Protonix

Generic Name: Pantoprazole
Brand Names: Protonix/Pantoloc

What is Protonix?

Protonix is in a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. It decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Protonix 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.

Protonix is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.

Protonix may also be used for other purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important information about Protonix

You should not use Protonix if you are allergic to pantoprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox). Protonix is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms. Take Protonix for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated. Protonix should not be taken together with atazanavir (Reyataz) or nelfinavir (Viracept). Tell your doctor if you are taking either of these medications to treat HIV or AIDS.

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

Some conditions must be treated long-term with Protonix. The chronic use of Protonix has caused stomach cancer in animal studies, but it is not known if this medication would have the same effects in humans. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of developing stomach cancer.

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. Talk with your doctor if you need long-term Protonix treatment and you have concerns about vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Before taking Protonix

You should not take Protonix if you are allergic to pantoprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox).

Some conditions must be treated long-term with Protonix. The chronic use of pantoprazole has caused stomach cancer in animal studies, but it is not known if Protonix would have the same effects in humans. Talk with your doctor about your specific risk of developing stomach cancer.

Taking a proton pump inhibitor such as Protonix may increase your risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine. This effect has occurred mostly in people who have taken the medication long term or at high doses, and in those who are age 50 and older. It is not clear whether Protonix is the actual cause of an increased risk of fracture. 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. Talk with your doctor if you need long-term Protonix treatment and you have concerns about vitamin B-12 deficiency.

FDA pregnancy category B. Protonix is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Pantoprazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use Protonix without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

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