Anyone suffering from GERD knows that a bout of acid reflux can occur any time of day or night, and most often when you least expect it. Whether you have eaten a meal, are just about to fall asleep or are in the middle of an important business meeting makes no difference. GERD does not discriminate when and where it wants to rear its ugly face and worst of all, there are times when you have nothing on hand to ease the discomfort. So what then are some GERD treatment options that might help alleviate the discomfort in times like these and are there any GERD treatment guidelines we should be following?
GERD Treatment Guidelines
The first thing anyone who has been diagnosed with GERD should be aware of is the fact that this is a condition that is not going to go away with a single antacid or a change in diet. Although these do help in the here and now, GERD treatment guidelines first and foremost, call for lifestyle changes and secondly medical intervention which could mean pharmaceuticals, surgery or both. For example, lifestyle changes would include eating lighter meals more frequently so as not to place undue pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter and to eat foods not known to be acidic or spicy. Take all medications prescribed by your doctor and only as directed.
GERD Treatment Medications
There are several types of GERD treatment medications on the market, some by prescription only and some are OTC and readily available. However, it is always recommended that you consult with your own doctor prior to taking any GERD treatment drugs whatsoever to make sure you are taking the right medication for what ails you. So many times we self diagnose only to find out we have been treating the wrong condition. Once GERD has been diagnosed, the types of medications usually fall into a few broad categories:
- Antacids – for immediate, albeit short lived relief
- Proton Pump Inhibitors – medications which hinder production of excess stomach acid
- Histamine Antagonists – prevents acid production by blocking histamine receptors
- Pro-motility Pharmaceuticals – stimulates peristalsis, moves food out of stomach faster
In any case, some pharmaceuticals must be prescribed by a physician, in which case he or she can discuss with you the best GERD treatment options for your particular needs.
GERD Treatment Natural Remedies
There are almost as many GERD treatment natural remedies as there are people suffering from GERD. Well, that may be a ‘slight’ exaggeration, but the point is that you should carefully consider the advice you are given prior to experimenting with any natural remedies. One of the most controversial GERD treatment natural remedies is the use of vinegar, often apple cider vinegar. Proponents of the vinegar remedy claim that the reason reflux occurs is because there is insufficient stomach acid being produced to digest the foods we eat. Medical science has proven this to be inaccurate in the case of GERD and adding more acid (i.e. vinegar) will just exacerbate the condition. Other natural remedies such as baking soda, milk and honey are much safer but the jury is out on the verdict as to their efficiency.
Whether you choose to use natural remedies or GERD treatment medications (OTC or prescription) is an individual decision. Even so, before you go about trying one solution after the next, it is always in your best interest to consult with your doctor prior to taking any medications. GERD symptoms, primarily heartburn, can be indicative of other more serious illnesses such as a heart attack and are often fatally confused. Once you have an accurate diagnosis there are GERD treatment options at your disposal, but don’t put the cart before the horse. Get that diagnosis first!
Although Dexilant is only available in prescription strength, it is one of the newer proton pump inhibitors for the treatment of acid reflux diseases such as GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Because of its relatively late arrival on the market amidst a wealth of other such medications, many consumers are looking for Dexilant information before taking their prescription.
The following information is not meant to replace a diagnosis given by a medical professional nor is it intended to prescribe treatments. As a matter of fact, the sole purpose of providing Dexilant information is to help introduce this pharmaceutical which has only been on the market for about two years. Only a medical professional is qualified to treat any illnesses or conditions for which Dexilant is prescribed. Keep this in mind while reading what we have gathered to help you better understand this newer medication.
What Is Dexilant?
As mentioned, Dexilant is in a class of pharmaceuticals called proton pump inhibitors. They act by inhibiting the production of acid in the stomach – acid that causes acid reflux and other such conditions like GERD. If you think of the stomach as having literally millions of minute pumps that produce acid, you can liken Dexilant as a kind of control mechanism that turns those pumps off.
When Dexilant (Dexlansoprazole) was first released on the market in 2009, it was called Kapidex. Unfortunately, there were a number of instances when Kapidex was mistakenly dispersed interchangeably with other drugs having similar names. Among those pharmaceuticals were Casodex and Kadian which are drugs to treat totally different things. As a result, the developers and manufacturers of Kapidex applied to the FDA for a name change which was granted in March of 2010. Kapidex is now known as Dexilant but it is exactly, down to the last molecule, the same mediation.
One of the most innovative benefits of Dexilant as a proton pump inhibitor is that it is a dual acting delayed release capsule. Unlike other medications used to treat GERD, ARD (acid reflux disease) and erosive esophagitis, Dexilant goes to work immediately to reduce acid in the stomach with the fast acting granules within the capsule. Along with immediate relief, Dexilant contains granules of delayed release medication that go to work five hours (or later) after taking the dose. This serves a two-fold purpose: a) it immediately reduces acid and b) it inhibits the production of acid in the stomach up to 24 hours.
How Is Dexilant Taken?
Most proton pump inhibitors are taken once daily just about an hour before a meal. While Dexilant is also taken once daily, it can be taken irrespective of food intake. In other words, you can take it before, during or after meals. However, since it does have the quick release antacid feature, many people choose to take Dexilant before meals to avoid acid indigestion.
Like the other proton pump inhibitors, Dexilant capsules can be swallowed whole or they can be opened up to be mixed with a tablespoon or so of applesauce for those who have trouble swallowing pills or capsules. It is important to note that you cannot chew the granules as some are time released. You must swallow the applesauce down and follow by a glass of water if necessary – but do not bite down on the granules.
Potential Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
One thing to keep in mind when taking medications of any kind is that everyone has the potential to react differently to any given compound. While some people may have allergies to Dexilant and/or any of the ingredients in the compound, others may handle it quite well. With that being said, there are some ‘common’ side effects which have manifested in the greatest number of individuals who have reported adverse reactions.
Among the side effects which have been reported most frequently are nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, gas and stomach discomfort/pain. Also, some individuals have contracted upper respiratory infections as well, but this is not quite as common. There are, in addition to these side effects, the potential for more serious side effects which you should be aware of.
According to the manufacturer, there is always the possibility for an allergic reaction which would manifest in hives, rashes or swelling of the mouth, tongue and throat. Some people sensitive to Dexilant have experienced joint, muscle or bone pain while others became short of breath, dizzy, drowsy or generally weak. In some rare cases, chest pain and loss of consciousness were reported, but usually with inadvertent overdoses or as symptoms of severe allergic reactions.
There are several known medications which can either have adverse reactions when taken with Dexilant or can counteract the efficacy of one another. These medications usually fall into broad categories such as diuretics and anticoagulants. It is also known that ampicillin and Dexilant counteract each other.
Special Precautions When Taking Dexilant
Although not exactly a side effect or an adverse reaction, there are certain groups of people who should use extreme caution when taking Dexilant. If you are among these groups, make sure to talk to your doctor before taking Dexilant for the first time. The first group of people would be pregnant women, those who are trying to get pregnant and nursing mothers. After that, anyone with any conditions such as HIV/AIDS should likewise tell their physician they have the disease.
Elderly patients should also take Dexilant with extreme care as proton pump inhibitors are known to cause a weakening in the bones. As well, anyone who has osteoporosis or other bone disorders should use Dexilant with extreme care. Even so, since Dexilant is a prescription medication, it is always advisable to tell your doctor of any medications (prescription or OTC) that you are taking, along with any vitamins or health supplements that you may be using as part of your daily regimen.
Overdose and Emergency Procedures
While it is extremely rare to overdose if you take your medication only as prescribed, there may be times when you are experiencing extreme distress, perhaps causing you to forget whether or not you took your medication. In any case, if you feel that you have inadvertently taken an overdose of Dexilant, call your doctor or pharmacist immediately.
As with any other medication, use common sense. If you find someone unconscious, call 911. If you feel you are about to lose consciousness, call 911. The key to treating accidental overdoses is to act immediately. How you respond to an overdose is determined by the symptoms being presented. In any case, make sure to contact the appropriate professionals so that countermeasures can be taken.
In compiling customer reviews gathered from around the web, we have found that Dexilant is meeting with a high amount of success. Almost 9 out of 10 reviews are highly favorable with very few individuals reporting that this medication was ineffective. A few consumers did have some adverse reactions such as nausea, diarrhea and skin rashes, but few said it didn’t work.
Actually, most users reported that the best part of Dexilant (above other proton pump inhibitors) is that it has both immediate and long lasting benefits. Those who suffer from acid reflux immediately after eating find that the quick acting compound in Dexilant provides relief while the delayed release granules continue working up to the full 24 hours as advertised. Dexilant has been well received by the majority of users.
Once again, it is important to note that this web site is not set up to be a substitute for proper medical diagnoses and treatments. This is an informative web site developed for those who suffer from all forms of heartburn and the acid reflux family of diseases. Because of this, we do not intend to ‘prescribe’ any medications which we review. Information is based on what is being written by the manufacturer, other medical reviewers and consumers taking the products.
It is our conclusion that Dexilant has benefits above and beyond other proton pump inhibitors. The most significant of these benefits is the fact that it has a quick acting component as well as a long lasting component. Other proton pump inhibitors cannot provide immediate relief for acid indigestion whereas Dexilant is able to do just that. Also, within the course of a 24 hour period it will continue to inhibit the production of stomach acid.
While we cannot prescribe medications, we can recommend or advise against them based on available information and consumer reviews. This is one of the medications which seems to have been well received and is doing the job it was intended to do. Therefore, if you have been diagnosed with GERD or any of the acid reflux diseases, you may want to ask your doctor if Dexilant is suitable for you. Never take this or any medication unless it has been prescribed to you.
While Dexlansoprazole is used to treat heartburn, it is not meant to be used for occasional heartburn. Rather, it is in a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors that work by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. In other words, it is not a quick fix for heartburn resulting from eating too much or too much of the wrong foods.
What Is Dexlansoprazole?
Dexlansoprazole, as mentioned, is a proton pump inhibitor that can dramatically reduce the amount of acid the stomach produces. It is most often prescribed for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and/or for the treatment of damage caused to the esophagus from acid reflux. This condition is usually referred to as erosive esophagitis.
In order to understand how Dexlansoprazole works, it is important to understand that there are literally millions of tiny little ‘pumps’ in your stomach which produce acid. Sometimes these pumps begin producing an overabundance of acid in order to attempt to digest food if you have eaten too much or too much of the wrong kinds of foods. Other times you are simply unfortunate enough to have faulty pumps.
Dexlansoprazole can provide relief up to 24 hours a day when taking the medication as directed because it works by inhibiting those pumps from producing so much acid. Again, keep in mind that Dexlansoprazole is not meant for the relief of occasional heartburn since it can take several days for the full effects to ‘kick in.’ It is most often prescribed for GERD and ARD, acid reflux disease. Clinical studies also indicate that Dexlansoprazole also helps to heal erosions in the esophagus and helps to keep acid reflux from returning.
How Is Dexlansoprazole Taken?
Whenever you are prescribed a new medication it is important that you follow the directions. Dexlansoprazole comes in a long acting, delayed release capsule that should be either swallowed whole or pulled open and taken in a bit of applesauce. It is imperative that you do not chew the little granules because, as mentioned, they are delayed release.
This medication is usually taken only once per day, at about the same time, and it may be taken before or after meals. It has been suggested that taking Dexlansoprazole about an hour before a meal will help to prevent acid reflux more effectively than if you take it after a meal. In any case, it is generally only taken once daily until the entire prescription is complete.
Potential Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
As with any pharmaceutical, there is always a chance of side effects or adverse reactions, especially if you are allergic to any of the ingredients in the compound. Even so, very few people have exhibited side effects when taken as directed and barring any allergies or contraindications based on other medications being taken during a course of Dexlansoprazole.
The most common side effects would be such things as nausea or gas, stomach discomfort or pain, vomiting and some people have gotten an upper respiratory tract infection. Severe side effects could include such things as:
- rashes and hives
- swelling of the mouth, tongue or throat
- muscle, joint or bone pain
- chest pain
- blistered or peeling skin
- shortness of breath
- dizziness, drowsiness, weakness, loss of consciousness
Keep in mind that these severe side effects are usually presented in people with an allergy to any of the chemicals in the compound and may also be presented in older adults (seniors).
Also, there is the potential for an adverse reaction if you are taking other medications which may include diuretics, Voriconazole, anticoagulants and ampicillin. In fact, you should always discuss any medications you are currently taking with your doctor prior to taking Dexlansoprazole for the first time. This includes herbal preparations, OTC pharmaceuticals and even vitamins and supplements.
Special Precautions When Taking Dexlansoprazole
Of course it should go without saying that you should only take Dexlansoprazole only as directed by your doctor/pharmacist and you should never take a prescription medication which has not been prescribed to you. Pregnant women, women who plan on becoming pregnant or lactating mothers should notify their doctor prior to taking Dexlansoprazole as should anyone who has osteoporosis or a family history of weak bones.
In fact, this is one of the reasons why older adults are often advised against taking proton pump inhibitors as they are already susceptible to weak bones that fracture easily. As well, anyone with any other medical conditions such as high or low blood pressure, low levels of magnesium or potassium in the blood or those who are HIV positive should also notify their doctor prior to taking Dexlansoprazole.
Symptoms of Overdose and Emergency Procedures
If you take your medication only as directed, you should not experience any of the symptoms associated with overdosing. However, things to watch for would be among the ‘severe reactions’ listed above. If you feel dizzy, disoriented or weak due to an accidental overdose, call your doctor immediately and if you cannot reach either your doctor or pharmacist it is possible to contact the National Poison Control Center Hotline at 1-800-222-1222. If you find a family member or friend unconscious the best course of action would be to call fire rescue at 911.
Important Information Regarding Dexlansoprazole
One of the biggest dangers which many people encounter is mistaking a heart attack for heartburn. The symptoms of a heart attack can, and often do, mimic heartburn which is why many people don’t get treatment on time. It is imperative to talk to a doctor if you are experiencing heartburn, especially that accompanied by chest pain, tingling in the arms or shortness of breath.
Also, it is important to understand that Dexlansoprazole is a proton pump inhibitor which is not meant to treat occasional heartburn. If you have a prescription for this medication and find that you are experiencing the above mentioned symptoms, it is not in your best interest to take another dose. Get to the doctor immediately as it may be your heart and not GERD or ARD!
According to consumers who have taken Dexlansoprazole as intended, nine out of ten found the relief they were looking for. Most found that this particular proton pump inhibitor worked better than others they had tried in this class of drugs which included such popular medications as Prilosec, Nexium, Prevacid and Protonix.
Some users did report that upon further gastroscopes healing of erosions had begun in the esophagus and that they were finally free from many of the symptoms of acid reflux which they had been unable to find relief from with other medications in this class of drugs.
One of the most common benefits which many users reported was the fact that there is a dual action effect with Dexlansoprazole because some of the medication is released immediately into the system while some of the granules are delayed release.
There were a few consumers who found that they had some amount of allergic reactions to the medication and had to stop taking it. Most of those reactions included skin rashes, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. A few people reported that although it helped acid reflux for the first week or two, the side effects began manifesting which made them unable to continue treatment.
Of the 36 reviews which were calculated into these statistics, the overall score was 8.4 out of 10 which is actually quite good. With 5 being the median, only a few reported anything lower than 4 with the only really bad scores coming from those who had allergies or adverse reactions due to other medications.
Before presenting our ‘take’ on this medication, it is important to realise that this site is informational only. We do not attempt to diagnose or treat any medical conditions and in no way attempt to replace proper medical advice. For this and any other medications it is always recommended that you seek counsel with your own physician prior to taking it for the first time. Of course, this should not be an issue as Dexlansoprazole is only available with a prescription and you should not take any medications not prescribed for you.
With that being said and based on what users are reporting, Dexlansoprazole is one of the newer proton pump inhibitors that has had overwhelmingly good results. Part of that success is due to the fact that this is one medication that provides both immediate as well as long acting results. While you cannot expect a proton pump inhibitor to act quickly, the other medication usually found in the long lasting brand name compounds does provide a modicum of immediate relief of acid indigestion.
Because of the fact that it can work quickly to provide a bit of relief as well as to inhibit acid production over time, Dexlansoprazole might be one of the better proton pump inhibitors on the market today. If you are currently taking other such medications and have found no relief, you may want to discuss this medication with your doctor.
Whenever a doctor prescribes a medication he or she has the option to check off a box that tells the pharmacist whether or not to fill the prescription with a generic drug if it is available. This could be the case with Omeprazole since it is marketed under a few different brand names. If your doctor wrote a prescription for Prilosec, Omesec or Losec and you find that it says Omeprazole, don’t worry as it is the same drug. It is simply the less expensive generic form.
What Is Omeprazole?
If you have been to the doctor and were given a prescription for omeprazole then you were probably given a diagnosis along with it! Actually, omeprazole is currently the treatment of choice for such conditions and illnesses as GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is also commonly prescribed for any conditions in which there is an overabundance of acid being produced by the stomach as would be the case if you had Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Some of the diagnoses for which omeprazole is prescribed would include ulcers which can be extremely painful sores in the lining of either the intestines or the stomach. Other times it is used to prevent ulcers from returning as they often do when H. pylori is present. In this case, omeprazole is prescribed along with an antibiotic. All of the above however are in terms of the prescription form of the generic pharmaceutical, omeprazole.
There is also an over-the-counter (OTC) formulation of omeprazole as well, such as Prilosec OTC. While Prilosec can be a bit costly, there are generic forms of the same medication which can have exactly the same results. Keep in mind that OTC omeprazole is not as strong as the prescription strength which is why it can be used to treat frequent bouts of heartburn or acid reflux.
Omeprazole is what is known as a photon pump inhibitor which is a type of medication that decreases the amount of acid which can be produced in the stomach. The prescription strength is not meant to treat heartburn or mild cases of acid reflux but the OTC product can be used if heartburn is a problem at least a few times weekly on a regular basis.
How Is Omeprazole Taken?
When you are prescribed omeprazole, your doctor will either write the script for delayed-release capsules or you could be given delayed-release granules that come in individual packets. Both forms should be taken approximately 60 minutes before meals. Most often you will be told to take the omeprazole dosage once daily, but there may be times when the doctor will increase that dosage to twice daily, especially when other medications are being taken concurrently.
Nonprescription strength omeprazole is usually taken once daily, again an hour before meals. However, there are a few points to consider when taking OTC omeprazole. The first thing is that it should not be taken if you are looking for immediate relief of acid reflux or heartburn as it can take anywhere from one to four days to work. Secondly, if you have trouble swallowing the capsules you can open the capsule and mix the contents with a small amount of applesauce. However, make sure that you do not chew the applesauce/omeprazole mix as the medication is delayed-release and long lasting. Simply follow with a few sips of water to make sure the mixture makes it through to your stomach.
Prescription granule packets can be mixed in the same way or can be added to a bit of apple juice. In either case, make sure not to chew or crush the delayed-release granules and also follow with water to make sure the entire dosage reaches your stomach. Always make sure to follow the instructions on the medicine bottle or packet unless different directions have been provided by your doctor. Also, take all of the omeprazole oral medication until the entire course is complete.
Potential Side Effects, Adverse Reactions
There are few side effects which have been associated with omeprazole, either in clinical trials or in patients who have used it over the years. Nonetheless, as with any medication, omeprazole drug interaction side effects are always a possibility as are reactions in patients who are sensitive to this category of pharmaceuticals. Tell your physician if you are allergic to any of the following drugs, which include:
Also, you should advise your physician or pharmacist if you are taking any medications whatsoever including vitamins, minerals and other natural supplements. This is because any pharmaceutical has the potential to interact with other drugs. Of special concern are:
And the list goes on. These are just a few of the drugs which potentially can have an adverse reaction when taking omeprazole so it is vital to discuss any and all meds or supplements you are currently taking or have taken in the recent past.
Special Precautions When Taking Omeprazole
Many people have the unfortunate habit of discontinuing medication when they begin to feel better. One of the special precautions when taking omeprazole 40mg capsules or omeprazole 20 mg capsules is that they feel better, so they figure the condition is ‘fixed.’ This is not the case so it is important to continue taking the entire prescription until it is finished.
The same holds true for OTC omeprazole drug class medications as they are all varying strengths of the same proton pump inhibitors. It takes a good few days before the effects begin to be felt but the purpose of this medication is to keep the stomach from producing excess acid which takes time. Yes, in the beginning the acid will be minimized, but for the full impact of the medication the entire course must be completed.
Also, you should never take this medication for longer than two weeks at a time within a four month timeframe. In other words, take the entire course and then wait four months before taking it again. This holds true for both the prescription strength as well as the OTC strength and remember to tell any new doctors that you have already taken omeprazole if he or she tries to prescribe it before the four month time period is over.
A few other precautions to be aware of is that your doctor should be told if you have been experiencing repeated bouts of heartburn which has lasted longer than three months and if you have experienced any unusual physical symptoms with that heartburn such as dizziness, sweating or lightheadedness along with chest pain radiating down your back or arms. Many heart attacks could have been prevented because they were thought to be a simple case of heartburn.
It should go without saying that if you are pregnant or nursing you should consult with your doctor before taking omeprazole as should anyone of Asian descent or those with low blood levels of magnesium or liver disease. (It is unclear why those of Asian descent may have a problem as the manufacturer doesn’t elucidate on that point. Some individuals taking omeprazole may also be susceptible to more easily breaking bones in their wrists, spine and hips and those who have taken the drug for an extended period may also experience ulcers in the lining of the stomach.
Important Information Regarding Omeprazole
Many people have wondered if it is possible to overdose on omeprazole or even how to recognize the symptoms. Generally, if you find that you are inordinately dizzy, drowsy, nauseous or confused, you should seek medical intervention. If you come into a room where someone has passed out then it is imperative that you call 911 immediately.
Again, it is essential that you understand just how important it is to take the entire course of this medicine as it takes several days to begin working and for the longest lasting effects it will take much longer. It is also extremely important to remember that you cannot take it more often than once every four months. If you have any questions whatsoever, contact your doctor or pharmacist before taking this medication.
Omeprazole is the most prescribed medication around the world for such conditions as GERD and it has had wonderful results with few major side effects. Keeping in mind that no two people ever react the same to any given medicine, there is always the potential for side effects and/or adverse reactions.
Finally, this information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace a proper medical diagnosis with the appropriate treatment. It is always recommended that you seek medical advice from a licensed medical professional before taking any medications for the first time, even if they are generally recognized as safe (GRAS). It is never advisable to self diagnose because you may be misreading the symptoms. Keep all medications out of the reach of small children and in an airtight container.
The problem with heartburn or acid reflux is that when they present themselves over an extended period of time they can either be symptomatic of some underlying disease or they could even lead to a more serious condition. In any case, Pantoprazole should never be used to treat heartburn as the effects are not immediate but happen over time as with any proton pump inhibitor. The following information is not meant to diagnose or treat any disease or condition; it is merely a starting point for understanding Pantoprazole sodium drugs, their usage and to help you recognize any side effects or adverse reactions.
What Is Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole is in a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors which are used specifically for the purpose of a long-lasting reduction in the production of stomach acid. In other words, they are formulated to inhibit the secretion of acid in the stomach. Among the most common conditions or diseases for which it is prescribed, Pantoprazole Sodium DR (delayed release) is prescribed for the treatment of peptic ulcers, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), Barrett’s esophagus, dyspepsia, to prevent gastritis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and any condition which can cause hyper-secretion of stomach acid. It is most commonly marketed in the United States under the brand name Protonix and it is currently available by prescription only in this country.
Pantoprazole Dosage and Administration
The most common Pantoprazole dosage forms are tablets, but in a medical setting there is an injectable formulation which is given in more severe cases. Common outpatient Pantoprazole dosage and administration is usually a 40mg table but there are 20mg tablets which are commonly prescribed to individuals who have trouble swallowing the larger 40mg pills. In fact, many health care providers do prescribe Pantoprazole injections after teaching them how to self administer shots. This medication is also available in delayed release granules which can be mixed with apple juice or applesauce for those who cannot swallow pills or are fed through tubes.
Tablets can be taken with or without food but the oral suspension should be taken approximately one-half hour prior to eating. It is cautioned that when mixing the granules for oral suspension in applesauce or juice, you mix thoroughly for at least 5 or 10 seconds and then take the mixture immediately. You are further cautioned not to bite down on the granules or to chew them as they are time released. Also, if the oral suspension is administered in applesauce it is suggested that you drink some water immediately after swallowing the mixture to make sure it all washes down into the stomach.
Potential Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
Before taking any medications whatsoever you should always check with your doctor to make sure you are not allergic to that particular pharmaceutical or any chemicals in the same family of drugs. Pantoprazole sodium 40 mg side effects are extremely rare, but if you have had a reaction to any drugs such as Esomeprazole, Dexlansoprazole, Omeprazole, Lansoprazole or Rabprazole you should tell both your doctor as well as your pharmacist.
If you are taking any other medications, vitamins or supplements you should also tell your doctor and/or pharmacist. This includes any herbal supplements as well. Of particular interest would be to discuss prescription medications such as anticoagulants, antibiotics or diuretics. Although these drugs may not cause an adverse reaction, the dosages may need to be adjusted to some degree. Your doctor will probably also want to monitor you for any side effects or adverse reactions.
It should go without saying that if you are pregnant or breastfeeding you should make absolutely certain your doctor is aware of it. Also, if you now have or have ever had low blood levels of magnesium your doctor will need to know. If you experience any unusual side effects such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, rapid heartbeats or swelling in the eyes, throat or extremities you should call your doctor immediately.
Special Precautions and Important Information Regarding Pantoprazole
Usually Pantoprazole is not prescribed for long periods of time, but if it is taken for a period of a year or longer, some individuals realize a weakening in the bones which can lead to fractures especially in the wrists, spine or hips. Others may experience a weakening in the lining of the stomach which can lead to other ailments, among which would be certain infections and perhaps even ulcers. This wouldn’t be good at all since this might necessitate further treatment with Pantoprazole or other proton pump inhibitors which would only serve to exacerbate the problem even more.
It is recommended that this medication be stored in an airtight bottle/container and kept well away from children. All dosages should be taken exactly as prescribed and if you experience any unusual symptoms while taking Pantoprazole you should immediately notify your doctor. Again, it is rare to experience side effects but some medications may interfere with both the safety and efficacy of this drug. If you accidentally overdose or come upon a friend or relative who has overdosed, immediately call fire rescue in your area by dialing 911.
If you feel that you have simply taken an extra dose or two there are a few things you could do. The first is to obviously call your doctor or pharmacist who would better be able to tell you fi the dosage you took was toxic. In the event that you can’t reach them or you feel it is an emergency situation in terms of a large overdose, you could either dial 911 or the National Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. However, use common sense. This number would not put you through to a first responder as would 911 so if it is a critical emergency, call your local fire rescue first to get help on the way.
Most of the customer reviews found scattered around the Internet seem to have been written by individuals suffering from acid reflux as opposed to more serious conditions such as GERD. Nonetheless, the reviews are mostly positive and the average rating is from 8 to 9 out of 10. Some remarked that they had been taking Pantoprazole for periods of over a year, some by as many as three years, and no one noticed any side effects. Unlike Omeprazole, another in the family of proton pump inhibitors, Pantoprazole can be taken for longer periods whereas Omeprazole is recommended in two week courses, once every four months.
The larger dosages of 40mgs were reportedly taken by consumers for a period of two years with no ill effects and many of these individuals stated that they could once again eat spicy foods without experiencing any discomfort due to acid reflux. The relief most people experienced was fewer bouts of vomiting, a reduction in nausea and decline in the number of times they felt sore throats due to excess acid.
There were individuals who had been diagnosed with GERD who were prescribed Pantoprazole and these individuals stated that within the first few days there was a marked reduction in the pain and nausea associated with this disease. After three months of continuous treatment they were experiencing an almost ‘normal’ lifestyle and were able to eat foods which they hadn’t eaten since the onset of the disease.
Some consumers listed a number of other conditions which they also had such as high blood pressure, low blood pressure, sleep apnea, arthritis and asthma and these individuals noted no ill effects as well. Based on customer reviews, it appears as though this medication is well received by those suffering from acid reflux and GERD.
One of the problems with most medications is that they can cause some kind of unpleasant and sometimes dangerous side effects. This does not appear to be the case with Pantoprazole which is why it is getting such high customer reviews. It is not as expensive as some proton pump inhibitors and can be administered over longer periods of time.
Another aspect of this medication is the fact that there are greater options for administering it. Although it is available in tablet or oral suspension forms, Pantoprazole can also be given by injection. When looking at a medication it is important to consider whether or not it is available in forms which are available to greater portions of the population. Because of the benefits which outweigh the disadvantages, many doctors and pharmacists recommend this medication above others in the same family.
Keep in mind that you should never take medication prescribed to other people and you should always take your medicine only as directed. Also, you should always consult with a medical doctor or health care provider prior to taking any medications whatsoever and if you experience any side effects or adverse reactions you should consult with your physician immediately. The information contained herein is not meant to substitute for or countermand proper medical advice as only a licensed medical practitioner is capable of diagnosing illnesses and prescribing suitable treatments.
Even though Prilosec is now sold over-the-counter (OTC), it is always recommended that consumers know what it is and what it can do for them before self medicating. Simply because it is located on a pharmacy shelf next to antacids and other medications for indigestion doesn’t necessarily mean this would be the preferred treatment for what you are suffering from. The following information is not intended to diagnose or prescribe treatment, rather it is intended to provide a basic understanding of what Prilosec is, its intended uses and other facts which may prove to be helpful. Consumers should always seek a professional medical diagnosis before beginning any medications, especially for the first time.
What Is Prilosec?
The chemical (pharmaceutical) name for Prilosec is omeprazole which was first released in 1989 as a prescription drug for peptic ulcers, dyspepsia, laryngopharyngeal reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (commonly referred to as GERD) and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Today Prilosec is the most prescribed medication for GERD on a global level although it is still commonly prescribed for the previously mentioned conditions and other less common conditions.
Although the average layperson wouldn’t need to know, or even understand, Prilosec is in a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors. Basically, this means that it is used to treat illnesses or conditions which have been brought about by excess acid in the stomach. Sometimes it is prescribed for its ability to heal a condition called erosive esophagitis and there are times when physicians prescribe it in combination with antibiotics for ulcers which are the result of infections caused by H. pylori.
This medication is still available in prescription strength but is now available in the United States and some other countries around the world in an OTC strength formulation. Prilosec should not be taken for common conditions such as heartburn or acid indigestion because it does not promote immediate relief for those conditions.
How Is Prilosec Taken?
There are several ways in which Prilosec can be taken orally which of course include taking the capsule or pill whole as directed, generally one hour before breakfast. However, there are other ways in which Prilosec can be administered orally which would include the powder oral suspension formulation and methods of taking capsules for individuals who have trouble swallowing. In this case the person may wish to use a small bit of applesauce, usually a tablespoon, in a small bowl. Break open the time-release capsule and mix it well with the applesauce. Be sure not to chew when swallowing the mixture as the little granules are time released and never store the mixture. Take it immediately.
Delayed release tablets, prescription or OTC, are never to be chewed. Swallow them whole with a glass of water as per the directions on the OTC box or as prescribed by your physician. The powder form should be mixed with water, usually one teaspoonful for the 5mg dose and a tablespoon for the 10 mg dose. In either case, place the water in a small medicine cup and add the powder. Stir it well and wait a few minutes until the mixture thickens. Mix it again and immediately drink it down. Never let the mixture stand longer than 30 minutes. If for some reason you are unable to take your medication within that time, throw it out and start again. The powder can also be fed through a feeding tube if necessary following instructions by the doctor.
Potential Side Effects and Adverse Reactions
As with any medication, there is always the potential for side effects and/or adverse reactions. If you experience any of the following side effects, especially over a prolonged period, you should consult with your physician. Potential side effects include irregular bowel movements such as diarrhea or constipation, stomach pain, gas, nausea or vomiting and some people have experienced fevers and/or headaches.
Most often symptoms are not severe, but in some rare instance they could be. Of concern would be anyone presenting with a rash, hives or itching as this could be an allergic reaction. Any swelling of the face, neck, throat, lips, tongue or extremities (i.e. hands, ankles) should be immediately reported to your doctor. Hoarseness, dizziness, lightheadedness, irregular heartbeats, uncontrollable shaking, muscle spasms or seizures should also be immediately reported.
Special Precautions When Taking Prilosec
One thing to be aware of when taking Prilosec is that proton pump inhibitors seem to make people more susceptible to breaking bones such as hips, wrists and even their spine than those who do not take the compound. This is most common in those over the age of 50 and in patients who take high doses. There is also the risk of weakening the stomach lining if taken over extended periods of time.
Prilosec is not intended for immediate relief which is why it is contraindicated in relieving the symptoms of heartburn as it could take anywhere from one to four days before the effects are felt. Also, this medication is not meant to be taken over extended periods of time. OTC Prilosec should only be taken for 14 days at the longest and you should not follow the recommended OTC course more often than once in a four month period unless prescribed to do so by your physician.
Symptoms of Overdose and Emergency Procedures
Keep in mind that Prilosec is not a simple antacid and it is possible to overdose. While it may seem highly unlikely that someone would take more than prescribed or recommended on the OTC packaging, it has been known to happen. The pain and burning which accompanies conditions like GERD or peptic ulcers can be almost unbearable which is why people have been known to try to take extra medication. Even if there were no possibility of overdosing, it would be of no benefit anyway as it takes several days to be effective.
Symptoms of overdosing could include, but are not limited to, blurred vision, dizziness, irregular (rapid) heartbeats, vomiting or nausea, feeling flushed, dry mouth and headaches. If you suspect that you may have inadvertently taken too much of your Prilosec, you could call the National Poison Control Hotline at 1-800-222-1222 or your local emergency 911. If you find another person unconscious it is best to immediately call 911 since calling the national hotline will just unnecessarily delay medical intervention. They will only patch you through to your local fire/rescue which can delay responders by many minutes.
Important Information Regarding Prilosec
Before taking any medications whatsoever, including Prilosec, it is suggested that you discuss with your own doctor what medications or supplements you are currently taking. This includes OTC medications, vitamins, minerals and any prescription pharmaceuticals prescribed by other physicians. You would also want to discuss any allergies you may have to other medications and also if you have taken a course of Prilosec within the past few months. Remember, even a course of OTC Prilosec is only taken once in a four month period.
Your doctor may request a series of diagnostic tests before prescribing any medications so it is important to keep all appointments. Prilosec is most often prescribed for GERD which can have long-lasting ramifications if not treated timely. Never let another person take your prescription medication and also discuss any other illnesses you may have with your doctor. Pregnant women should always let their doctor know they are pregnant before taking any medications as well.
When reading consumer reviews around the internet, it is apparent that many of them either didn’t read the directions or chose to take matters into their own hands anyway. One person commented that Prilosec was ineffective at treating heartburn so he/she had to take it repeatedly during the day. Either this was not Prilosec being taken or, as mentioned, the packaging wasn’t read. Prilosec is not for immediate relief of heartburn!
Some users found that it made them a bit drowsy but were happy with the relief it provided them while others found that it gave them mood swings or made them edgy. These, however are a rare few instances as most of the people who have taken Prilosec rate it at least 8 out of 10 for efficiency and would highly recommend it to others. OTC Prilosec can be a bit pricey at a local pharmacy, but it is possible to find deals online with a bit of searching. This is especially helpful if the online vendor provides free shipping.
If used as directed and for the conditions for which it was meant to be used, Prilosec is among the most effective medications of its type. It may be a bit costly, but no more so than other pharmaceuticals in this classification and there may be generic names under which the same medication is manufactured which could be less expensive. It is the number one pharmaceutical treatment of choice for GERD and as it has been on the market for more than two decades it can be classified as GRAS, generally recognized as safe. However, the bottom line is to always consult with your physician before taking any medications for the first time, even in non-prescription strengths.