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Pantoprazole is a drug that is part of the proton pump inhibitor family, and it is used to treat acid reflux into the throat. It works by inhibiting the release of stomach acid by cells in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Usually, the main factor affecting a correct pantoprazole dose is the medical condition it is being prescribed to treat. Other factors may influence the dose given, such as the age and weight of the patient, and the existence of other medical conditions, particularly those that affect the liver.
Adults taking this medication for erosive esophagitis, or ulcers in the esophagus, normally take a dose of 40 milligrams (mg) each day. This pantoprazole dose is continued for eight weeks. At the end of that period, a doctor might be consulted to assess whether this medication should continue to be administered at the same dosage each day.
Duodenal ulcers, which are ulcers that appear in the intestine, can be treated with pantoprazole. Generally, the patient receives 40 mg of this drug orally, on a daily basis. Depending on severity, the dose may be increased every 12 weeks by another 40 mg, up to a maximum dose limit of 120 mg per day. This treatment continues for a total of 28 weeks.
Another medical condition, GI reflux disease (GERD), initially uses an intravenous (IV) pantoprazole dose of 40 mg a day. Daily IV dosing is continued for seven to ten days, before switching to oral administration. The oral dose given is also 40 mg daily, given for eight weeks. After this time, a doctor may decide whether or not to continue the oral dosing regimen for another eight weeks.
Dosing for children taking this drug for GERD is weight-dependent. Children that are between 15 kilograms (kg) and 40 kg, or 33 pounds (lb) and 87 lb generally take 20 mg of this medication per day, orally. Regardless of age, children over 40 kg, or 87 lb, may take a larger pantoprazole dose of 40 mg daily, by mouth.
Medical conditions affecting the liver including damage and disease, may slow the rate that drugs such as pantoprazole are metabolized, or broken down. This results in pantoprazole remaining in the body and exerting its effects for longer periods of time. Repeated administration of this drug at normal doses could cause it to build up and exert side effects. For this reason, doctors usually recommend a lower pantoprazole dose to patients with liver conditions.
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