1 What is Protonix?

Brand: Protonix, Protonix IV

Generic: Pantoprazole

Protonix is a proton pump inhibitor used for the treatment of hyperacidity. This drug is used for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease with a history of erosive esophagitis.

GERD is a chronic digestive condition where the acid in the stomach flows back up into the esophagus. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome or other conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid can also be treated with this drug.

This drug works by decreasing the amount of acid produced by the stomach and neutralizes the excess acid in the stomach. This drug requires a prescription.

2 What to Know Before Using

Before using Protonix, you must know all about the risks and complications associated with it. Inform your healthcare provider for any allergic reactions to these drugs or any other drugs, foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. Carefully read the label of non-prescription drugs for any possible allergic reaction or contraindications.

Studies in children regarding the correlation of age to the effects of pantoprazole injection have not been performed while safety and efficacy have not been established. Studies in the elderly have not demonstrated any geriatric-specific problems that would limit the utility of pantoprazole injection.

Indications of harm to the fetus have not been reported in animal studies while risks to the fetus have not been demonstrated in studies of pregnant women. Infant risk is still undetermined when using this drug during breastfeeding. Discuss with your healthcare professional about the potential risks and benefits of taking this drug while breastfeeding.

Drugs should not be taken together to prevent any interactions but in necessary cases inquire your healthcare provider regarding the adjustments in dosage or any other necessary precautions to prevent any unwanted side effects.

Inform your healthcare professional if you are taking any other drugs such as:

  • Rilpivirine
  • Atazanavir
  • Bosutinib
  • Cilostazol
  • Citalopram
  • Dabrafenib
  • Dasabuvir
  • Dasatinib
  • Erlotinib
  • Eslicarbazepine Acetate
  • Gefitinib
  • Ketoconazole
  • Ledipasvir
  • Methotrexate
  • Mycophenolate
  • Mofetil
  • Nelfinavir
  • Nilotinib
  • Pazopanib
  • Saquinavir
  • Topotecan, or Vismodegib
  • Cranberry
  • Levothyroxine
  • Warfarin

Intake of specific food or using alcohol or tobacco with this drug is associated with an increased risk of certain side effects. Your healthcare professional can give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.

Inform your healthcare professional if you have any other medical problems such as:

3 Proper Usage

To use Protonix properly, you must follow all instructions given by your doctor. Take this drug exactly as directed on the label or as prescribed by your healthcare professional.

The delayed-release tablet must be swallowed whole. Splitting, crushing, or chewing the drug is not recommended. You may take the tablet with or without food.

The steps for apple sauce method are the as follows:

Open packet. Mix the packet contents with 1 teaspoonful of applesauce. Do not mix with water, other liquids, or food.

Swallow the mixture at least 30 minutes before a meal. Take it within 10 minutes after you mix it.

Sip some water after you swallow the mixture. This will make sure all of the granules get all the way to your stomach.

Do not chew or crush the granules. Do not divide the packet contents to make smaller doses.

The steps for apple juice method are as follows:

Open packet. Mix the packet contents with 1 teaspoon of apple juice in a small cup or container.

Stir for 5 seconds (granules will not dissolve) and swallow it immediately or take it at least 30 minutes before a meal.

Rinse the container with apple juice to make sure you get all of the drug. Swallow it immediately.

Do not chew or crush the granules. Do not divide the packet contents to make smaller doses.

The steps for using this drug in a feeding tube are as follows:

  • Pour the packet contents in a 2-ounce (60 mL) catheter-tip syringe.
  • Clear any clogs from the feeding tube before you put this drug mixture into the tube.
  • Add 10 mL of apple juice into the syringe. Gently tap or shake the barrel of the syringe to help rinse the syringe and tube.
  • Repeat with an additional 10 mL of apple juice. No granules should remain in the syringe.
  • Take this drug at least 30 minutes before a meal. The dose of this drug will be variable for different patients. The directions on the label or the prescription by your healthcare professional should be followed.

The dosage of this drug you take depends on the medical problem for which you are using this drug. Adults with erosive esophagitis are given 40 milligrams once a day for up to 8 weeks. Your healthcare professional may want you to take pantoprazole for more than 8 weeks for certain conditions.

Children 5 years of age and older and weighing 40 kilograms or more are given 40 mg once a day for up to 8 weeks. Children 5 years of age and older and weighing 15 to 39 kg are given 20 mg once a day for up to 8 weeks. Use and dose in children younger than 5 years of age must be determined by your healthcare professional.

Adults with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome are given 40 milligrams two times a day. Your healthcare professional may increase your dose if needed. Use and dose in children must be determined by your healthcare professional.

A missed dose should be taken as soon as possible. However, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule if it is almost time for your next dose.

Store the drug in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing. Keep out of the reach of children.

Dispose any outdated or expired drugs and ask your healthcare professional for the proper disposal of the drugs.

4 Precautions to Take

Before using Protonix, there are some precautions you must take. Regular visits should be made to your healthcare provider to track your progress and to monitor the effectiveness of the drug.

Unwanted effects can be screened using blood, urine, and other laboratory tests. Prolonged use of this drug may cause atrophic gastritis.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have symptoms of acute interstitial nephritis such as:

  • Fever
  • Joint pain
  • Skin rash
  • Swelling of the body, feet, or ankles
  • or Unusual weight gain after receiving this drug

Prolonged use of this drug may interfere with the absorption of vitamin B12.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have:

The risk of having fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine may be increased by this drug, especially if you are 50 years of age and older, if you receive high doses of this drug, or use it for one year or more.

Taking this drug for more than one year, or if you are using this drug together with digoxin or certain diuretics may cause hypomagnesemia.

Check with your healthcare professional immediately if you have convulsions, fast, racing, or uneven heartbeat, muscle spasms, tremors, or unusual tiredness or weakness.

Check with your healthcare professional before you stop taking this drug unless told to do so by your healthcare professional. Before you have any medical tests, tell the medical healthcare professional in charge that you are taking this drug.

The results of some tests may be affected by this drug. Notify any health care professional or dentist who treats you that you are using this drug since it may affect the results of certain medical tests.

Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any other prescription or nonprescription drugs, and herbal or vitamin supplements.

5 Potential Side Effects

As with many medications, there are several potential side effects associated with Protonix. Side effects may vary for each individual and prompt medical attention should be given if they occur.

Seek advice from your healthcare professional immediately if you experience any unusual symptoms such as:

  • Accumulation of pus
  • Bleeding
  • Blistering
  • Burning
  • Coldness
  • Discoloration of the skin
  • Feeling of pressure
  • Hives
  • Infection
  • Inflammation
  • Itching
  • Lumps
  • Numbness
  • Pain
  • Rash
  • Redness
  • Scarring
  • Soreness
  • Stinging
  • Swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Tingling
  • Ulceration
  • or Warmth at the injection site
  • Changes in skin color
  • Fever pain
  • Tenderness, or swelling of the foot or leg
  • Stomach pain
  • Swollen
  • Red, tender area of infection
  • Drowsiness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Mood or mental changes
  • Muscle spasms or twitching
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Trembling
  • Unusual tiredness or weakness
  • Abdominal or stomach tenderness
  • Absence of or decrease in body movement
  • Blindness
  • Blistering, peeling or loosening of the skin
  • Bloating of the abdomen or stomach
  • Bloody or cloudy urine
  • Bloody, black, or tarry stools
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
  • Cough
  • Dark-colored urine
  • Decreased vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty with speaking
  • Difficulty with swallowing
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Feeling of constant movement of self or surroundings
  • Greatly decreased frequency of urination or amount of urine
  • Hearing loss
  • Hives, itching, or rash
  • Increased watering of the mouth
  • Indigestion joint or muscle pain
  • Large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
  • Light-colored stools
  • Muscle cramps
  • Pain, or stiffness
  • Pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen
  • Possibly radiating to the back
  • Pale skin puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
  • Red skin lesions
  • Often with a purple center
  • Red, irritated eyes
  • Sensation of spinning
  • Severe abdominal or stomach cramps or pain
  • Sore throat
  • Sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
  • Swelling of the feet or lower legs
  • Swollen glands
  • Tightness in the chest
  • Unexplained bleeding or bruising
  • Watery and severe diarrhea, which may also be bloody yellow eyes or skin

Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. As your body adjusts to the medicine, the side effects will slowly disappear. Ask your healthcare professional about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects.

If any of the following side effects persists or are inconvenient, or if you notice any other effects, or if you have any questions about them, consult with your health care professional. Report any side effects to the FDA hotline at 1-800-FDA-1088.