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Pantoprazole vs Omeprazole

7th September 2022

When comparing pantoprazole vs omeprazole, it is important to understand what they are both used to treat, as well as many other factors. In this article, we will go in-depth on both medications, comparing them on their effectiveness, ease of use, precautions, potential side effects, and more. Whilst they may seem similar, there are differences between both medications, differences that could factor into which medication is prescribed.

Man holding stomach

What do they treat?

What type of medicine is pantoprazole?

Pantoprazole is a medication in the form of gastro-resistant tablets that are used to combat the effects of acid reflux. Pantoprazole belongs to the group of medications known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs work by stopping the cells in the stomach lining from producing too much acid. 

What type of medicine is omeprazole?

Omeprazole also belongs to the group of medications known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). As mentioned, PPIs help acid reflux by stopping the cells in the stomach lining from producing too much stomach acid. Omeprazole is also used as a medication to treat acid reflux and is available in gastro-resistant tablets and capsules

What conditions is pantoprazole used to treat?

Pantoprazole is used to treat acid reflux, the medication in pantoprazole works by blocking the cells in the stomach lining from producing stomach acid. Pantoprazole also helps the healing process of ulcers that have already been formed in the stomach lining. 

What conditions is omeprazole used to treat?

Omeprazole is also used to treat acid reflux, much in the same way as pantoprazole. The medication is also a Proton Pump Inhibitor meaning that omeprazole belongs to the same class of medications as pantoprazole. Omeprazole also helps to repair damaged areas of the stomach lining. 

Forms

What forms is pantoprazole available as?

Pantoprazole is available in tablet form. Pantoprazole tablets are known as gastro-resistant tablets. When something is gastro-resistant it means that they are ingested into the stomach without causing any form of stomach distress such as bloating, ulcers, or excess gas. Pantoprazole is available in two strengths and may be prescribed in various quantities.

What forms is omeprazole available as?

Omeprazole is available in tablet and capsule form, and is also a gastro-resistant tablet or capsule. Omeprazole is available in three different strengths and is prescribed in various quantities. The strength prescribed will depend on what would be most appropriate for your current condition, if you have a particularly bad case of acid reflux you may be prescribed a higher dose.

How do you use them?

How should you take pantoprazole?

As a gastro-resistant tablet, pantoprazole is taken orally and can be swallowed with water. It is important that you only take your prescribed dose, and that you never crush or chew the tablet. When you crush or chew pantoprazole you will affect how the medicine absorbs into your system and can make its effects less prominent.  

How should you take omeprazole?

Omeprazole is the same as pantoprazole and is to be taken as prescribed orally by using water to swallow. Again, you should never crush or chew your tablet, or break/open the capsule as this will hinder the effects of the medication due to absorption issues.

Precautions

Can you take pantoprazole when pregnant?

When you are pregnant it is usually not recommended to continue taking pantoprazole in order to help treat issues related to stomach acid. Doctors may even prescribe omeprazole as this can usually be taken during pregnancy. You can however continue to breastfeed whilst you are taking pantoprazole, there is little evidence that shows that pantoprazole finds its way into breastmilk, meaning that your baby can consume it without taking in any medication.

Can you take omeprazole when pregnant?

Omeprazole on the other hand is completely safe to be taken during pregnancy and is often recommended by doctors as an alternative to pantoprazole. You can also continue to breastfeed whilst you are taking omeprazole as there is no evidence that omeprazole makes its way into breastmilk. This makes it safe for babies to ingest breastmilk from mothers who are taking omeprazole. 

Can you take pantoprazole if you have liver problems?

When you consult with a doctor or independent prescriber regarding acid reflux, you should tell them if you have any problems with your liver. Having a liver condition can mean that pantoprazole is not suitable for you. People with liver problems will also be given lower dosages of pantoprazole.

Can you take omeprazole if you have liver problems?

Similarly to Pantoprazole, you should ensure to tell your doctor or independent prescriber that you have a liver problem. If your doctor or independent prescriber prescribed you omeprazole despite you having a liver problem then you may be given a lower dosage.

Can you take pantoprazole if you're taking other medications?

When you are taking other medications, you may wish to consult your doctor about whether or not they will affect pantoprazole’s effectiveness. The medications you should consult your doctor regarding, according to the NHS, include: 

  • Antifungal medicines such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole
  • Fluvoxamine, an antidepressant
  • Methotrexate is a medicine used to treat cancer, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • HIV medicines
  • Rifampicin, an antibiotic
  • Medicines that help prevent blood clots, such as warfarin

Can you take omeprazole if you're taking other medications?

Omeprazole is another medication that you need to be wary of when you are taking omeprazole, again, according to the NHS the medications that you should mention to your doctor include: 

  • Heart medicines, such as digoxin
  • Cilostazol is a medicine that treats peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
  • Antifungal medicines, such as itraconazole, ketoconazole, posaconazole and voriconazole
  • Methotrexate, a medicine that treats psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis
  • HIV medicines
  • Phenytoin, an epilepsy medicine
  • Rifampicin, an antibiotic
  • Clopidogrel and warfarin, medicines to prevent or treat blood clots

Side Effects

What are the side effects of pantoprazole?

Much in the same way as all other prescription medications, there are some side effects people taking pantoprazole may experience. Some minor side effects people may experience include:

  • Blurred vision
  • dry mouth
  • flushed, dry skin
  • fruit-like breath odour
  • increased hunger
  • increased thirst
  • increased urination
  • nausea
  • stomach pain
  • sweating
  • trouble breathing
  • unexplained weight loss
  • vomiting

What are the side effects of omeprazole?

Omeprazole also has some minor side effects that people taking the medication may experience. The most common of which are:

  • Headaches
  • Feeling sick (nausea)
  • Being sick (vomiting) or diarrhoea
  • Stomach pain
  • Constipation
  • Flatulence

If you experience any more severe side effects to either pantoprazole or omeprazole then you should contact your doctor to ensure that they are not going to develop into a more serious condition.

Storage

How should pantoprazole be stored?

You can simply store pantoprazole tablets away in a cool, dry place where they are not going to get wet. You should also make sure to keep the tablets out of reach of children and animals.

How should omeprazole be stored?

You should store omeprazole in the same way as pantoprazole in a cool, dry place, well out of the reach of children and animals.

Sources

https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/pantoprazole/

https://www.nhs.uk/medicines/omeprazole/

https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drugs/pantoprazole/

https://bnf.nice.org.uk/drugs/omeprazole/

https://patient.info/medicine/omeprazole-to-reduce-stomach-acid-losec-mepradec-prilosec

https://patient.info/medicine/pantoprazole-to-reduce-stomach-acid-2