Written by Rachel Nall | Published on November 11, 2013
Medically Reviewed by George Krucik, MD, MBA on November 11, 2013

What Is Pantoprazole?

Brand Name: Protonix
Generic Name: pantoprazole

Pantoprazole is a medication used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition that causes gastric juices to flow upward from the stomach and into the esophagus. The medication also treats conditions in which the stomach makes excess acid, including Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Pantoprazole is available in tablet, enteric-coated tablet, and packet form.

Those taking the medication should read the directions carefully to determine at what time the medication should be taken each day. For example, the oral suspension is taken 30 minutes before a meal, while the tablet can be taken once or twice per day with or without food.

Read the FDA description of pantoprazole.

What Does Pantoprazole Do?

Pantoprozale is known as a proton-pump inhibitor. The medication works on the cells in the stomach that are responsible for producing acid. When a person takes the medication, the amount of stomach acid is reduced, which can minimize painful symptoms related to GERD.

This information is a summary. Before starting this medication, discuss questions with your healthcare provider and make sure you understand dosage instructions.

What Should I Tell My Doctor Before Starting Pantoprazole?

Tell your doctor if you:

  • have an allergy to pantoprazole or other proton-pump inhibitors, such as dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), or rabeprazole (AcipHex)
  • are pregnant, breastfeeding, or are planning on becoming pregnant
  • have a history of low blood magnesium (hypomagnesium)
  • have a history of osteoporosis or other bone-wasting diseases

What Medications May Interact with Pantoprazole?

Always tell your physician about any prescription medications or herbal remedies you are taking.

Medications that can adversely interact with pantoprazole include:

  • ampicillin (Principen)
  • atazanavir (Reyataz)
  • blood thinners warfarin (Coumadin)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps)
  • diuretics
  • iron supplements
  • ketoconazole (Nizoral)
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
  • nelfinavir (Viracept)

Possible Side Effects of Pantoprazole

The following are severe and emergent side effects of these medications. Report to your medical provider immediately if you experience the following:

  • bone fractures, especially to the wrist, hips, or spine
  • blistering or peeling skin
  • rash
  • signs of a severe allergic reaction, such as facial swelling, difficulty breathing, or hives
  • irregular and/or pounding heartbeat
  • seizures
  • severe diarrhea
  • symptoms of hypomagnesia, such as muscle spasms, arrhythmias or seizures

The following side effects may occur but do not usually represent an emergency. Discuss with your doctor or healthcare professional if they continue or are bothersome.

  • dizziness
  • dry mouth
  • excessive tiredness
  • fever
  • gas
  • headache
  • joint pain
  • lightheadedness
  • muscle spasms
  • nausea
  • vomiting

When taken in the long-term, pantoprazole can lead to vitamin B-12 deficiency and atrophic gastritis, or inflammation of the stomach’s lining.

This list may not describe all possible side effects. Call your doctor or healthcare provider for advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

Where Should I Keep Pantoprazole?

Pantoprazole should be stored at room temperature—somewhere around 68 degrees to 77 degrees Fahrenheit or 20 degrees to 25 degrees Celsius.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

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Article Sources:

●      Pantoprazole. (2012, November 1). Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 29, 2013, from
●      Pantoprazole. (2013, January 15). MedlinePlus. Retrieved October 29, 2013, from
●      Pantoprazole. (May 2012). U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved October 29, 2013, from

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