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Aug 25, 2022

Gut Health

6 Things to Know About Pantoprazole

Pantoprazole is a very commonly prescribed medication in the US. It’s prescribed to treat a number of conditions associated with damage from acid in your stomach. Before taking pantoprazole, there are a number of things to consider.

1. Pantoprazole Works by Stopping the Production of Stomach Acid.

Pantoprazole is a medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). These medications work to stop the pump that usually releases acid into your stomach. While your stomach acid is very helpful for digesting food, it can be damaging if it’s overproduced or if it gets to places it shouldn’t. This is because stomach acid is very acidic – so acidic that it can burn any tissue that isn’t specifically protected from it. The stomach has a thick lining of mucus that normally protects it form the acid, but something like your throat doesn’t have this mucus, so it’s susceptible to damage if acid comes up your throat.

How Proton Pump Inhibitors Work

Conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are characterized by the reflux of acid back up your throat, which is painful and can be dangerous. Something like an over-the-counter antacid works by neutralizing the acid in your stomach so it doesn’t burn as much. However, this doesn’t prevent the burning from occurring in the first place, so it is not a long-term solution. A PPI, on the other hand, works to prevent the production of the stomach acid in the first place so there is no acid there to burn your throat.

2. Pantoprazole Can be Prescribed to Treat Various Conditions

The three indications that pantoprazole is approved by the FDA to treat are the following:

  • Short-term treatment of erosive esophagitis (from GERD)
  • Long-term maintenance healing of erosive esophagitis
  • Long-term treatment of hypersecretory conditions

Since pantoprazole stops the production of stomach acid, it’s prescribed to treat conditions where this acid has been causing problems. One complication of GERD is called “erosive esophagitis”. This is a condition where the reflux of acid into your throat has caused damage to the sensitive throat tissue. This leads to pain and difficulty when swallowing, which makes eating and drinking an uncomfortable activity.

Hypersecretory conditions are characterized by an overproduction of stomach acid. This can lead to GERD, ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and even bleeding in your digestive system. Because of this, these conditions have to be treated long-term to suppress the acid and prevent damage from the overproduced acid.

3. There are Different Side Effects for Children and Adults

Often children are treated as “tiny adults” when it comes to medicine. However, their bodies work differently than adults and one of the ways this is highlighted is with side effects to medication.

The three most common side effects in adults are:

  • Headache (common)
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain

In children (1–16 years old), there are slightly more common side effects, and they are mostly different from those felt by adults.

  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Upper respiratory infection

In both children and adults, side effects are uncommon and usually experienced by fewer than 5% of people taking pantoprazole. However, it’s important to be aware of the effects you or your child may experience while taking any medication.

4. The Effectiveness and Safety of Some Medications May be Affected by Pantoprazole

Some medications interact with pantoprazole in the body. This can reduce the effectiveness of other medications or cause the reduced effectiveness of pantoprazole. Sometimes this is not a major concern, but other times it can be very dangerous, such as with medications that treat cancer, HIV, or blood clotting disorders. Some medications must be avoided altogether while on pantoprazole, while others just need you to be more closely monitored while taking multiple medications.

  • Clopidogrel
  • Certain anti- HIV medications (such as delavirdine, rilpivirine, atazanavir, nelfinavir, and saquinavir)
  • Methotrexate
  • Certain anti-cancer drugs (acalabrutinib, dacomitinib, dasatinib, pazopanib, and pexidartinib)
  • Certain antibiotics (cefditoren and cefuroxime)

Because of the risk involved with taking other medications while on pantoprazole, it’s extremely important to tell your healthcare provider about all prescription medications, over-the-counter medications, natural health products, and supplements you are taking.

5. There are Risks When Taking Pantoprazole Long-term

Sometimes people get prescribed PPIs for a long period of time to treat longer-term issues, such as hypersecretory conditions or the healing of erosive esophagitis. While this is useful and often necessary, there are also some dangers involved with suppressing your acid production for a long time.

The most well documented issue with taking pantoprazole long-term is the risk of developing a vitamin or mineral deficiency. Some vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium, require acid to be released from food and/or absorbed into your body. Left untreated, this can lead to major dangers to your health, such as osteoporosis, eye damage, and heart problems.

Other possible dangers involve the increased risk of developing an infection from the bacteria Clostridium difficile, developing ulcers, and even stomach cancer. However, these conditions have not been as extensively linked to long-term PPI use, so they can’t be taken as seriously.

While these conditions can be treated, it’s also possible to avoid them altogether by reducing the amount of time you remain on PPIs. Some patients need to stay on PPIs indefinitely, but it’s still worth talking about the risks vs. benefits of staying on pantoprazole long-term.

To learn more about these risks, read our article about risks of long-term PPI use.

6. You Can Get Pantoprazole for a Price as Low as $6 per Month

Marley Drug offers generic pantoprazole at a lower price as part of our Wholesale Price List. A 6-month supply would cost you $37, and a full 12-month supply only $70, which is less than $6 a month! We also offer free shipping with our 6- and 12- month supplies, so your medication gets delivered right to your door in 2-3 business days with no extra costs.

Our medications are priced this way because we buy them directly from wholesalers and are therefore able to cut out the insurance company middlemen who usually increase the costs of drugs with their “service fees”. By avoiding this, our prices are competitive and often better than most insurance plans.

Order Pantoprazole

To learn more about the pricing of pantoprazole, visit our blog post on how to save money by buying more pantoprazole

Prices mentioned in this article are based on average retail price at major box chain pharmacy in the U.S. as of July 5, 2022.
  1. Protonix (pantoprazole) – Access data FDA-Approved Drugs [Internet]. [amended 103/2012; accessed 07/2022].
  2. Koyyada, A. (2021). Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors as a risk factor for various adverse manifestations. Therapies, 76(1), 13-21. doi: 10.1016/j.therap.2020.06.019
  3. Nehra, A., Alexander, J., Loftus, C., & Nehra, V. (2018). Proton Pump Inhibitors: Review of Emerging Concerns. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 93(2), 240-246. doi: 10.1016/j.mayocp.2017.10.022

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