Pantoprazole (Protonix) is in a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. It decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Pantoprazole is used to treat erosive esophagitis (damage to the esophagus from stomach acid), and other conditions involving excess stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Pantoprazole is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.
Take pantoprazole exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Do not take in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended. Follow the directions on your prescription label.
Pantoprazole tablets can be taken with or without food. Pantoprazole oral granules should be taken 30 minutes before a meal.
Do not crush, chew, or break the tablet. Swallow it whole. The enteric-coated pill has a special coating to protect your stomach. Breaking the pill will damage this coating.
The pantoprazole oral granules should be mixed only with applesauce or apple juice to make swallowing easy. Do not use any other type of liquid or soft food. Sprinkle the granules directly onto a teaspoon of applesauce and swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Or pour the granules into a cup with 1 teaspoon of apple juice, stir for 5 seconds and swallow right away. To make sure you get the entire dose, add a little more apple juice to the same glass, swirl gently and drink right away. Do not save the granule mixture for later use.
To give pantoprazole granules through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube:
- Attach a 60-milliliter syringe to the NG tube and remove the plunger. Hold the syringe high enough to prevent any bends in the tube.
- Sprinkle the granules into the syringe barrel and mix in 2 teaspoons of apple juice. Gently tap or shake the syringe as it empties into the tube.
- Add another 2 teaspoons of apple juice to the syringe to help rinse the granules through and to make sure the entire pantoprazole dose is given. Tap or shake the syringe as the juice empties into the tube.
- Repeat the rinse with 2 teaspoons of apple juice at least twice more, gently shaking the syringe as it empties into the tube. Make sure there are no granules remaining in the syringe or NG tube.
This medication can cause you to have a false positive drug-screening test. If you provide a urine sample for drug-screening, tell the laboratory staff that you are taking pantoprazole.
Take pantoprazole for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while you are taking this medicine.
Store pantoprazole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction to pantoprazole: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using pantoprazole and call your doctor at once if you have symptoms of low magnesium such as:
- fast or uneven heart rate;
- jerking muscle movements;
- feeling jittery;
- diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
- muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling;
- cough or choking feeling; or
- headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems, weakness, loss of appetite, feeling unsteady, confusion, hallucinations, fainting, seizure, or shallow breathing.
Less serious pantoprazole side effects are more likely to occur, such as:
- weight changes;
- nausea, vomiting, mild diarrhea;
- gas, stomach pain;
- dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling;
- joint pain; or
- sleep problems (insomnia).
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.