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Protonix is an acid reducer medication used to treat damage in the esophagus caused by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) known as erosive esophagitis. This medication also helps treat conditions related to excess stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Pantoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) from the substituted benzimidazole class. This drug reduces the production of stomach acid by inhibiting the enzyme that controls acid secretion. Protonix has been found to be effective and safe for treating acid-related diseases.

Protonix helps treat symptoms from conditions related to excess acid secretion such as GERD, peptic ulcers, or non-ulcer dyspepsia. Thanks to its acid reducing properties, this medication also promotes the healing of erosive esophagitis caused by excess acid from gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Uses and Dosage

The dose of Protonix prescribed will vary depending on the person and condition being treated. Always follow your doctor’s instructions and read packaging labels carefully when taking a medication.

  • Take with or without food
  • Swallow delayed release tablet whole
  • Most adults take 40mg once daily
  • You can take two 20mg tablets for easier swallowing
  • Do not take two doses at once
  • Use for the shortest length of time needed to treat your condition
  • Do not use less than the length of time prescribed
  • Pantoprazole may affect drug-screening urine test results
  • Store at room temperature away from moisture and light

Side Effects

Protonix may cause some side effects while it inhibits the secretion of stomach acid in your body. Consult with your doctor for more information and advice regarding symptoms you may come across when taking pantoprazole.

Common Protonix side effects:

  • Headache, dizziness
  • Stomach pain, gas,
  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
  • Joint pain
  • Fever, rash, or cold symptoms (most common for children)

Serious Side Effects

Some more serious side effects may occur when taking Protonix. Stop using this medication and call your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Severe stomach pain
  • Watery or bloody diarrhea
  • Sudden pain or trouble moving hips, wrists, or back
  • Kidney problems (fever, rash, nausea, decreased appetite, joint pain, urinating less than usual, blood in your urine, weight gain)
  • Low magnesium (dizziness, fast or irregular heart rate, tremors or jerking muscle movements, feeling jittery, muscle cramps, muscle spasms in hands and feet, cough or choking feeling)
  • New or worsening symptoms of lupus (joint pain, skin rash on cheeks or arms that worsens under the sun)

If taken long-term, pantoprazole may cause fundic gland polyps to develop in your stomach. If taken longer than 3 years, you could develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Allergic Reactions

Do not take Protonix if you are allergic to pantoprazole or similar medications including lansoprazole, omeprazole, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and others. If you notice signs of an allergic reaction, stop taking this acid reducer and call your doctor.

Protonix allergy symptoms may include:

  • Hives
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat


Protonix is not designed to provide immediate relief from heartburn symptoms and may take a few days to reach its full effect.

Heartburn can be confused for early heart attacks symptoms. Seek immediate medical attention if you develop chest pain, pain spreading from the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.

If taken long term, Protonix may decrease your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B-12 which may result in a deficiency. Speak with your doctor about a plan to avoid vitamin B-12 deficiency if you need long-term Protonix treatment.

Do not use Protonix if you also take other medication containing rilpivirine or if you have any of the following:

  • Breathing problems
  • Kidney problems
  • Severe allergic reaction to past pantoprazole doses

To ensure the safety of taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had any of the following:

  • Low magnesium levels in your blood
  • Lupus
  • Osteoporosis or low bone mineral density

This medication may cause kidney problems. Let your doctor know if you are urinating less frequently or if you notice blood in your urine.

Diarrhea can be a side effect of Protonix and may be a sign of a new infection. Call your doctor if you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody.

Pantoprazole may lead to new or worsening lupus symptoms. Tell your doctor if you develop or notice join pain as well as a skin rash on your cheeks or arms that becomes worsen in sunlight.

When taking this medication long term, you may be more susceptible to broken bones, especially if you are over the age of 50.

Some medications may interact with pantoprazole, tell your doctors about all the medicine you take but especially the following:

  • HIV medications such as rilpivirine, atazanavir, or nelfinavir
  • Blood thinners
  • Digoxin
  • Methotrexate
  • A diuretic

Other medications may also affect Protonix and cause unwanted side effects, including over the counter medicine, vitamins, and herbal products.

Pantoprazole’s effect on unborn babies is unknown. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant before taking Protonix. This medication does pass into breastmilk, but it is unknown whether it will affect a nursing infant; consult with your doctor before using while breastfeeding.

Protonix is not approved for use in anyone under the age of 5.

Form and Strength

This medication is available as delayed release tablets.

Protonix tablet strengths:

  • 20mg
  • 40mg

The 20mg tablets are available in groups of 90 while the 40mg ones are available in quantities of 90 and 100.


When should you take pantoprazole?

You can take your Protonix dose at any time, but for the best effect you should take it before breakfast in the morning. However, the medication can be taken with food as well as on an empty stomach.

How long does Protonix take to work?

Protonix is not designed to provide immediate relief from indigestion, acid reflux, or dyspepsia symptoms but should start to block stomach acid secretion within 2 and a half hours. Pantoprazole needs time to absorb into your system and reduce your stomach acid. Protonix may take up to 4 weeks before your symptoms are relieved.

How long can I take pantoprazole?

The length of time you are prescribed to take Protonix will vary depending on how your body absorbs the drug and what condition you are treating. It is recommended that most people only take pantoprazole for up to 8 weeks. If symptoms persist past this time, speak with your doctor, you may need to continue using this acid reducer medication.



Additional information

Brand Name:


Scientific Name:


Other Names:

Pantoprazole, Pantosec, Pantpas, Somac


20mg, 40mg

Quantities Available:

90, 100


Delayed Release Tablet, Delayed Release Tablet (Enteric Coated)