Pantoprazole is a prescription drug made to reduce the amount of stomach acid in your stomach. When prescribing this drug, your doctor may have specifically told you to take it first thing in the morning. Why is that? Why take Pantoprazole first thing in the morning? Why not in the afternoon or at night? .Well, while some drugs have shown to be more effective when taken at night time, others are more effective when taken in the morning.
How this works with Pantoprazole is what this article seeks to unravel. You will find in this article:
- What is Pantoprazole
- How it works
- Why take Pantoprazole first thing in the morning
- What happens when you don’t take it in the morning?
- How to take it
- Side effects
WHAT IS PANTOPRAZOLE
Pantoprazole is an acid-reducing agent that is used to treat conditions that are linked with high acidity in the stomach, such as stomach ulcers. It belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Proton pumps are microscopic pumps in the cells of the stomach wall which pump hydrogen ions (H+) to form the stomach’s acid (HCl).
It comes in 3 different forms: Oral tablets, Oral liquid suspension, and Intravenous forms that should be injected into your veins by your doctor. Depending on what condition you’re treating, Pantoprazole can be prescribed to both children and adults.
Your doctor may prescribe Pantoprazole to you if you have problems with your esophagus or stomach.mPantoprazole may be used to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach, thereby, treating certain conditions that are due to high stomach acidity,
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): It is commonly known as heartburn. It’s a condition whereby the ring of the muscle that is supposed to seal off the esophagus from the stomach does not work properly, so food and stomach acid come back up into the esophagus.
- Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome: This is a rare condition that causes the body to produce a large amount of stomach acid. Zollinger-Ellison syndrome causes tumors to form in the pancreas or upper smaller intestine. These tumors, in turn, secrete a large amount of hormone called gastric which triggers the overproduction of acid in the stomach.
- Erosive Esophageal: It’s a severe form of GERD, in which the lining of the esophagus is damaged by the backup of reflux or stomach acid.
Your doctor may prescribe Pantoprazole for short-term treatment of GERD or may be used off-label for:
- Aspiration prophylaxis in patients undergoing anesthesia
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Functional dyspepsia
- Helicobacter pylori eradication
- Primary prevention of NSAID-induced ulcers
- Stress ulcer prophylaxis
- Peptic ulcer diseases
How It Works
Pantoprazole works by irreversibly blocking the enzyme responsible for gastric secretion called H+/K+ ATPase or gastric proton pump. The enzyme is located in the parietal cells of the stomach wall. Decreasing the secretion of acid in the stomach would allow damaged tissues in the esophagus, stomach, and duodenum to heal. The more enzymes are inhibited by Pantoprazole, the more effective it is.
WHY TAKE PANTOPRAZOLE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING?
Here are some reasons why Pantoprazole is recommended to be taken in the morning:
- Prolonged Fasting: When you sleep at night, you’re likely to fast for 6-8 hours, so when you wake up, your stomach acid must have accumulated. Having enough stomach acid helps the activation of Pantoprazole and increases its effect. To achieve this, fasting is important.
- Control Over Post-Meal Acid Secretion: A considerable amount of stomach acid is released during and immediately after eating because food is the most potent inducer of stomach acid. But when you take Pantoprazole first thing in the morning, it provides you with better control of food-induced acid secretion
- More Acid Inhibition: The more time you fast, the more H+/K+ ATPase accumulates in the stomach, giving Pantoprazole more acid to work on and also influencing its efficacy. The maximum amount of H+/K+ ATPase is secreted in the morning, therefore, taking Pantoprazole in the morning blocks more of the enzyme, consequently producing more effect and more prolonged acid- inhibition.
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU DON’T TAKE PANTOPRAZOLE IN THE MORNING
Taking Pantoprazole first thing in the morning is the best way to take the drug. Although there are no complications from taking Pantoprazole at night, the drug isn’t as effective when taken at night compared to when taken in the morning, as there is less acid accumulated in the stomach and less enzyme available for it to produce much effect.
HOW TO TAKE PANTOPRAZOLE
Pantoprazole can be taken before or after a meal, although it is preferable to take it before, and it is usually taken once a day, but if your doctor directs that you take it twice a day, it’s usually 1 in the morning and the other at night.
Take Pantoprazole only as directed by your doctor as the prescription varies from person to person depending on your reason for taking the drug. Pantoprazole oral tablets should be swallowed whole, don’t split, crush or chew the tablet, while the liquid suspension should be shaken well before taking.
When you forget to take a dose of the drug, take it as soon as you remember, however, if it’s almost time for your next side, which is usually 12 hours after the first dose, if you’re taking it twice a day, then skip the missed dose and don’t bother to make up for it by double-dosing. Although it is unlikely for Pantoprazole to cause problems when overdosed, let your doctor know if you ever overdose on the drug.
Usually, the dosage for:
- GERD in adults is 20mg-40mg, taken once a day, while in children between 5-17years, depending on their body weight, they should be given 1mg-2mg per day.
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome in adults, the initial dose could be 80mg to be taken twice a day, and eventually up to a maximum of 240mg per day. A safe and effective dose hasn’t been established for children between the age of 1-17 years.
Take the drug at the same time every day for the best effect, not doing so could decrease your control of GERD.
Your doctor can tell you about the possible side effects of Pantoprazole, however.
Here are some of the side effects you’re likely to have:
- Stomach pain
- Joint pain
Mild side effects are likely to go away on their own, but when they don’t and become worse, be sure to let your doctor know immediately.
Also, seek medical help if you have any of these serious side effects from taking Pantoprazole:
- Muscle cramps
- Fast or irregular heartbeat
- Spasm of your hands and feet
- Loss of taste
- Weight loss
- Rash on the skin
- Numbness or tingling in your hands and feet
- Broken bones in your hip, spine, or wrist
- Severe diarrhea
- Spasm of your voice box
HOW LONG SHOULD I TAKE PANTOPRAZOLE?
Pantoprazole is usually taken for up to 2 weeks after which your symptoms have improved, then you can take it for another 2 weeks. You know the drug is working when you notice reduced heartburn, nausea, regurgitation, and difficulty swallowing. If after 4 weeks you don’t notice any improvement, speak to your doctor to determine if you should continue the treatment.
However, your doctor may direct you to use the drug for up to 12 months, depending on your condition, to maintain the healing of erosive esophagitis. Unless directed to do so, don’t take Pantoprazole for more than 4 weeks.
- Prolonged treatment using Pantoprazole may result in Vitamin B12 deficiency, which is more prone in women and people who are not up to 30 years.
- If you’re due for an endoscopy, your doctor may advise that you stop taking Pantoprazole, as the drug tends to hide some of the problems that would be spotted during an endoscopy.
- Pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and those intending to get pregnant are advised to stay away from using this medication since it is not yet known for sure the possible effects the drug could have on you or your baby.
- Don’t drink alcohol while using the drug. Although there are no known reactions between the 2, alcohol may worsen GERD, hence decreasing the potency of the drug.
- If you’ve had an allergy to Pantoprazole, ask your doctor for other alternatives.
- Let your doctor know of your medical history, that is if you have had sons serious medical condition or if you have an underlying one, as Pantoprazole can arisen some conditions such as low-level blood magnesium, lupus, neuroendocrine tumors, osteoporosis, liver problems, zinc deficiency.
Pantoprazole is a stomach acid successor that is prescribed to treat conditions such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, which is caused due to high acidity in the stomach. Although it could be taken both in the morning or at night, it is always best to take Pantoprazole in the morning as this allows more acid to accumulate in your stomach, giving the drug enough to act on and also giving you control over post-meal acid secretions.