Protonix is a medication taken for treating specific esophagus and stomach conditions, including acid reflux. Basically, it works by reducing the amount of acid produced by the stomach. This is how it relieves such unpleasant symptoms as difficulty swallowing, heartburn and persistent coughing. This medicine also heals acid damage, prevents stomach ulcers and has other positive effects. Protonix belongs to a group of meds called PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors. Sometimes, doctors prescribe it to treat intestinal and stomach ulcers, too.
Basic Directions on Its Correct Use
This medicine should be taken orally, usually only once a day, and you can take it both with and without food. The right length of this treatment and regular doses depend on your response. Make sure that you use Protonix at the same time of the day on a regular basis to get its full benefit.
List of Rare and Common Adverse Effects
Some of the most common side effects caused by this treatment include diarrhea and headaches. They are mild, but if they persist, it’s advisable to call your doctor. Most patients who take this medicine don’t have any severe symptoms, but if you experience any of the following side effects, you need to stop using Protonix and get emergency medical help:
Seizures and ongoing muscle spasms;
Allergic reactions and irregular heartbeats;
Severe diarrhea and fever;
Stomach pain and cramps;
Shoulder and arm pain;
Unexplained weight loss;
Mucus or blood in stools.
Basic Precautions before Taking Protonix
Before you decide on this treatment, visit your doctor, especially if you have any serious health conditions, such as allergies, liver problems and others. Just like other existing PPIs, Protonix may increase a risk of having bone fractures, especially when it’s taken in higher doses, by older patients or for a long period of time. That’s why you should discuss effective methods to prevent bone fractures, including the intake of special vitamin C and calcium supplements.
Dangerous Drug Interactions
There are certain medications that shouldn’t be combined with Protonix because of possible drug interactions. Some of them can be quite dangerous, because they change the way this medication works and result in increased side effects. You shouldn’t use Protonix together with methotrexate, azole antifungals, atazanavir, nelfinavir, ampicillin, erlotinib and some others. That’s why you need to keep a list of other pharmaceutical products that you’re using and show it to your doctor. Protonix works by reducing stomach acid, so it may change the way other medications function in the human body, especially if their proper absorption requires this acid. This medicine also interferes with the results of specific lab tests, so lab specialists should be informed about its intake. Write down all the meds that you’re taking, including herbal supplements and prescription drugs.