Around 20% of adults experience the symptoms of heartburn once per week. It’s a normal phenomenon, but it has a negative side.
When it occurs frequently, heartburn can point to an underlying medical conditions. Some, such as a bleeding stomach ulcer, can prove life-threatening if left untreated.
Pantoloc is a common proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medication used to treat a variety of heartburn-related conditions. We’ve broken down everything you need to know in this article.
Keep reading to learn what Pantoloc is, when it’s prescribed, and whether it’s right for you.
What Is Pantoloc?
Pantoloc is a brand-name prescription medication that belongs to the Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) family. The generic form of Pantoloc is known as Pantoprazole. Usually, Pantoloc is taken once per day in the morning with a glass of water. The drug comes in tablet form, and it’s the brand name for the active ingredient pantoprazole.
In Canada, virtually all forms of pantoprazole require a doctor’s prescription.
When Is Pantoloc 40mg Prescribed?
This class of medications is used treat a variety of gastrointestinal-related conditions, but most commonly reflux, heartburn, and indigestion. It is also used for more serious conditions such as esophagitis, gastritis, peptic ulcer disease, and more.
Pantoloc works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Your body absorbs PPIs, which ultimately send chemical signals to the acid-forming cells in your stomach. These signals tell those cells to not secrete stomach acid. In more scientific terms, PPIs work by blocking the H+/K+ ATPase enzyme or the gastric proton pump, which is found within the parietal cells of the stomach. This in turns leads to less acid and healing of conditions such as stomach ulcers.
Benefits of Using Pantoloc
Its main purpose is to lower the production of acid in your stomach. This in turns allows for healing of things like inflammation in the stomach or esophagus. It can also minimize the symptoms of heartburn (GERD) or dyspepsia.
Prescription PPIs are used to treat a variety of medium and severe medical conditions, while OTC variants lessen the symptoms of heartburn. The conditions PPIs are prescribed for include:
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Stomach ulcers (Peptic Ulcer Disease)
- Helicobacter pylori infections
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
GERD is a condition that leads to frequent acid reflux. Infrequent occurrences of heartburn are normal in most adults. However, frequent acid reflux can inflame the lining of your esophagus, causing damage, discomfort, and, in rare instances, raises your risk of esophageal cancer.
Pantoprazole, the active ingredient in Pantoloc, is sometimes used to treat stomach ulcers. Ulcers can be caused by a variety of factors, but in most cases, they’re either caused by an abundance of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium, or long-term use of anti-inflammatory drugs.
While ulcers tend to cause only mild discomfort at first, they can become life-threatening if they start to bleed.
Zollinger-Ellison syndrome is a rare condition that increases the body’s production of acid, which is why Pantoloc is often used to treat it.
Pregnancy and Breastfeeding
Pregnant women should always speak with a physician before taking any new medication. Many need to adjust the medications they are taking.
Unfortunately, little information exists about how pantoprazole affects pregnancy and breastfeeding. While some experts think that Pantoloc should be avoided during pregnancy, drug-associated risks have not yet been verified.
The effects of Pantoloc 40mg on nursing infants are yet unknown, and overall it’s recommended discuss with your Obstetrician or Doctor whether this medication is right for you.
Instead, the sorts of lifestyle modifications as noted in the final section of this article (i.e. lifestyle and diet changes) can be recommended.
The standard recommended dose of Pantoloc when treating GERD and similar conditions will be prescribed by a doctor. Most treatment courses last between four and twelve weeks and are often followed up with smaller doses.
How To Take Pantoloc 40 mg
Pantoloc 40 mg should be taken once daily in the morning with a glass of water. Swallow the tablets whole and do not chew or crush them to allow your body to absorb the active ingredients slowly.
If you miss a dose, take a tablet as soon as possible and continue as normal. However, do not “double up” and take twice the amount to account for the missed dose.
If you miss a dose and it’s shortly before the next one, then simply skip the missed dose and continue as normal.
How To Store Pantoloc
Pantoloc should be stored at room temperature in a safe place out of the reach of children. Do not refrigerate or freeze the medication.
Pantoloc Dosages for Specific Conditions
The length of a treatment course and dose prescribed vary based on the severity of the underlying medical condition. For GERD and gastritis, Pantoloc 40mg is typically prescribed for up to three months. Stomach ulcers can require a treatment course that lasts longer. You should speak with your doctor for individualized advice.
Can I Get Pantoloc Over the Counter?
No, you cannot get Pantoloc over the counter in Canada. Unlike in the US, Pantoloc and most other PPI medications aren’t available over the counter in Canada.
There are a few exceptions for heartburn medications but most non-antacids require a doctor’s prescription.
You should always read the warning label on medications obtained OTC, even if you think they’re safe.
What Are the Side Effects of Pantoloc?
Pantoloc side effects are rarely experienced but can arise as with most medications. Most side effects are minor, rare, and resolve themselves on their own.
The most common side effect is a headache, which usually resolves.
Other side effects caused by Pantoloc 40 mg are very rare and may be symptomatic of an allergic reaction. You should consult your doctor if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
- Excessive hunger, thirst, or urination
Pantoloc Long Term Side Effects
Taking pantoprazole for more than a year may increase your chances of certain side effects, including: bone fractures. gut infections. vitamin B12 deficiency – symptoms of which can include feeling very tired, a sore and red tongue, mouth ulcers and pins and needles.
Which Drugs Interact With Pantoloc?
Almost all medications interact with the biology of our bodies and it’s important to speak with your doctorbefore taking a new medication. They will know of your medical history and best be able to advise you on how to proceed.
The common conflicting medications that are proven to interact negatively with pantoprazole include:
- Atazanavir (used to treat HIV)
- Antifungal medicines
- Antidepressants, such as fluvoxamine
- Certain antibiotics
- Blood thinners
Does Pantoloc Cause Weight Gain?
Does Pantoloc Cause Headaches or Diarrhea?
Like many medications, pantoprazole 40 mg can cause a variety of side effects. However, most side effects are rare and should go away after a few days of taking the drug. Headaches and diarrhea are some of the known side effects, and it’s generally best to avoid consuming alcohol while taking the drug.
If you experience diarrhea, it’s crucial that you increase your fluid intake substantially.
Most of these symptoms will go away after a few days of taking the drug.
Does Pantoloc Cause Constipation?
In very rare cases, patients have been known to suffer from constipation as a result of taking Pantoloc. Increasing your fiber intake, drinking black coffee, and cutting down on fatty foods all help if you develop constipation after taking the drug.
Is Pantoloc a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor)?
Yes, Pantoloc is a proton pump inhibitor that is used to reduce the amount of your acid produced by your body.
Antacids are used to treat similar symptoms but neutralize stomach acid instead of reducing the amount of it.
What Precautions Do I Need to Take With Pantoloc?
People who are allergic to drugs like omeprazole and lansoprazole will likely experience allergic reactions when taking pantoprazole. It’s worth speaking to your doctor about your medical history to find out whether you are compatible with the ingredients in Pantoloc.
Liver disease and lupus can cause complications when taking pantoprazole.
Treating Heartburn Without Prescription Medication
If you experience infrequent and mild cases of heartburn, you can take OTC antacids to alleviate the symptoms. Your pharmacist can advise you on which medication you should take.
Mild heartburn symptoms can sometimes be treated by altering your diet or lifestyle. This includes:
- Avoiding fatty foods
- Avoiding spicy foods
- Eating smaller meals at regular intervals
- Sitting up straight while and after eating
- Sleeping at slight incline
Sitting up straight aids your digestion and helps prevent acid reflux while reducing your intake of spicy and fatty foods can help to keep your stomach settled.
However, in severe cases of heartburn, speak to a doctor about prescription medication. Contact your physician if you’re experiencing any of the following or are unsure about your symptoms:
- You experience heartburn more than once per week
- Your heartburn symptoms have become more severe recently
- You experience significant discomfort whenever you have heartburn
- Your heartburn symptoms are becoming more common
- You think you might be suffering from GERD
- You have difficulty or pain when swallowing
- You have severe stomach pain
- You have been using OTC heartburn medication for more than two weeks
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