Excessive build-up of acids in your gastric system can lead to many undesired outcomes. The most commonly experienced problems are formation of ulcers, acid reflux, heartburns and in some remote cases, incidence of tumors in your gastrointestinal system. Your treating doctor may prescribe drugs falling under a genre of meds known as proton pump inhibitors. These drugs discourage the production of acids, by working on the lining of your cells. Pantoprazole as well as omeprazole are common members of this class of drugs. But, what are the differences between these two drugs? It is a good thing to know the key differences prior to taking either of these meds.

Your stomach makes acids that help digest foods you eat. These acids also help in killing harmful bacteria, if any. The soft tissues of your stomach have a layer on top; this layer protects these harsh acids from breaking the inner linings of your stomach. However, when too much acid builds up in your tummy they may rupture these inner linings / walls and can hence cause ulcers. Or, the muscular constriction / valve at the top part of your tummy may turn soft. Owing to which, acids may raise up into your food pipe; thus causing an imbalance of acid levels. Regardless of the reasons behind the excessive production of acids, drugs falling under the category called proton pump inhibitors can help reduce acid levels. How do they do it? The active chemicals of such drugs inhibit cells present on the intestinal lining from making acids, and thus reduce acid levels in your gastric system.

Pantoprazole, esomeprazole, omeprazole, lansoprazole, etc. are widely prescribed drugs under this category. These drugs are used for the treatment of conditions such as acid reflux, ulcer formation in your gut, etc. Of these many examples, almost all – barring rabeprazole and a few such drugs – can be bought as over the counter (OTC) drugs. As these meds are readily absorbed into your system, they are more likely to bring about a faster relief from gastric problems such as GERD / heartburn or acid reflux. But, in case of ulcers / tumors – you may be advised to take these drugs for a fairly longer duration.

What is omeprazole?

This drug help treat gastric discomforts like ulcers, acid reflux and the like. It acts on your intestinal linings to bring about a marked reduction in acids produced. This drug is prescribed when heartburn or acid reflux recurs a few times each week. This drug usually offers needful relief in less than 2 to 3 days’ time. However, if there is no change in your gastric condition – even after taking for more than 5 days – you are advised to talk to your treating physician.

Omeprazole may trigger a few side effects. Typical discomforts include migraines, headaches as well as abdominal discomforts such as nausea, pain in upper abdomen as well as vomiting. Most of these discomforts may cease to show up as soon as your body gets used to the key chemicals of omeprazole. Those in whom these side effects persist for long are advised to quickly consult with their treating doctor.

What is pantoprazole?

This drug is a proton pump inhibiting med – i.e., similar to omeprazole. It is widely used as a treatment option for managing excessive accumulation of stomach acids – triggered by gastroesophageal reflux disease (in short, GERD). On the flip side – intake of pantoprazole for a longer duration may weaken / numb your system’s ability to absorb vitamin B-12. Also, pantoprazole is likely to aggravate the signs of lupus. So, if you encounter side effects such as rashes on facial organs as well as upper limbs, pain in joints – it is a safe practice to consult with your treating physician on an urgent mode.

Differences between pantoprazole and omeprazole

This is a common question medical practitioners are often asked. Both these drugs belong to the same category of meds known as proton pump inhibiting drugs. Both are widely used for treating gastric discomforts such as acid reflux, heartburns and a few other related gastroesophageal conditions. The key differences rest in how soon they work and also on the pricing of these drugs.

On the speed of action, pantoprazole is known for starting its remedial actions in less than 3 (three) hours of taking a dose. You may also need to take it for at least 5 to 6 days for witnessing a complete relief from gastric conditions. Such a week-long dose is often the maximum duration for which this drug is used – especially, for the treatment of gastric ailments. The effects of such a dosage plan may last for as long as 7 to 8 days. On the other hand, omeprazole starts its work in about 2 hours from the time of intake. You may be advised to take omeprazole for 4 to 5 days. The effect of this proton pump inhibitor is known to last for upto 4 days – i.e., soon after stopping your medication plan.

Pantoprazole is likely to make you dizzy as well as drowsy. In some one-off instances, you may witness blurring of eyesight, dehydration (marked by parching of lips and throat) as well as pain in joints. On the other hand, omeprazole may trigger diarrhea due to a bacterial strand called C. difficile. As omeprazole is available over the counter, a few insurance plans may not cover this drug. Cost of these drugs can vary based on where you live and also based on the extent of insurance cover. Talk to your pharmacist about discounts or offers available, prior to making your purchase.

On similarities in between these two drugs, they may cause the same types of side effects; common discomforts are migraines, nausea or pain in upper abdomen, vomiting as well as diarrhea. Upon taking them for a longer term, these drugs may trigger loss of bone or fractures. So, elderly people or those living with bone conditions such as osteoporosis are advised to tell their doctor about such conditions beforehand.

In sum, pantoprazole and omeprazole belong to the same class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. These drugs are used for managing gastric problems – mainly, heartburns, a few gastroesophageal conditions and acid reflux. Pantoprazole starts remedial actions in less than 3 (three) hours of taking a dose. Omeprazole takes about 2 hours to start working. You may be advised to take omeprazole for 4 to 5 days; while pantoprazole is taken for 6 to 7 days. The effect of these proton pump inhibitors may last for upto 4 days (for omeprazole) to 7 days (for pantoprazole) – i.e., soon after stopping your medication plan. In general, you are advised to talk to your treating doctor for knowing the key differences between these two drugs.

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