Hepatic ImpairmentIn patients with severe liver impairment the liver enzymes should be monitored regularly during treatment with pantoprazole, particularly on long-term use. In the case of a rise of the liver enzymes the treatment should be discontinued (see section 4.2).
Co-administration with NSAIDsThe use of Pantoprazole 20 mg as a preventive of gastroduodenal ulcers induced by non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) should be restricted to patients who require continued NSAID treatment and have an increased risk to develop gastrointestinal complications. The increased risk should be assessed according to individual risk factors, e.g. high age (>65 years), history of gastric or duodenal ulcer or upper gastrointestinal bleeding.
In presence of alarm symptomsIn the presence of any alarm symptom (e. g. significant unintentional weight loss, recurrent vomiting, dysphagia, haematemesis, anaemia or melaena) and when gastric ulcer is suspected or present, malignancy should be excluded, as treatment with pantoprazole may alleviate symptoms and delay diagnosis.Further investigation is to be considered if symptoms persist despite adequate treatment.
Co-administration with atazanavirCo-administration of atazanavir with proton pump inhibitors is not recommended (see section 4.5). If the combination of atazanavir with a proton pump inhibitor is judged unavoidable, close clinical monitoring (e.g virus load) is recommended in combination with an increase in the dose of atazanavir to 400 mg with 100 mg of ritonavir. A pantoprazole dose of 20 mg per day should not be exceeded.
Influence on vitamin B12 absorptionPantoprazole, as all acid-blocking medicines, may reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) due to hypo- or achlorhydria. This should be considered in patients with reduced body stores or risk factors for reduced vitamin B12 absorption on long-term therapy or if respective clinical symptoms are observed.
Long term treatmentIn long-term treatment, especially when exceeding a treatment period of 1 year, patients should be kept under regular surveillance.Proton pump inhibitors, especially if used in high doses and over long durations (>1 year), may modestly increase the risk of hip, wrist and spine fracture, predominantly in the elderly or in presence of other recognised risk factors. Observational studies suggest that proton pump inhibitors may increase the overall risk of fracture by 10-40%. Some of this increase may be due to other risk factors. Patients at risk of osteoporosis should receive care according to current clinical guidelines and they should have an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.
HypomagnesaemiaSevere hypomagnesaemia has been reported in patients treated with PPIs like pantoprazole for at least three months, and in most cases for a year. Serious manifestations of hypomagnesaemia such as fatigue, tetany, delirium, convulsions, dizziness and ventricular arrhythmia can occur but they may begin insidiously and be overlooked. In most affected patients, hypomagnesaemia improved after magnesium replacement and discontinuation of the PPI.For patients expected to be on prolonged treatment or who take PPIs with digoxin or drugs that may cause hypomagnesaemia (e.g., diuretics), health care professionals should consider measuring magnesium levels before starting PPI treatment and periodically during treatment.
Gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteriaPantoprazole, like all proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), might be expected to increase the counts of bacteria normally present in the upper gastrointestinal tract. Treatment with Pantoprazole 20 mg may lead to a slightly increased risk of gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter.This medicinal product contains the colouring agent Ponceau 4R aluminium lake (E 124), which may cause allergic reactions.