Protonix (Pantoprazole sodium)
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What is Protonix Used For?
Chemical Name PANTOPRAZOLE (pan-TOE-pra-zole)
PROTONIX is prescription medication that belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). It is used to treat certain conditions in which there is too much acid in the stomach. It is used to treat certain stomach and esophagus problems (such as acid reflux). It works by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach makes. PROTONIX relieves symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and persistent cough. It helps heal acid damage to the stomach and esophagus, helps prevent ulcers, and may help prevent cancer of the esophagus. PROTONIX OTHER USES: This section contains uses of this drug that are not listed in the approved US professional labeling for the drug but that may be prescribed by your health care professional. Use this drug for a condition that is listed in this section only if it has been so prescribed by your health care professional.
- Take PROTONIX exactly as prescribed by your doctor
- PROTONIX tablets can be taken with or without food (take 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.
Before You Start Using PROTONIX You should not take PROTONIX if you are:
- Allergic to pantoprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication
- If you have low levels of magnesium in your blood
- Are pregnant or planning on becoming pregnant
- Breast feeding or planning on breastfeeding
- The chronic use of PROTONIX has caused stomach cancer in animal studies, but it is not known if it would have the same effects in humans. Speak to your doctor about your specific risk of developing stomach cancer.
- Taking PROTONIX may increase your risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine (generally those who are age 50+).
- Before you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density)
- Long-term treatment with PROTONIX may also make it harder for your body to absorb vitamin B-12, resulting in a deficiency of this vitamin. Symptoms of a vitamin B-12 deficiency may develop slowly and include pale skin, weakness, tired feeling, shortness of breath, and a fast heart rate.
All medications may cause side effects, but usually patients have no, or minor, side effects. Common side effects of PROTONIX may include:
- Weight changes
- Nausea or vomiting
- Gas or stomach pain
- Dizziness, drowsiness, tired feeling
- Joint pain
- Sleep problems (insomnia)
- Rapid heart rate
- Jerking muscle movements
- Feeling jittery
- Muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling
- Cough or choking feeling
- Headache, trouble concentrating, memory problems
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling unsteady
- State of confusion
- Shallow breathing
Product Code: 1755
What is a Generic Drug?
A generic drug is a copy of the brand-name drug with the same dosage, safety, strength, quality, consumption method, performance, and intended use. Before generics become available on the market, the generic company must prove it has the same active ingredients as the brand-name drug and works in the same way and in the same amount of time in the body.
The only differences between generics and their brand-name counterparts is that generics are less expensive and may look slightly different (eg. different shape or color), as trademarks laws prevent a generic from looking exactly like the brand-name drug.
Generics are less expensive because generic manufacturers don't have to invest large sums of money to develop a drug. When the brand-name patent expires, generic companies can manufacture a copy of the brand-name and sell it at a substantial discount.