What is Protonix?Protonix is a medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces acid and is used in adults for the short-term treatment of acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus (tube that connects the mouth and stomach) (erosive esophagitis) caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). It is also used in adults to maintain healing of erosive esophagitis and helps prevent the return of heartburn symptoms caused by GERD. Protonix is also used in adults to treat conditions where the stomach makes more than the normal amount of acid, including a rare condition called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. In children ages 5 years to 16 years old, Protonix is used for the short-term treatment (for up to 8 weeks) of erosive esophagitis caused by GERD.
What is the most important information I should know about Protonix?Protonix may mask the signs of stomach cancer. Also, long-term use with Protonix may cause chronic stomach inflammation and a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Who should not take Protonix?Do not take Protonix if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in Protonix or if you are allergic to any other PPI.
What should I tell my doctor before I take the first dose of Protonix?Tell your doctor about all of the medicines you take, including prescription and nonprescription drugs, vitamins and herbal supplements. Also, tell your doctor about your complete medical history, including if you are or may be pregnant, are planning to become pregnant, or if you are or are planning to breastfeed.
What is the usual dosage?The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your doctor uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your doctor may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your doctor's approval.
Short-Term Treatment of Erosive Esophagitis Associated with GERD
Adults: The usual dose is 40 milligrams (mg) once a day for up to 8 weeks. If your esophagus hasn't healed in that time, your doctor may prescribe an additional 8-week course of therapy.
Children ≥5 years: For children weighing 33 pounds to <88 pounds, the usual dose is 20 mg once daily for up to 8 weeks. For children weighing ≥88 pounds, the usual dose is 40 mg once daily for up to 8 weeks.
Maintenance of Healing of Erosive Esophagitis
Adults: The usual dose is 40 mg once daily.
Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and Other Excessive Acid Conditions)
Adults: The usual starting dose is 40 mg twice a day. The doctor may increase the dose if necessary. Doses as high as 240 mg per day have been used. Treatment may continue for as long as your doctor feels is necessary.
How should I take Protonix?Take Protonix exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Protonix Delayed-Release Tablets should be swallowed whole, with or without food. Do not chew, crush, or split the delayed-release tablets. If you are unable to swallow a 40-mg tablet, two 20-mg tablets may be taken.
Protonix Delayed-Release Oral Suspension should be administered in applesauce or apple juice approximately 30 minutes prior to a meal. To administer with applesauce, open packet and sprinkle intact granules on 1 teaspoonful of applesauce. Swallow within 10 minutes of preparation. Do not use with other foods or crush or chew the granules. Take sips of water to make sure the granules are washed down into the stomach. Repeat water sips as necessary. To administer in apple juice, open packet, empty intact granules into a small cup containing approximately 1 teaspoonful of apple juice. Stir for 5 seconds and swallow immediately. To ensure you receive the entire dose, rinse the container once or twice with apple juice to remove any remaining granules and swallow immediately.
What should I avoid while taking Protonix?There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activity while taking Protonix, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
What are possible food and drug interactions associated with Protonix?If Protonix is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Protonix with ampicillin antibiotics, atazanavir, iron supplements, ketoconazole, nelfinavir, or warfarin.
What are the possible side effects of Protonix?Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this drug.
Side effects may include: headache, diarrhea, nausea, stomach pain, vomiting, gas, dizziness, upper respiratory infection, fever, pain in the joints, rash
Can I receive Protonix if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?The effects of Protonix during pregnancy are unknown. Tell your doctor immediately if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. There is a possibility that Protonix may appear in breast milk and could cause serious side effects in the nursing baby. If you have to take the drug, you should not plan on breastfeeding.
What should I do if I miss a dose of Protonix?Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take two doses at once.
How should I store Protonix?Store at room temperature.