Do you occasionally suffer from burning pain or discomfort in the lower chest area? It might be a case of acid reflux or heartburn, which is a very common condition.
Your first instinct might be to take an antacid and go for a walk, but when that does not help, you’ll need something stronger to ease the pain.
Pantoprazole and omeprazole are two proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat acid reflux and reduce stomach acid levels.
In this article, we’ll explore what PPIs are and the differences between the two medications, Pantoprazole and omeprazole.
We’ll also talk about any main side effects you should be aware of, what kind of results to expect from each, and when to seek additional medical help.
What are Proton Pump Inhibitors?
Proton pump inhibitors are medications that reduce the amount of acid made by the cells that line your stomach.
They are used worldwide to treat acid reflux and are used by more than 15 million people in the United States annually.
PPIs can be used to treat several conditions, including:
- Gastric and intestinal ulcers
- Helicobacter pylori infection (in combination with antibiotics
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Erosive esophagitis
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Pantoprazole, also known by the brand name Protonix, is prescribed to treat heartburn, GERD, esophagitis, and ulcers.
Pantoprazole tablets are delayed-release medicines and should not be split, crushed, or chewed.
Pantoprazole is also available as oral granules or in a liquid form.
Omepraozole, also known as Prilosec, treats the same conditions as Pantoprazole.
It is available as delayed-release tablets or capsules, which should not be split, crushed, or chewed. Omeprazole is also available in a liquid form.
Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole
All PPIs function in the same way – by decreasing the activity of the acid-producing proton pump in the stomach.
Studies show that both drugs are effective in treating acid reflux and related conditions after 8 weeks of use.
Both medications are recommended for short-term use in most cases(up to 8 weeks). Take them for longer only as advised by your medical provider.
However, there are slight differences in drug interactions and side effects.
|Dosage||40 mg once daily||20 mg once daily|
|Availability||Prescription-only||Prescription and OTC|
|Form of medication available||Oral tablet, delayed-releaseOral suspension IV injection/infusion||Oral tablet, delayed-releaseOral capsule, delayed-releaseOral suspension IV injection/infusion|
|Warning||Limit alcohol and other drug use when on medication||Limit alcohol and other drug use when on medication|
Some people experience severe side effects from taking PPIs, but minor side effects are more common. Some potential side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Vitamin deficiencies
- Changes in taste, smell, and appetite
In rare cases, PPI use has been linked with more serious conditions such as pneumonia, kidney failure, and osteoporosis.
This is why prolonged use is not recommended unless specifically prescribed by your healthcare provider.
Discuss your risks of more severe side effects or complications with your healthcare provider.
If you experience severe side effects, seek medical attention immediately.
The pricing of each will differ from pharmacy to pharmacy and is affected by your dose and insurance provider.
Some insurance plans may not cover omeprazole since it is available over the counter, but you will need to confirm this with your provider.
How to Choose Between Pantoprazole and Omeprazole
Since omeprazole is available over the counter, many people suffering from heartburn, GERD, or indigestion may start with this medication.
Your healthcare provider can help you figure out the best medication for you based on your symptoms, medical history, and other medications.
When to Seek Medical Attention
If your acid reflux or heartburn gets worse or shows no sign of improvement even after treatment with PPI, set up an appointment with your primary care provider.
Seek emergency care if you are experiencing chest pain, shortness of breath, or signs of an allergic reaction, whether or not they relate to acid reflux.
How K Health Can Help
Just three easy steps:
- Answer a few simple questions.
- Meet your provider.
- Get the care you need.
Frequently Asked Questions
K Health has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
[Acid-supressing capacity of omeprazole 20 mg tablets vs. pantoprazole 20 and 40 mg tablets. A pilot study in volunteers]. (2003).
Comparison of four proton pump inhibitors for the short-term treatment of esophagitis in elderly patients. (2007).
Comparing Omeprazole vs Pantoprazole. (n.d.)
Drug Class Review on Proton Pump Inhibitors. (2003).
FDA Drug Safety Communication: Low magnesium levels can be associated with long-term use of Proton Pump Inhibitor drugs (PPIs). (2017).
Pantoprazole versus omeprazole in the treatment of acute gastric ulcers. (1995).
Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). (2015).
Proton Pump Inhibitors. (2020).