Ulcers inside your food pipe, stomach or duodenum can be painful. Excessive level of acids upon coming in contact with the mucus / linings of your gastric system may cause such ulcerous conditions. You may also have some swallowing difficulties and may spot traces of blood in stools. If you are also sensing a sudden and inexplicable change in appetite levels, you may need to seek clinical attention. Drugs such as pantoprazole are commonly prescribed as treatment options. You are advised to know the likely side effects of this drug prior to starting your treatment.
Excessive accumulation of acids in your gastric system may occur at any age, and may cause ulcers. Elders are more prone to get affected by ulcers. This is mainly occurs when a valve / sphincter loses its muscular stiffness; owing to which, gastric acids may find their way into your food pipe. This condition is more likely to show up among people who are aged above 60 years. Medical research on the incidence of ulcers (mainly duodenal and peptic ulcers) reveals a closer link between people of O- group of blood and an onset of ulcers. A few blood cells of O-group may have a different cell structure; this makes these cells more vulnerable to ulcers, internal bruising, bleeding and / or other related injuries.
Ulcers are often treated with meds that form part of a class known as proton pump inhibitors. Pantoprazole is a commonly used drug in this genre. This drug helps inhibit / block enzymes which are responsible for the production of acids in your gastrointestinal system. This PPI medication is used for a range of ailments – such as ulcers on top part of intestines (called duodenum), on the inner lining of your food pipe (i.e., esophagus), and also for bruises as well as blisters on the walls of your tummy. Pantoprazole is available both as a pill (i.e., tablet) as well as an injection. The pill is taken when the onset of ulcers is mild to moderate; however, for acute spells of ulcers, the injectable form of pantoprazole is widely administered.
Possible side effects of pantoprazole
Like most drugs, this proton pump inhibitor also causes a few undesired / unintended side effects and discomforts. The most commonly encountered side effects include feeling excessively dizzy, being drowsy, cramping of muscles along with pain in the abdominal region, nausea, vomiting and indigestion. In some people, use of pantoprazole has caused depletion of vitamin levels; among the various types of vitamins, B12 is often found at low levels.
The key chemicals of this med are likely to adversely interact with lab reagents; as a result, some lab tests may reveal distorted results. It hence becomes important to tell lab-staff about intake of any proton pump inhibiting meds.
Aged people as well as women – in general – are found to be more vulnerable to the discomforts / side effects caused by this drug. Those who need to take pantoprazole for a longer span of time (especially, elderly patients) must stay aware of a few adverse side effects. As one turns old, the filtering efficiency of kidneys is likely to come down; intake of this med may further impair the renal system. As a result, you are likely to witness a further drop in the efficiency levels of kidneys. As an extended precaution, those pursuing treatment plans to restore renal health must tell about meds they consume. Also, people who have chronic spells of inflammation of kidneys (called nephritis) – due to fluid retention – must inform their caregiver of such conditions.
Bone health and intake of pantoprazole
Frequent intake of pantoprazole is likely to impair bone health. This condition is more pronounced among women as well as elders. In women, especially those living with osteoporosis or other bone related problems, bigger risks such as loss of bones may also show up. Elders are more vulnerable to fractures / breakage of bones. In case of accidental falls, the risks of severe bone damage(s) are very high. As an added risk, pantoprazole may trigger an imbalance of bacteria in your intestine. A strand known as C. difficile is likely to get out of proportion. Owing to this imbalance, you are likely to witness spells of diarrhea for a longer period of time. People who took antidiarrheal meds or antibiotics (and other forms of bactericidal drugs) found such treatment to be highly ineffective. Upon encountering conditions such as indigestion or non-stop spells of diarrhea, you are advised to consult with a qualified medical professional. Opting for self-medication or taking over the counter meds to treat diarrhea may only aggravate the condition.
Other precautions to stay aware of
Women who are nursing their newly born baby or breastfeeding an infant must know about the risks of taking pantoprazole. The key chemicals of this med can enter into breastmilk. Infants who feed on such milk may have sleeping problems and may cry incessantly. As part of withdrawal symptoms, babies may also face feeding difficulties. Hence, women who have newly delivered a baby are prescribed with safer alternatives.
There is no availability of substantive information on this drug’s safety when given to pregnant women. Animal studies done thus far indicate the chances of impairment of bone health of the fetus. Advanced studies done on animals reveal a stronger association between fetal damages and intake of pantoprazole (or any other proton pump inhibitors). In light of such risks, pantoprazole is seldom administered to pregnant women. Only if the situation is very acute and if no other safer alternatives are available, caregiving teams may consider administering this drug to women who are pregnant. For the same reasons, women who are planning to become pregnant are advised to use contraceptives (especially, non-hormonal measures such as vaginal rings, skin patches, etc.) while you are taking pantoprazole.
In sum, side effects triggered by the intake of pantoprazole include dizziness, feeling very drowsy, cramping of muscles, vomiting and nausea. These side effects are unlikely to persist for long. But, if they persist, those living in any of the Canadian provinces are advised to call Health Canada and seek immediate clinical attention; you may also go to a poison control center on an urgent mode. People who are residents of the US can either call 911 or contact the helpdesk of food and drug administration (FDA) without any further delay. Lastly, it is important to talk to your doctor prior to taking drugs to manage excessive build-up of stomach acids.