1 What is Aciphex?

Brand: Aciphex

Generic: Rabeprazole

Aciphex belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPI). It works by stopping the pumping of hydrogen ion in the stomach walls, hence decreases the amount of acid produced.

It is used to treat the conditions in which there is too much production of acid in the stomach and also those which occur as a consequence of too much acid.

Duodenal ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome are the few diseases which are commonly treated by this proton pump inhibitor.

It is also used with antibiotics to treat ulcers caused by bacteria like H.pylori. It is a prescription drug which is available in the form of delayed-release capsule and enteric coated tablets.

2 What to Know Before Using

Your doctor will inform you of what you need to know before using Aciphex. The patient is the authoritative figure when it comes to any medical procedure or any drug therapy. It is important for the patient to know all the details about the drug and then start it.

Doctor also has a duty to bring out answers from the patient which play an important role in treatment like history, any allergy or any medical condition the patient has. For this purpose, it is important to have a detailed session between the patient and the physician before starting this drug to sort out all the details.

A detailed history of a patient is extremely important prior to any medical therapy and in this case, it is more likely that a drug is started after it.

Allergies or any history of allergy to any drug, food, preservatives, dyes or animal products; history of drug usage, past medical or surgical procedure should also be kept in the record to predict any drug interaction.

Physical examination should be done before starting this drug so that any physiological or pathological condition with which this drug may interfere may be ruled out.

The age-specific analysis is vital to have information about side effects of different age groups. There are not enough studies in children and older age patients to prove safety and efficacy of this drug in them.

There is also a lack of considerable research in pregnant and breastfeeding women to say that there is any different effect or harm expected in these in comparison to young adults.

Drug interactions are the effects of the therapy or the condition for which the drug is used by other drugs used concomitantly. It is necessary that no drug be started without consulting a physician as another drug may cause an alteration in the effect of a drug or its removal from the body.

The patient should not start any new medication, even over the counter drugs, without consulting the physician to avoid such interactions.

There are certain drugs which are used along rabeprazole which may lead to an increase in side effects. One of the drugs which cause interaction is rilpivirine which should not be used with rabeprazole and the doctor will change one drug or the other to avoid lethal effects. There are some drugs which also affect the working of rabeprazole and doctor may change the dose of either of these.

These drugs include:

  • Atazanavir
  • Bosutinib
  • Cilostazol
  • Citalopram
  • Clopidogrel
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dasabuvir
  • Dasatinib
  • Erlotinib
  • Eslicarbazepine acetate
  • Gefitinib
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ledipasvir
  • Methotrexate
  • Mycophenolate
  • Mofetil
  • Nelfinavir
  • Nilotinib
  • Pazopanib
  • Saquinavir
  • Topotecan
  • Vismodegib
  • Cranberry juice
  • Levothyroxine
  • Digoxin

The effects of certain foods, alcohol, and tobacco on the drug activity should also be asked prior to therapy.

Medical conditions, other than the condition for which this drug is used, may also affect the working of the drug and cause harm. 

It is important for the patient to give detailed history, and important for the doctor to derive such details from the patient to avoid such circumstances.

The conditions which may interact with this drug include diarrhea, low magnesium in the blood, osteoporosis, stomach infection and liver disease.

3 Proper Usage

Rabeprazole is a prescription drug which should be used according to the instructions by a doctor.

It is better to use this medication half hour before the meal to have optimum benefit.

The Higher dose (once a day) formulation is also available which is taken a half hour before the breakfast.

If this medication is taken for treating infection induced gastritis, use it along with other antibiotics simultaneously.

4 Precautions to Take

In using Aciphex, you must be careful and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Precautions are the part and parcel of any treatment and patient must adhere to these to improve the outcome.

It is the duty of the doctor or any medical care provider to make the patient aware of these tips as an aid to the therapy.

  • Regular checkup is necessary to look for the progress of the treatment.
  • Blood tests can be done to look for side effects.
  • Allergic reactions can happen when this drug is used with antibiotics. Get medical help as soon as possible when it happens.
  • Stomach condition may sometimes worsen by this drug as hypersensitivity to the drug.
  • Risks of fracture increases by the use of this drug, especially in older people. Special care should be taken and supplementations should be used to avoid this.
  • Hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) may happen due to this medication. Consult your physician as soon as there is some neurological issue.
  • Do not stop or alter the dose of the drug without consulting your physician.
  • Do not start any other drug, prescription or non-prescription, without consulting your physician.
  • Store it in a dry place at room temperature. Keep it away from the reach of children.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Aciphex. Some drugs are relatively safe for use while for some drugs, the patient should be cautious as these drugs may cause more harm than good.

The patient should always get medical help in case of any adverse effect, no matter how trivial it is.

Some of the effects of this drug include:

  • Swelling of the face and limbs
  • Cough
  • Dark urine
  • Dry mouth
  • Fever
  • General tiredness
  • Light-colored stools
  • Lower back or side pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Painful or difficult urination
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Tingling sensation
  • Unusual weight gain or loss
  • Yellowing of eyes and skin
  • Continuing ulcers or sores in the mouth
  • Convulsions
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Sore throat
  • Unusual bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Bleeding gums
  • Blood in the urine or stools
  • Change in consciousness
  • The difficulty with swallowing
  • Dizziness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Headache
  • Loss of appetite
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pinpoint red spots on the skin and bad taste