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Protonix (Pantoprazole)

What is Protonix?
Protonix is a commonly prescribed proton pump inhibitor used to treat the effects of gastric ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, erosive esophagitis, or Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Protonix is the same class of medications as Aciphex, Nexium, and Prilosec, the proton pump inhibitors, and is a newer formulation which is considered to be highly effective. In fact, in most patients, stomach acid secretion drops 85 to 95 percent after one single week of treatment. If you have heartburn caused by GERD, erosive esophagitis, or gastric ulcer disease, Protonix is the best choice for fast, effective release and healing of the problem, not just a "quick fix treatment of the symptoms."

How does Protonix work?
Protonix works as a proton pump inhibitor, effectively stopping the production of acid in the stomach by a significant amount within one week.

Is there anyone who should avoid taking Protonix?
Yes, patients taking certain medications such as ampicillin, iron supplements, or ketoconazole, as well as those who are pregnant, breast feeding, or those who may have stomach cancer or have a family history of stomach cancer should discuss Protonix treatment with their doctor prior to consideration of drug therapy.

When will I see effects of Protonix?
As mentioned above, Protonix is considered a superior choice among proton pump inhibitors due to its fast action and generally patients will notice a significant decrease in their symptoms within the first week of treatment.

How do I take Protonix?
For erosive esophagitis, the usual dose is 40 mg once a day for up to eight weeks. If symptoms persist, your doctor can prescribe an additional eight weeks of therapy. The maintenance dose can be continued on into the future as directed by your doctor. Protonix may be taken with or without food, but be careful not to chew, crush, or split the delayed release tablets as you can alter the tablet's delivery system. If you miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember missing the dose. If it is almost time for your next dose of Protonix, skip the dose that you missed and go back to your regularly scheduled dose. Never take two doses of Protonix at once.

For use in the overproduction of stomach acid, the usual causes for heartburn and stomach ulcers, the usual starting dose is 40 mg twice a day. Space the doses equally such as immediately before or after your morning and evening meal. Your doctor may increase your dose of Protonix as necessary. Doses as high as 240 mg of Protonix per day have been used. Treatment can be continued for up to 16 weeks safely and effectively. It is not recommended for long-term use at this time.

Side effects may include:
Diarrhea, headache, abdominal pain, burping, gas, nausea, vomiting.

Indications of severe allergic reactions such as swelling of the face and throat, eye damage, skin reactions, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, or the development of blisters should be discussed immediately with your doctor. Those with a liver condition should also discuss this with their doctor prior to Protonix treatment.

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