Protonix (Pantoprazole) Information
PROTONIX is a prescription drug used as a short-term treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). PROTONIX may also be used for a longer period of time for maintenance or healing of erosive esophagitis, and to treat conditions where the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Warnings and Precautions
PROTONIX shouldn’t be used for the immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.
Don’t take PROTONIX if you’re allergic to any other benzimidazole medications such as albendazole (Albenza) or mebendazole (Vermox).
Long-term use of PROTONIX may make it harder for your body to absorb vitamin B-12, which could result in a B-12 deficiency.
PPI use may also increase your risk for fractures in your wrists, hips, or spine. In 2010, however, the FDA decided that there was not enough evidence of fracture risk to merit a warning.
Extended use of PROTONIX has been shown to cause stomach cancer in animal studies, but researchers are unsure if the medication has the same effects in humans.
PROTONIX may be used in children five years of age and older for up to eight weeks to heal acid-related damage to the esophagus. It’s not known if the drug is safe for longer than eight weeks of use in children.
Tell your doctor if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in PROTONIX. You can ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
PROTONIX and Magnesium
Low magnesium levels can also occur in people on PROTONIX for at least three months.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had low magnesium in your blood or if you have ever tested positive for the bacteria H. pylori.
Low magnesium levels can result in serious adverse events such as:
- Muscle spasms
- Irregular heartbeat
If you have low magnesium levels while using PROTONIX, your doctor may advise you to take a magnesium supplement or discontinue treatment.
PROTONIX and Pregnancy
Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breast-feeding before taking PROTONIX.
Although there is no evidence suggesting that PROTONIX use is harmful during pregnancy, it’s recommended that the drug only be used during pregnancy as needed, when no other options are available.
Research indicates that PROTONIX and its metabolites are excreted in the milk of rats, and that they may be excreted in human breast milk as well.
The manufacturer recommends that due to the potential for serious adverse reactions in breastfeeding infants, mothers using PROTONIX may want to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue use of the drug.