- pantoprazole sodium sesquihydrate
POM: Prescription only medicine
This information is intended for use by health professionals
Pantoprazole 20 mg Gastro-resistant Tablets
Each gastro-resistant tablet contains 20 mg pantoprazole (as sodium sesquihydrate).
Excipient with known effect:
Each gastro-resistant tablet contains 1 microgram of the azo colouring agent Ponceau 4R aluminium lake (E124).
For the full list of excipients, see section 6.1.
A yellow, oval coated tablet, approx. 8.9 x 4.6 mm.
Pantoprazole is indicated for use in adults and adolescents 12 years of age and above for:
• Symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease.
• Long-term management and prevention of relapse in reflux oesophagitis.
Pantoprazole is indicated for use in adults for:
• Prevention of gastroduodenal ulcers induced by non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients at risk with a need for continuous NSAID treatment (see section 4.4).
Adults and adolescents 12 years of age and above
Symptomatic gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
The recommended oral dose is one Pantoprazole 20 mg tablet per day. Symptom relief is generally accomplished within 2-4 weeks. If this is not sufficient, symptom relief will normally be achieved within a further 4 weeks. When symptom relief has been achieved, reoccurring symptoms can be controlled using an on-demand regimen of 20 mg once daily, taking one tablet when required. A switch to continuous therapy may be considered in case satisfactory symptom control cannot be maintained with on-demand treatment.
Long-term management and prevention of relapse in reflux oesophagitis
For long-term management, a maintenance dose of one Pantoprazole 20 mg tablet per day is recommended, increasing to 40 mg pantoprazole per day if a relapse occurs. Pantoprazole 40 mg tablet is available for this case. After healing of the relapse the dose can be reduced again to Pantoprazole 20 mg tablet.
Prevention of gastroduodenal ulcers induced by non-selective non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in patients at risk with a need for continuous NSAID treatment.
The recommended oral dose is one Pantoprazole 20 mg tablet per day.
A daily dose of 20 mg pantoprazole should not be exceeded in patients with severe liver impairment (see section 4.4).
No dose adjustment is necessary in patients with impaired renal function (see section 5.2).
No dose adjustment is necessary in elderly patients (see section 5.2).
Pantoprazole 20 mg is not recommended for use in children below 12 years of age due to limited data on safety and efficacy in this age group (see section 5.2).
Method of administration
The tablets should not be chewed or crushed, and should be swallowed whole 1 hour before a meal with some water.
Hypersensitivity to the active substance, substituted benzimidazoles, or to any of the excipients listed in section 6.1.
In 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 NSAIDs
The 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.
Symptomatic response to pantoprazole may mask the symptoms of gastric malignancy and may delay diagnosis. In 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.
Further investigation is to be considered if symptoms persist despite adequate treatment.
Co-administration with HIV protease inhibitors
Co-administration of pantoprazole is not recommended with HIV protease inhibitors for which absorption is dependent on acidic intragastric pH such as atazanavir, due to significant reduction in their bioavailability (see section 4.5).
Influence on vitamin B12 absorption
Pantoprazole, as all acid-blocking medicinal products, 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 treatment
In long-term treatment, especially when exceeding a treatment period of 1 year, patients should be kept under regular surveillance.
Gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria
Treatment with Pantoprazole may lead to a slightly increased risk of gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter or C. difficile.
Pantoprazole, like all proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), might be expected to increase the counts of bacteria normally present in the upper gastrointestinal tract.
Severe 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 medicinal products that may cause hypomagnesaemia (e.g., diuretics), health care professionals should consider measuring magnesium levels before starting PPI treatment and periodically during treatment.
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.
Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE)
Proton pump inhibitors are associated with very infrequent cases of SCLE. If lesions occur, especially in sun-exposed areas of the skin, and if accompanied by arthralgia, the patient should seek medical help promptly and the health care professional should consider stopping Pantoprazole. SCLE after previous treatment with a proton pump inhibitor may increase the risk of SCLE with other proton pump inhibitors.
Interference with laboratory tests
Increased Chromogranin A (CgA) level may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumours. To avoid this interference, Pantoprazole treatment should be stopped for at least 5 days before CgA measurements (see section 5.1). If CgA and gastrin levels have not returned to reference range after initial measurement, measurements should be repeated 14 days after cessation of proton pump inhibitor treatment.
Pantoprazole contains azo colouring agent and sodium
This medicinal product contains the azo colouring agent Ponceau 4R aluminium lake (E 124), which may cause allergic reactions.
This medicinal product contains less than 1 mmol (23 mg) sodium per gastro-resistant tablet, that is to say essentially 'sodium-free'.
Medicinal products with pH-dependent absorption pharmacokinetics
Because of profound and long lasting inhibition of gastric acid secretion, pantoprazole may interfere with the absorption of other medicinal products where gastric pH is an important determinant of oral availability, e.g. some azole antifungals such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole and other medicinal products such as erlotinib.
HIV protease inhibitors
Co-administration of pantoprazole is not recommended with HIV protease inhibitors for which absorption is dependent on acidic intragastric pH such as atazanavir due to significant reduction in their bioavailability (see section 4.4).
If the combination of HIV protease inhibitors with a proton pump inhibitor is judged unavoidable, close clinical monitoring (e.g virus load) is recommended. A pantoprazole dose of 20 mg per day should not be exceeded. Dosage of the HIV protease inhibitor may need to be adjusted.
Coumarin anticoagulants (phenprocoumon or warfarin)
Co-administration of pantoprazole with warfarin or phenprocoumon did not affect the pharmacokinetics of warfarin, phenprocoumon or INR. However, there have been reports of increased INR and prothrombin time in patients receiving PPIs and warfarin or phenprocoumon concomitantly. Increases in INR and prothrombin time may lead to abnormal bleeding, and even death. Patients treated with pantoprazole and warfarin or phenprocoumon may need to be monitored for increase in INR and prothrombin time.
Concomitant use of high dose methotrexate (e.g. 300 mg) and proton-pump inhibitors has been reported to increase methotrexate levels in some patients. Therefore in settings where high-dose methotrexate is used, for example cancer and psoriasis, a temporary withdrawal of pantoprazole may need to be considered.
Other interactions studies
Pantoprazole is extensively metabolized in the liver via the cytochrome P450 enzyme system. The main metabolic pathway is demethylation by CYP2C19 and other metabolic pathways include oxidation by CYP3A4.
Interaction studies with medicinal products also metabolized with these pathways, like carbamazepine, diazepam, glibenclamide, nifedipine, and an oral contraceptive containing levonorgestrel and ethinyl oestradiol did not reveal clinically significant interactions.
An interaction of pantoprazole with other medicinal products or compounds, which are metabolized using the same enzyme system, cannot be excluded.
Results from a range of interaction studies demonstrate that pantoprazole does not affect the metabolism of active substances metabolised by CYP1A2 (such as caffeine, theophylline), CYP2C9 (such as piroxicam, diclofenac, naproxen), CYP2D6 (such as metoprolol), CYP2E1 (such as ethanol) or does not interfere with p-glycoprotein related absorption of digoxin.
There were no interactions with concomitantly administered antacids.
Interaction studies have also been performed by concomitantly administering pantoprazole with the respective antibiotics (clarithromycin, metronidazole, amoxicillin) No clinically relevant interactions were found.
Medicinal products that inhibit or induce CYP2C19
Inhibitors of CYP2C19 such as fluvoxamine could increase the systemic exposure of pantoprazole. A dose reduction may be considered for patients treated long-term with high doses of pantoprazole, or those with hepatic impairment.
Enzyme inducers affecting CYP2C19 and CYP3A4 such as rifampicin and St John´s wort (Hypericum perforatum) may reduce the plasma concentrations of PPIs that are metabolized through these enzyme systems.
A moderate amount of data on pregnant women (between 300-1000 pregnancy outcomes) indicate no malformative or feto/ neonatal toxicity of Pantoprazole.
Animal studies have shown reproductive toxicity (see section 5.3).
As a precautionary measure, it is preferable to avoid the use of Pantoprazole during pregnancy.
Animal studies have shown excretion of pantoprazole in breast milk. There is insufficient information on the excretion of pantoprazole in human milk but excretion into human milk has been reported. A risk to the newborns/infants cannot be excluded. Therefore a decision on whether to discontinue breast-feeding or to discontinue/abstain from Pantoprazole therapy should take into account the benefit of breast-feeding for the child and the benefit of Pantoprazole therapy for woman.
There was no evidence of impaired fertility following the administration of pantoprazole in animal studies (see section 5.3).
Pantoprazole has no or negligible influence on the ability to drive and use machines. Adverse drug reactions such as dizziness and visual disturbances may occur (see section 4.8). If affected, patients should not drive or operate machines.
Approximately 5 % of patients can be expected to experience adverse drug reactions (ADRs). The most commonly reported ADRs are diarrhoea and headache, both occurring in approximately 1 % of patients.
The table below lists adverse reactions reported with pantoprazole, ranked under the following frequency classification:
Very common (≥1/10); common (≥1/100 to <1/10); uncommon (≥1/1,000 to <1/100); rare (≥1/10,000 to <1/1,000); very rare (<1/10,000), not known (cannot be estimated from the available data).
For all adverse reactions reported from post-marketing experience, it is not possible to apply any Adverse Reaction frequency and therefore they are mentioned with a “not known” frequency.
Within each frequency grouping, adverse reactions are presented in order of decreasing seriousness.
Table 1: Adverse reactions with pantoprazole in clinical trials and post-marketing experience
System Organ Class
Blood and lymphatic system disorders
Immune system disorders
Hypersensitivity (including anaphylactic reactions and anaphylactic shock)
Metabolism and nutrition disorders
Hyperlipidaemias and lipid increases (triglycerides, cholesterol);
Hypomagnesaemia (see section 4.4).
Hypocalcaemia in association with hypomagnesemia;
Depression (and all aggravations)
Disorientation (and all aggravations)
Confusion (especially in pre-disposed patients, as well as the aggravation of these symptoms in case of pre-existence)
Nervous system disorders
Disturbances in vision / blurred vision
Fundic gland polyps (benign)
Nausea / vomiting;
Abdominal distension and bloating;
Abdominal pain and discomfort
Liver enzymes increased (transaminases, γ-GT)
Hepatocellular injury; Jaundice; Hepato- cellular failure
Skin and subcutaneous tissue disorders
Rash / exanthema / eruption;
Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (see section 4.4)
Musculoskeletal and connective tissue disorders
Fracture of the hip, wrist or spine (see section 4.4)
Muscle spasm as a consequence of electrolyte disturbances
Renal and urinary disorders
Interstitial nephritis (with possible progression to renal failure)
Reproductive system and breast disorders
General disorders and administration site conditions
Asthenia, fatigue and malaise
Body temperature increased;
Reporting of suspected adverse reactions
Reporting suspected adverse reactions after authorisation of the medicinal product is important. It allows continued monitoring of the benefit/risk balance of the medicinal product. Healthcare professionals are asked to report any suspected adverse reactions via the Yellow Card Scheme: www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
There are no known symptoms of overdose in man.
Systemic exposure with up to 240 mg administered intravenously over 2 minutes were well tolerated.
As pantoprazole is extensively protein bound, it is not readily dialysable.
In the case of overdose with clinical signs of intoxication, apart from symptomatic and supportive treatment, no specific therapeutic recommendations can be made.
Pharmacotherapeutic group: Drugs for acid related disorders, Proton pump inhibitors, ATC Code: A02BC02
Mechanism of action
Pantoprazole is a substituted benzimidazole which inhibits the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach by specific blockade of the proton pumps of the parietal cells.
Pantoprazole is converted to its active form in the acidic environment in the parietal cells where it inhibits the H+, K+-ATPase enzyme, i. e. the final stage in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The inhibition is dose-dependent and affects both basal and stimulated acid secretion. In most patients, freedom from symptoms is achieved within 2 weeks. As with other proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor inhibitors, treatment with pantoprazole reduces acidity in the stomach and thereby increases gastrin in proportion to the reduction in acidity. The increase in gastrin is reversible. Since pantoprazole binds to the enzyme distal to the cell receptor level, it can inhibit hydrochloric acid secretion independently of stimulation by other substances (acetylcholine, histamine, gastrin). The effect is the same whether the product is given orally or intravenously.
The fasting gastrin values increase under pantoprazole. On short-term use, in most cases they do not exceed the upper limit of normal. During long-term treatment, gastrin levels double in most cases. An excessive increase, however, occurs only in isolated cases. As a result, a mild to moderate increase in the number of specific endocrine (ECL) cells in the stomach is observed in a minority of cases during long term treatment (simple to adenomatoid hyperplasia). However, according to the studies conducted so far, the formation of carcinoid precursors (atypical hyperplasia) or gastric carcinoids as were found in animal
experiments (see section 5.3) have not been observed in humans.
During treatment with antisecretory medicinal products, serum gastrin increases in response to the decreased acid secretion. Also CgA increases due to decreased gastric acidity. The increased CgA level may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumours.
Available published evidence suggests that proton pump inhibitors should be discontinued between 5 days and 2 weeks prior to CgA measurements. This is to allow CgA levels that might be spuriously elevated following PPI treatment to return to reference range.
An influence of a long term treatment with pantoprazole exceeding one year cannot be completely ruled out on endocrine parameters of the thyroid according to results in animal studies.
Pantoprazole is rapidly absorbed and the maximal plasma concentration is achieved even after one single 20 mg oral dose. On average at about 2.0 h - 2.5 h p.a. the maximum serum concentrations of about 1-1.5 µg/ml are achieved, and these values remain constant after multiple administration.
Pharmacokinetics do not vary after single or repeated administration. In the dose range of 10 to 80 mg, the plasma kinetics of pantoprazole are linear after both oral and intravenous administration.
The absolute bioavailability from the tablet was found to be about 77 %. Concomitant intake of food had no influence on AUC, maximum serum concentration and thus bioavailability. Only the variability of the lag-time will be increased by concomitant food intake.
Pantoprazole's serum protein binding is about 98 %. Volume of distribution is about 0.15 l/kg.
The substance is almost exclusively metabolized in the liver. The main metabolic pathway is demethylation by CYP2C19 with subsequent sulphate conjugation, other metabolic pathways include oxidation by CYP3A4.
Terminal half-life is about 1 hour and clearance is about 0.1 l/h/kg. There were a few cases of subjects with delayed elimination. Because of the specific binding of pantoprazole to the proton pumps of the parietal cell the elimination half-life does not correlate with the much longer duration of action (inhibition of acid secretion).
Renal elimination represents the major route of excretion (about 80 %) for the metabolites of pantoprazole, the rest is excreted with the faeces. The main metabolite in both the serum and urine is desmethylpantoprazole which is conjugated with sulphate. The half-life of the main metabolite (about 1.5 hours) is not much longer than that of pantoprazole.
Approximately 3 % of the European population lack a functional CYP2C19 enzyme and are called poor metabolisers. In these individuals the metabolism of pantoprazole is probably mainly catalysed by CYP3A4. After a single-dose administration of 40 mg pantoprazole, the mean area under the plasma concentration-time curve was approximately 6 times higher in poor metabolisers than in subjects having a functional CYP2C19 enzyme (extensive metabolisers). Mean peak plasma concentrations were increased by about 60 %. These findings have no implications for the posology of pantoprazole.
No dose reduction is recommended when pantoprazole is administered to patients with impaired renal function (including dialysis patients). As with healthy subjects, pantoprazole's half-life is short. Only very small amounts of pantoprazole are dialyzed. Although the main metabolite has a moderately delayed half-life (2 - 3h), excretion is still rapid and thus accumulation does not occur.
Although for patients with liver cirrhosis (classes A and B according to Child) the half-life values increased to between 3 and 6 h and the AUC values increased by a factor of 3 - 5, the maximum serum concentration only increased slightly by a factor of 1.3 compared with healthy subjects.
A slight increase in AUC and Cmax in elderly volunteers compared with younger counterparts is also not clinically relevant.
Following administration of single oral doses of 20 or 40 mg pantoprazole to children aged 5 - 16 years AUC and Cmax were in the range of corresponding values in adults.
Following administration of single IV doses of 0.8 or 1.6 mg/kg pantoprazole to children aged 2 – 16 years there was no significant association between pantoprazole clearance and age or weight. AUC and volume of distribution were in accordance with data from adults.
Non-clinical data reveal no special hazard to humans based on conventional studies of safety pharmacology, repeated dose toxicity and genotoxicity.
In the two-year carcinogenicity studies in rats neuroendocrine neoplasms were found. In addition, squamous cell papillomas were found in the forestomach of rats. The mechanism leading to the formation of gastric carcinoids by substituted benzimidazoles has been carefully investigated and allows the conclusion that it is a secondary reaction to the massively elevated serum gastrin levels occurring in the rat during chronic high-dose treatment. In the two-year rodent studies an increased number of liver tumours was observed in rats and in female mice and was interpreted as being due to pantoprazole's high metabolic rate in the liver.
A slight increase of neoplastic changes of the thyroid was observed in the group of rats receiving the highest dose (200 mg/kg). The occurrence of these neoplasms is associated with the pantoprazole-induced changes in the breakdown of thyroxine in the rat liver. As the therapeutic dose in man is low, no harmful effects on the thyroid glands are expected.
In animal reproduction studies, signs of slight foetotoxicity were observed at doses above 5 mg/kg. Investigations revealed no evidence of impaired fertility or teratogenic effects.
Penetration of the placenta was investigated in the rat and was found to increase with advanced gestation. As a result, concentration of pantoprazole in the foetus is increased shortly before birth.
Crospovidone (type A)
Hydroxypropylcellulose (type EXF)
Sodium carbonate, anhydrous
Silica, colloidal anhydrous
Iron oxide yellow (E172)
Methacrylic acid – ethyl acrylate copolymer (1:1)
Ponceau 4R aluminium lake (E124)
Quinoline yellow aluminium lake (E104)
Sodium lauryl sulphate
Titanium dioxide (E171)
6 months after first opening of the HDPE-bottle
This medicinal product does not require any special storage conditions.
Al/OPA/Al/PVC blister packaging: 7, 10, 14, 15, 20, 28, 30, 50, 56, 56x1, 60, 84, 90, 98, 100, 100x1, 140, 168 tablets
HDPE tablet container with polypropylene screw cap including a desiccant insert: 14, 28, 56, 98, 100, 250, 500 tablets
Not all pack sizes may be marketed.
Any unused medicinal product of waste material should be disposed of in accordance with the local requirements.
Frimley Business Park,
Date of first authorisation: 03 April 2008
Date of latest renewal:
Park View, Riverside Way, Watchmoor Park, Camberley, Surrey, GU15 3YL, UK
+44 (0) 1276 698020
0845 601 1387