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Pantoprazole (Generic Protonix)
What Is Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that directly tackles problems with excessive stomach acid. This can include a range of conditions such as GERD or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
You will find this medication under the brand name Protonix, and it is available in three main forms:
- Oral tablets
- Oral liquid
How Does Pantoprazole Work?
Protonix – or Pantoprazole – works by decreasing the levels of acid in your stomach. As a member of the PPI family, it does this by inhibiting the cells in your stomach that pump acid into it.
This leads to lower levels of stomach acid which can prevent a whole assortment of symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and more.
What Is Pantoprazole Used For?
Pantoprazole is widely used to treat the symptoms of GERD. This condition happens when excess stomach acid flows back into the esophagus and causes irritation. It can lead to the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Swallowing issues
- Abdominal and chest pain
- Persistent cough
Alongside this, Pantoprazole is used to treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. This is a rare digestive disorder that affects the small intestine and leads to excess stomach acid production.
What Are The Side Effects Of Pantoprazole?
The side effects of Pantoprazole vary from mild to severe. Here are some of the mild and most common side effects you may experience:
- Stomach pain
- Mild dizziness
- Joint pain
- Constipation or diarrhea
Individuals who report these side effects usually state that they go away within a few days or weeks. They aren’t a major cause for concern, but if they persist for numerous weeks or start to get worse, you should speak to a medical professional and stop taking Pantoprazole.
As well as the mild side effects there are some severe ones you should keep an eye out for:
- Broken bones
- Stomach polyps
- Allergic reactions
- Severe diarrhea
- Magnesium deficiency
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Kidney pain
When any of these signs are present, you should immediately stop taking Pantoprazole and seek medical assistance.
How Do You Take Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole comes in various forms but it is commonly prescribed as an oral tablet. Your doctor will decide on the strength of the tablet based on your symptoms and needs. This also determines your daily dose, but all of this will be outlined when you obtain your prescription.
We strongly advise reading the information sheet that comes with your Pantoprazole tablets as this also contains extra info on dosages and what medications may interact with this drug.
The general guidelines for taking Protonix are to swallow the tablets whole, with or without food. Keep taking your dose as prescribed by your doctor unless you see any negative side effects. If your symptoms don’t change and you’re still experiencing issues with high levels of stomach acid, it’s a good idea to consult your doctor and they may prescribe a higher dose.
Frequently Asked Questions About Pantoprazole
What Are the Most Common Side Effects of Pantoprazole?
The most common side effects of Pantoprazole are headaches, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and joint pain.
What to Avoid While Taking Pantoprazole?
While taking Pantoprazole, you should avoid the following:
- Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can worsen stomach issues and interact with pantoprazole.
- Excessive caffeine – Caffeine can irritate the stomach lining.
- Some foods – High-fat foods, acidic foods and spicy foods should be avoided as all of them can exacerbate symptoms of GERD.
- Smoking – Smoking can reduce the effectiveness of pantoprazole by stimulating acid production, making symptoms worse.
- Other medication – You should avoid medication like other acid reducers, blood thinners, and some antifungal medication.
The list above is in no way exhaustive, so make sure to always consult your doctor before taking any substances while taking pantoprazole.
How Long Does It Take for Pantoprazole to Work?
Pantoprazole starts to reduce stomach acid within a few hours, but you should start to notice a real difference within 2 to 3 days given you use it consistently and take the medication as prescribed. The full benefits might not be noticeable for several weeks.
What Is the Typical Dosage for Pantoprazole?
The dosage will vary depending on the medical condition being treated and several other factors. But generally, for GERD the starting dosage is 40 mg once daily for up to 8 weeks.
Your doctor may decide that you need an alternate dosage depending on your specific situation. It’s important to follow the instructions provided by your doctor and never take more than what is prescribed.
Do You Need a Prescription for Pantoprazole?
Yes, you need a prescription from your doctor to get Pantoprazole.
For more detailed information about pantoprazole, you can refer to the following sources:
- Protonix prescription label, Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
- Pantoprazole, Drugs.com.
- Pantoprazole, MedlinePlus.
- Pantoprazole, U.S. National Library of Medicine.
The content on this page has been medically reviewed for accuracy and comprehensiveness by Amy Dougherty, FNP-BC, AGAC
Content on the DrHouse website is written by our medical content team and reviewed by qualified MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. We follow strict content creation guidelines to ensure accurate medical information. However, this content is for informational purposes only and not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. For more information read our medical disclaimer.
Always consult with your physician or other qualified health providers about medical concerns. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it based on what you read on this website.
If you are experiencing high fever (>103F/39.4C), shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, heart palpitations, abnormal bruising, abnormal bleeding, extreme fatigue, dizziness, new weakness or paralysis, difficulty with speech, confusion, extreme pain in any body part, or inability to remain hydrated or keep down fluids or feel you may have any other life-threatening condition, please go to the emergency department or call 911 immediately.
Frequently asked questions
Can I Get a New Prescription or Refill an Existing One Through DrHouse?
Yes, you can get a new prescription or refill an existing one online through DrHouse. You just need to start a consultation with one of our licensed providers and they will be able to assess your needs and provide you with a prescription if necessary.
Please note that the final decision always rests with the doctor based on their professional judgment and your health needs.
What Medications Can't be Prescribed Online By DrHouse?
There are certain medications that cannot be prescribed online by DrHouse physicians due to safety reasons. These include controlled substances, such as opioids and other narcotics, as well as drugs with a high potential for abuse or dependence. DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
How Do I Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
With DrHouse getting a new prescription or a refill for your current Rx is a straightforward and quick process. All you need to do is follow a few easy steps:
- Download the DrHouse telehealth app on your mobile device.
- Create an account by providing basic information and medical history.
- Start an on-demand virtual video consultation with one of our licensed physicians.
- Discuss your medical needs and concerns with one of our physicians.
- A doctor will review your medical history, symptoms, and current medications (if any) to determine if an online prescription is appropriate for you.
- If a physician approves, they will electronically send a new prescription or refill request to the pharmacy of your choice.
- Pick up your medication from the pharmacy.
DrHouse makes it easy for you to get an online prescription from the comfort of your own home. No more waiting in line at the doctor’s office or pharmacy, and no need to take time off work to see a doctor. Our telehealth platform allows you to access quality medical care from anywhere with an internet connection.
For more information about how our telehealth platform works visit our “How DrHouse Works” page.
What Will My Appointment for a New Prescription or Refill Look Like?
During your virtual consultation with a DrHouse physician, you will have the opportunity to discuss your medical needs and concerns.
The consultation will consist of a video call where a physician will assess your medical history and ask you questions about your symptoms and any other relevant information. This is to ensure that a physician has all the necessary information to make an informed decision about your prescription.
You can also ask any questions or clarify any doubts you may have about your condition or medication. Our physicians are happy to address any concerns you may have.
Once a physician has assessed your needs, they will determine if and what type of prescription is appropriate for you. If a new prescription or refill is approved, a doctor will send it electronically to your chosen pharmacy.
How Long Does It Get To Get a Prescription Online With DrHouse?
With our on-demand telehealth service, you have the opportunity to see the first available doctor in as little as 10 to 15 minutes. However, the exact consult time will depend on the complexity of your case and the thoroughness required by the healthcare provider to make an informed decision.
Is It Safe to Get an Online Prescription from DrHouse?
Absolutely, it is safe to get an online prescription from DrHouse. We are committed to ensuring the highest standards of patient safety and privacy.
All our providers are highly qualified US-based physicians and often affiliated with major hospitals. They are board-certified and from the top U.S. medical schools with an average of 20 years of experience.
We strictly adhere to HIPAA regulations, ensuring your personal and medical information is kept secure and confidential. Also, we comply with all applicable state and federal laws related to telehealth and the prescribing of medications.
Therefore, you can rest assured knowing that your safety and privacy are our top priorities when you use DrHouse’s services.
How Much Does DrHouse Cost?
DrHouse strives to provide accessible and affordable telehealth services. DrHouse urgent care, primary care, and specialist visits are $129 or your copay. This includes everything from your initial consultation through to the prescription of your medication.
The cost of a doctor’s visit may be covered fully by your insurance. A typical copay is around $25. We recommend checking with your insurance provider to understand the extent of your coverage for telehealth services.
To learn more about how much DrHouse costs, visit our pricing page
Does DrHouse Accept Insurance?
Yes, DrHouse accepts most major insurances, including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and Medicare. The extent of coverage may vary depending on your individual plan.
What Is DrHouse’s Prescription Refill Policy?
Our physicians are able to prescribe up to a 90-day prescription without labs for any previously prescribed medication if it’s medically appropriate and is not classified as a controlled substance.
DrHouse physicians also don’t prescribe Gabapentin, medical marijuana, muscle relaxants, and HRT medications.
DrHouse physicians use their medical judgment to determine whether to prescribe and the duration.
In certain cases, the prescription may be limited to 30 days or less. There also may be a 12-month cap for some prescriptions without labs. For medications requiring annual monitoring (such as blood work or imaging), the maximum prescription limit is 90 days within a year without labs.
DrHouse physicians can refer patients to labs for longer prescription periods or refills.