Protonix for Reflux Disease

Pantoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor, meaning that it works actively to reduce the production of stomach acid. It’s primarily prescribed for the treatment of erosive esophagitis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a disorder where the stomach produces excess hydrochloric acid), and acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which can cause heartburn. Additionally, it can be used to treat ulcers of the stomach or intestines. Proton-pump inhibitors work by blocking an enzyme in the stomach lining that produces acid, giving the stomach and esophagus time to heal.

Pantoprazole, also known by the brand name Protonix, can only be obtained by prescription. The typical recommended dose for adults diagnosed with GERD is 40 mg daily for no longer than 8 weeks. If you’re prescribed Protonix, you should take the tablet 30 minutes before your meal and swallow it whole. Don’t crush, split, or chew the tablets.

While pantoprazole is less likely to interact with other drugs than omeprazole, by reducing the stomach acid produced, pantoprazole (and other proton-pump inhibitors) may also reduce the effectiveness of Nizoral (ketoconazole) and increase the toxicity of Lanoxin (digoxin). Consult your physician if you have questions about other medications you’re taking.

You may experience mild side effects from pantoprazole, such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, constipation, rash, and headaches. It’s rare to experience side effects like nervousness, dizziness, leg cramps, abnormal heartbeat, weakness, muscle pain, and water retention. If you have side effects other than those listed, talk to your physician or pharmacist immediately.

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