Every second German knows the painful feeling that comes with heartburn (reflux disease), when the stomach acid flows back into the esophagus. Here, the drug pantoprazole can remedy this, as it causes a reduction in acid production in the stomach. Therefore, pantoprazole is also used in ulcers in the stomach and duodenum and in a pathological overproduction of gastric acid, the so-called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. As with other medicines, taking pantoprazole is associated with side effects.
This is how pantoprazole works
Pantoprazole belongs to the group of Proton pump inhibitors, which also includes the active substances esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole and rabeprazole. Proton pump inhibitors reduce gastric acid production.
Chemically, gastric acid is hydrochloric acid, which is composed of positively charged hydrogen protons and negatively charged chloride ions. However, only the hydrogen protons are important for the acidic properties of the gastric juice. As the name implies, the proton pump inhibitors hinder the work of the proton pumps and thus ensure that fewer protons get into the stomach. As a result, the concentration of gastric acid decreases and the pH in the stomach increases.
Compared to the other proton pump inhibitors, pantoprazole is characterized by rapid onset of action and long-term efficacy. Because of its rapid action, pantoprazole can also be used spontaneously in heartburn on the appearance of the symptoms.
Treat with ulcerations with pantoprazole
Pantoprazole is not only at heartburn effective, but also helps patients who suffer from ulcers in the gastrointestinal area. In the affected areas, the mucous membrane is often severely damaged by stomach acid. Because of this, the tissue layers lying under the mucous membrane are open and usually also damaged. Pantoprazole accelerates the healing of ulcers by eliminating the cause of the injury, the stomach acid. It also helps to relieve cramping pain that occurs especially when the digestive tract is active.
Proton pump inhibitors such as pantoprazole are also used when taking medications that may cause gastrointestinal injury. In such cases, pantoprazole may be the Prevent formation of ulcers or heal already formed ulcers.
The trigger of ulcers is often the bacterium Heliobacter pylori, which is present in over 80% of all patients who suffer from an ulcer. To combat this germ, pantoprazole is often taken with antibiotics. This treatment is called eradication therapy.
Dosage of pantoprazole
This is to be considered when dosing pantoprazole:
- In acute conditions, a dose of 40 milligrams of pantoprazole can be taken over a longer period of time.
- If it is only used as a preventive measure, on the other hand, a dose of 20 milligrams is sufficient. Pantoprazole is used as a preventive measure to prevent inflammation in the stomach, duodenum and esophagus.
- From a dose of 80 milligrams, pantoprazole should be taken twice a day.
Low-dose drugs with the active ingredient pantoprazole are now available without a prescription in the pharmacy. Generally, however, that the dosage of pantoprazole should always be agreed with the attending physician.
Side effects of pantoprazole
As with other medicines, pantoprazole may also be associated with side effects. In general, however, pantoprazole is considered to be well tolerated.
These side effects may occur when you take pantoprazole:
- To the most common side effects include headaches as well as constipation, bloating and diarrhea.
- Occasionally It can also cause nausea and vomiting as well as dizziness and allergic skin reactions.
- To the rather rare side effects Pantoprazole includes joint pain, dry mouth and nephritis.
Especially the kidney inflammation should be given special attention. This side effect is particularly treacherous because its symptoms are similar to those that have led to the use of pantoprazole. If nausea and vomiting persist during treatment, it is important to consider nephritis as a possible cause. Because only if the intake of pantoprazole is stopped in time and the kidneys are subsequently treated, permanent damage to the kidneys can be avoided.
Very rarely, pantoprazole may cause other serious side effects such as liver damage or severe skin reactions. For a detailed list of the side effects of pantoprazole, please refer to Package insert.
So far, only a few interactions of pantoprazole with other drugs have been found. By taking pantoprazole, the acidity in the stomach changes. As a result, the absorption of certain active substances in the bloodstream can be impaired. These drugs include, for example, the AIDS drug atazanavir and the active ingredients ketoconazole and itraconazole, which are used in fungal diseases.
It can also interact with pantoprazole with drugs containing the blood clotting When taking anticoagulant agents such as warfarin, it must be ensured that blood clotting is regularly monitored by a doctor. Likewise, pantoprazole interferes with the effectiveness of the blood thinner clopidogrel, as do all other proton pump inhibitors. Therefore, these two drugs should preferably not be taken together.
Pantoprazole: Contraindications and Precautions
As with other medicines, pantoprazole must not be taken in cases of hypersensitivity to the drug. Patients who have severely impaired liver function require regular monitoring of liver enzyme levels. If the attending physician detects an increase in the values, treatment with pantoprazole must be discontinued.
The effects of taking Pantoprazole during the pregnancy and breast feeding period have so far been insufficiently researched. In an animal experiment, however, it was found that a high pantoprazole dosage can cause damage to the unborn child. Therefore, the drug should only be used in urgent cases. Even in children, the drug should not be used if possible, since there is not enough knowledge about possible side effects.
In general, when taking pantoprazole, it should be noted that the active ingredient may obscure the symptoms of stomach cancer. Therefore, this diagnosis must first be ruled out by a physician before therapy with pantoprazole can begin. At a Long-term use It should also be remembered that vitamin D12 deficiency may be due to the decreased acidity of the gastric juice.