In this drug factsheet:
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
The following side effects have been reported by at least 1% of people taking this medication. Many of these side effects can be managed, and some may go away on their own over time.
Contact your doctor if you experience these side effects and they are severe or bothersome. Your pharmacist may be able to advise you on managing side effects.
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- any changes in vision
- symptoms of liver damage (such as yellow skin or eyes, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, loss of appetite)
- symptoms of muscle damage (unexplained muscle pain, tenderness or weakness, or brown or discoloured urine - especially if you also have a fever or a general feeling of being unwell)
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- severe skin rash, including skin blistering and peeling (possibly with headache, fever, coughing, or aching before the rash begins)
- symptoms of a serious allergic reaction (such as swelling of the face or throat, hives, or difficulty breathing)
Some people may experience side effects other than those listed. Check with your doctor if you notice any symptom that worries you while you are taking this medication.
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Before you begin using a medication, be sure to inform your doctor of any medical conditions or allergies you may have, any medications you are taking, whether you are pregnant or breast-feeding, and any other significant facts about your health. These factors may affect how you should use this medication.
Diarrhea: When gastric acid is decreased, the number of bacteria normally in the digestive system increases. Occasionally, this can cause serious infection in the digestive tract. If you experience severe watery or bloody diarrhea, fever, or abdominal pain while taking pantoprazole, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Electrolyte balance: Long term use of pantoprazole may cause the levels of electrolytes such as potassium, calcium and magnesium in the blood to decrease. If you experience symptoms of fluid and electrolyte imbalance such as muscle pains or cramps; dry mouth; numb hands, feet, or lips; or racing heartbeat, contact your doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor may do blood tests periodically to monitor the levels of these electrolytes in your blood while you are taking this medication.
Kidney function: If you have kidney disease or decreased kidney function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: People with severe liver disease should generally not take more than 20 mg of pantoprazole daily. If you have liver disease or decreased liver function, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Osteoporosis fractures: Long term use of pantoprazole may be related to an increased risk of bone fractures in the hip, wrist or spine, as a result of weakened bones. This risk is further increased if you are at risk of developing osteoporosis. If you have osteoporosis or have risk factors for developing osteoporosis, discuss with your doctor how this medication may affect your medical condition, how your medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Severe stomach problems: If you have recurrent vomiting, difficulty swallowing, blood in the stool, significant unintentional weight loss, fatigue (anemia), or are coughing up blood, check with your doctor right away.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking pantoprazole, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
Children: The safety and effectiveness of using this medication has not been established for children.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between pantoprazole and any of the following:
- "azole" antifungals (e.g., itraconazole, ketoconazole, voriconazole)
- bisphosphonates (e.g., alendronate, etidronate, risedronate)
- iron salts
- "statin" anti-cholesterol medications (e.g., atorvastatin, lovastatin, simvastatin)
If you are taking any of these medications, speak with your doctor or pharmacist. Depending on your specific circumstances, your doctor may want you to:
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
An interaction between two medications does not always mean that you must stop taking one of them. Speak to your doctor about how any drug interactions are being managed or should be managed.
Medications other than those listed above may interact with this medication. Tell your doctor or prescriber about all prescription, over-the-counter (non-prescription), and herbal medications you are taking. Also tell them about any supplements you take. Since caffeine, alcohol, the nicotine from cigarettes, or street drugs can affect the action of many medications, you should let your prescriber know if you use them.