Pantoprazole: Uses, How to Take & Side Effect

Updated in April 2024

Pantoprazole is a medication that is indicated for the treatment of acid-related stomach problems, such as gastritis, intestinal inflammation gastroesophageal reflux. It works by blocking acid production in the stomach to reduce stomach irritation and symptoms like heartburn and feeling full after eating. 

This medicine can be found in pharmacies or drugstores in the form of pantoprazole sodium sesquihydrate or pantoprazole magnesium dihydrate. The difference is that pantoprazole magnesium dihydrate has a having a longer duration of action than pantoprazole sodium sesquihydrate.

Pantoprazole should be used as prescribed, and dosing depends on the condition being treated. It can be used by adults or children over 5 years of age, for up to 8 weeks of treatment.

Man sitting on couch taking medication with glass of water

Common uses

Pantoprazole can be indicated for the treatment of:

  • Gastritis
  • Gastroduodenitis
  • Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) without esophagitis
  • Pain or discomfort in the stomach caused by ulcers
  • Mild esophagitis;
  • Stomach or intestine ulcer
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

Pantoprazole works by inhibiting the action of proton pumps found in the cells of the stomach wall. These are enzymes that are triggered to produce stomach acid after every meal. By reducing the amount of acid in the stomach, stomach and intestinal issue can heal from acid-related damage.

Pantoprazole can also be used to prevent injuries to the stomach lining and to the beginning of the intestine caused by the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.

When taken with with antibiotics, such as clarithromycin, amoxicillin or metronidazole, pantoprazole may be prescribed to treat H. pyloriinfections and stomach ulcers.

Also recommended: Stomach Ulcer: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment &

Pantoprazole should only be used as prescribed, and treatment is generally carried out for up to 8 weeks.

Is pantoprazole the same as omeprazole?

Pantoprazole is a medicine similar to omeprazole, as they both work by reducing stomach acid production. However, doses are different and the effectiveness of each medication may vary depending on the condition being treated.

Therefore, these medications should only be used if prescribed by a doctor based on each person's individual case and symptoms. 

How to take

Pantoprazole should be taken orally with a glass of water. The tablet must be ingested whole, without breaking or chewing.

Dosing for pantoprazole depends on the condition and symptoms:

1. Pantoprazole 20mg

The normally recommended dose for adults is one 20 mg tablet per day, before, during or after breakfast, for 4 to 8 weeks of treatment.

For children over 5 years of age, pantoprazole doses should be calculated by a pediatrician according to weight.

2. Pantoprazole 40mg

The normally recommended dose for adults is one 40 mg tablet of pantoprazole per day day, before, during or after breakfast, for up to 8 weeks of treatment.

For the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, the recommended dose is 80 mg per day, which can be increased or decreased by the doctor depending on the response to treatment.

When treating gastric or intestinal ulcers caused by H. pylori, pantoprazole with antibiotics should be taken in the morning on an empty stomach, with the normally recommended dose being one 40 mg tablet, twice a day. Treatment time is generally 7 days, and can be extended for up to 14 days.

Possible side effects

The most common side effects that may occur during treatment with pantoprazole is headache, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, belly swelling, abdominal pain, constipation, dizziness, allergic skin reactions, weakness or general malaise.

In addition, there is increased sensitivity to light, hepatitis, generalized outbreak, depression, emergency, joint pain, muscle pain or blurred vision.

Contraindications for use

Pantoprazole should not be used by children under 5 years of age, pregnant or breastfeeding women, people being treated for HIV or anyone allergic to pantoprazole or any other components in its formula.

Furthermore, when combined with antibiotics, pantoprazole should not be used by people with a history or current liver disease.