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Prescribing Information for Protonix (Pantoprazole):
What is Protonix (Pantoprazole)?
Protonix is part of the drug classification of Proton Pump Inhibitors. PPIs help diminish the amount of acid produced in our GI tract, most specifically the stomach.
This drug is used in treating erosive esophagitis (a disorder of overproduction of acid which damages the esophageal linings), and other similar conditions involving excessive stomach acid production such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Protonix (Pantoprazole) is not a drug for immediate treatment against heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
This drug may also be used for conditions not listed in this medication guide.
What is important to know about Protonix (Pantoprazole)?
One should not use Protonix if you have a known allergy to the drug with Pantoprazole as the generic or to any other Benzimidazole medication like Albendazole, Mebendazole (anti-parasitic drugs) which are used to treat worm infestations.
Protonix (Pantoprazole) does not immediately relieve heartburn signs and symptoms so it is not a drug for this condition.
Take protonix for the entire period prescribed by your physician. The signs and symptoms of the disease you are being treated for may improve even before the condition has been fully treated.
Make sure that you do not take Protonix together with Atazanavir (Reyataz) or Nelfinavir (Viracept). Inform your doctor if you are taking any of these medications to treat HIV or AIDS.
Heartburn is a condition which has presenting signs and symptoms similar to that of heart attack. Seek for emergency medical help if you feel chest pain or a heavy feeling in your chest, pain radiating to the arm or shoulder, nausea, vomiting and generalized body weakness and malaise.
Some medical conditions are treated with Protonix (Pantoprazole) for long term. Chronic use of this drug has caused stomach cancer based on studies conducted on animals, but it hasn’t been known yet if this caused the same for humans. Inform your physician if you have a risk associated with the development of stomach cancer.
Long term treatment of Protonix (Pantoprazole) might also hinder your body from absorbing vitamin B-12, because this vitamin needs an acidic environment for absorption, thus leading to a deficiency. Consult with your doctor if you have concerns about deficiency in this vitamin.
How should Protonix (Pantoprazole) be taken?
You have to take Protonix as prescribed by your physician. Never take this drug in amounts smaller or larger than the amount prescribed. Also take this amount for the entire period set by your doctor for maximum effects. Follow the instruction given by your doctor in your prescription label.
Protonix (Pantoprazole) tablets can be taken with or without food. Oral granules should be taken 30 minutes before taking your meal.
Do not crush, chew or break the tablet as enteric coated tablets have a special coating which protects your stomach from the strength of the drug and breaking the pill damages this special coating. Swallowing the drug whole is the most recommended way of taking the drug.
When drinking the oral granules, be sure to mix it only with applesauce or apple juice to make swallowing easy. Never use any other type of liquid or soft food to take this drug. Sprinkling this drug to a teaspoon of applesauce and swallowing the mixture right away without chewing is a recommended way of taking the drug. Pouring the granules into a cup with 1 teaspoon of apple juice, stirring it for 5 seconds and swallowing it right away is also accepted. Never save an opened and mixed granule for later use.In giving Protonix (Pantoprazole) through an NGT (Nasogastric Tube):
- Attach a 60 mm syringe to the NGT and remove the plunger. Grab the syringe containing the drug high enough (12 inches and above) to ensure the flow of the drug.
- Sprinkle Protonix granules into the syringe and include 2 teaspoons of apple juice. Shake the syringe gently as it flows all the way down to the tube.
- Add another 2 teaspoons of apple juice to make sure that the tube is rinsed of the granules of Protonix and that the entire dosage is served the patient. Tapping and gently shaking the tube also helps.
- Repeat the rinse with 2 teaspoons of apple juice at least two more times while gently shaking the syringe as it empties down. Make sure no granules are left in the syringe or NGT.
It is also important to take note that Protonix (Pantoprazole) may cause a false positive drug test screening. If you have surrendered a urine specimen for drug screening, inform the staff of the lab that you are taking Protonix for them to take note.
Take Protonix (Pantoprazole) for the entire period prescribed by your physician. The signs and symptoms of the disease you are being treated for may improve even before the condition has been fully treated.
Store this drug at room temperature and away from any moisture and heat. Also, make sure to keep it out of reach of children.
Side effects of Protonix (Pantoprazole).
If you experience any of these signs and symptoms of allergic reaction to Protonix like hives, difficulty of breathing, swelling of face, lips, tongue or throat, seek for immediate medical assistance.Protonix (Pantoprazole) may also have less serious side effects like:
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Gas/ stomach pain;
- Joint and muscle pains;
- Dizziness/ faintness;
This is not a complete list of side effects and many other signs and symptoms might occur as a reaction to the drug. Call your doctor right away if you notice something unusual in your body after taking this drug. Side effects may be reported to the responsible authority - FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.