possible side effects. Pantoprazole is also called Panzop Relief.
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What is pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole reduces the amount of acid produced in your stomach. It belongs to a group of medicines known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
- Pantoprazole is used to treat conditions associated with high levels of stomach acid such as indigestion, reflux and ulcers. It can prevent ulcers from forming, or help the healing process where damage has already occurred.
- Pantoprazole can be used to prevent ulcers caused by medicines such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples of NSAIDs are diclofenac, ibuprofen and naproxen.
- It can be given together with certain antibiotics to get rid of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria found in the stomach that can cause ulcers.
In New Zealand pantoprazole is available as tablets.
- The usual dose of pantoprazole is 20 to 40 mg once a day.
- Your doctor will advise you on how long to take pantoprazole for (usually for 2 to 4 weeks). Some people may need to take it for longer.
- It's best to take the lowest effective dose, for the shortest possible time.
- The pharmacy label on your medicine will tell you how much pantoprazole to take, how often to take it and any special instructions.
How to take pantoprazole
- Take pantoprazole at the same time each day. You can take it with or without food, but it may work better if you take it before food.
- Swallow your tablet whole with a glass of water. Don't crush or chew the tablet or it won't work properly.
- If you forget to take your dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it is nearly time for your next dose, just take the next dose at the right time. Don't take double the dose.
Things to consider while you are taking pantoprazole
Avoid long-term use of pantoprazole
If you don’t need it, pantoprazole shouldn't be taken long term because of the possible side effects. There may be a small increased risk of bone fractures, chest infection, gut infection and nutrient deficiencies such as low magnesium and vitamin B12.
If you’ve been taking a PPI for reflux for longer than 4 to 8 weeks, and your symptoms seem to be well managed, it’s a good idea to talk to your healthcare provider about reviewing your medicine. They may recommend reducing your treatment. This could include:
- Reducing your daily dose of pantoprazole.
- Taking pantoprazole only when you experience the symptoms of heartburn and reflux (also known as on-demand therapy).
- Stopping treatment completely, as your symptoms may not return. It may be best to reduce the dose over a few weeks before stopping.
Read more about PPIs for heartburn and reflux.
Taking other medicines
Pantoprazole may be affected by medicines or herbal supplements, so check with your doctor or pharmacist before starting any new medicines.
Having an endoscopy
Ask your doctor if you should stop taking pantoprazole a few weeks before your endoscopy. It may hide some of the problems that would usually be spotted during an endoscopy.
Possible side effects
Like all medicines, pantoprazole can cause side effects although not everyone gets them. Often side effects improve as your body adjusts to the new medicine.
Rebound acid secretion when stopping
When pantoprazole is stopped, a common side effect is rebound acid secretion, where the acid secretion in your stomach increases significantly. This should return to normal within 2 weeks. Because the symptoms of rebound acid secretion are the same as those of reflux (such as indigestion, discomfort and pain in your upper stomach and chest, feeling sick and an acid taste in your mouth), it can form an ongoing loop where stopping pantoprazole treatment creates the need to start it again.
Rather than restarting pantoprazole, your doctor may advise you to use antacids such as Acidex, Mylanta or Gaviscon. These can be effective for treating rebound acid secretion.
Other side effects
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|Did you know that you can report a side effect to a medicine to CARM (Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring)? Report a side effect to a product.|
New Zealand Formulary Patient Information: Pantoprazole
- Pantoprazole NZ Formulary, NZ
- Pantoprazole NHS, UK
- Stopping proton pump inhibitors in older people BPAC, NZ 2019
- Proton pump inhibitors – when is enough, enough? BPAC, NZ, 2014
- Proton pump inhibitors and the risk of acute kidney injury BPAC, NZ, 2016
- Pantoprazole New Zealand Formulary