Frequently Asked Questions
Although your doctor is the best source for answering your specific questions about erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and treatment with PROTONIX, you can find answers to common questions here.
General Information About PROTONIXTop
What is PROTONIX?
PROTONIX is a prescription medicine called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach.
In adults, PROTONIX is used for:
- up to 8 weeks for the healing and symptom relief of acid-related damage to the lining of the esophagus (called erosive esophagitis or EE). Your doctor may prescribe another 8 weeks of PROTONIX in patients whose EE does not heal
- maintaining healing of EE and to help prevent the return of heartburn symptoms caused by GERD. It is not known if PROTONIX is safe and effective when used for longer than 12 months for this purpose
- the long-term treatment of conditions where your stomach makes too much acid. This includes a rare condition called Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
In children 5 years of age and older, PROTONIX is used for:
- up to 8 weeks for the healing and symptom relief of EE
It is not known if PROTONIX is safe if used longer than 8 weeks in children.
PROTONIX is not for use in children under 5 years of age.
It is not known if PROTONIX is safe and effective in children for treatment other than EE.
What is the most important information I should know about PROTONIX?
You should take PROTONIX exactly as prescribed, at the lowest dose possible and for the shortest time needed.
PROTONIX may help your acid-related symptoms, but you could still have serious stomach problems. Talk with your doctor.
PROTONIX can cause serious side effects, including:
- A type of kidney problem (acute interstitial nephritis). Some people who take proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medicines, including PROTONIX, may develop a kidney problem called acute interstitial nephritis that can happen at any time during treatment with PROTONIX. Call your doctor right away if you have a decrease in the amount that you urinate or if you have blood in your urine
- Diarrhea caused by an infection (Clostridium difficile) in your intestines. Call your doctor right away if you have watery stools or stomach pain that does not go away. You may or may not have a fever
- Bone fractures (hip, wrist, or spine). Bone fractures in the hip, wrist, or spine may happen in people who take multiple daily doses of PPI medicines and for a long period of time (a year or longer). Tell your doctor if you have a bone fracture, especially in the hip, wrist, or spine
- Certain types of lupus erythematosus. Lupus erythematosus is an autoimmune disorder (the body’s immune cells attack other cells or organs in the body). Some people who take PPI medicines, including PROTONIX, may develop certain types of lupus erythematosus or have worsening of the lupus they already have. Call your doctor right away if you have new or worsening joint pain or a rash on your cheeks or arms that gets worse in the sun
Talk to your doctor about your risk of these serious side effects.
PROTONIX can have other serious side effects. See What are the possible side effects of PROTONIX?
What do I need to know about the safe and effective use of PROTONIX?
Medicines are sometimes prescribed for purposes other than those listed in the Medication Guide. Do not use PROTONIX for a condition for which it was not prescribed. Do not give PROTONIX to other people, even if they have the same symptoms that you have. It may harm them. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for information about PROTONIX that is written for health professionals.
How to Get Brand-Name PROTONIXTop
How can I ensure that I won’t get switched to a generic substitute?
Here are 3 suggested tips to help make sure you receive brand-name PROTONIX and not a generic:
- At your doctor’s office: Ask your doctor to prescribe brand-name PROTONIX and to indicate “DAW” (Dispense As Written)—or the language used in your state—on all of your PROTONIX prescriptions.
- At your pharmacy’s drop-off: Tell the pharmacist that you want brand-name PROTONIX—and be sure to use the PROTONIX Savings Card. The PROTONIX Savings Card can only be used with brand-name PROTONIX.
- At your pharmacy’s pick-up: Check your pills to be sure they’re brand-name PROTONIX—not the generic—and also check that you’ve saved on your prescription.
What should I do if I receive a generic substitute instead of brand-name PROTONIX?
Talk to your doctor and/or your pharmacist to ask if you should be getting brand-name PROTONIX. For tips on having that conversation, download the Savings Card Tip Sheet.
How do I know if I received brand-name PROTONIX?
Check your pills for the distinctive shape and markings of brand-name PROTONIX.
Saving on PROTONIXTop
What is the PROTONIX Savings Card?
The PROTONIX Savings Card allows eligible patients to pay as little as $4 every time they get a 30-day fill of brand-name PROTONIX—and could save up to $840 a year. If you have a prescription for brand-name PROTONIX, you can use the card for every fill through December 31, 2020.*
How do I use the PROTONIX Savings Card?
There are 2 ways to use the card immediately. Once you’ve activated your Savings Card, you can either:
- Bring a printed copy of it to the pharmacy
- Show it to your pharmacist on your phone
You can keep this card with you and continue to save on each fill for PROTONIX through December 31, 2020.
Who is eligible to use the PROTONIX Savings Card?
To be eligible to use a PROTONIX Savings Card, you must:
- Be 18 years of age or older
- Not be a resident of Massachusetts
- Not be covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or any other federal or state healthcare programs
The Card is not valid for California residents whose prescriptions are covered in whole or in part by third-party insurance, a healthcare service plan, or other health coverage where a lower cost generic is available, unless applicable step therapy or prior authorization requirements have been completed.
Please check with your healthcare professional or insurer to confirm eligibility.
To learn the full details of who is eligible, please see the full Terms and Conditions.
How do I get a PROTONIX Savings Card?
To get a Savings Card, register here and then download your card or have it sent to you via mail, email, or text.
If I already have a PROTONIX Savings Card, how can I activate it?
You can activate your Savings Card here.
Can I use the PROTONIX Savings Card on a previously filled prescription?
The PROTONIX Savings Card can only be used for new prescriptions that are filled after you have activated the card.
Does the PROTONIX Savings Card work at nonparticipating pharmacies?
Yes, for reimbursement when using a nonparticipating pharmacy: Pay for your PROTONIX prescription and mail a copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with product name, date, and amount circled to: Pfizer, ATTN: PROTONIX, PO Box 4938, Warren, NJ 07059-6600. Be sure to include a copy of the front of your PROTONIX Savings Card, your name, and mailing address.
Does the PROTONIX Savings Card work through mail-order pharmacies?
Yes, for reimbursement when using the PROTONIX Savings Card through a mail-order pharmacy: Pay for your PROTONIX prescription, and mail a copy of the original pharmacy receipt (cash register receipt NOT valid) with product name, date, and amount circled to: Pfizer, ATTN: PROTONIX, PO Box 4938, Warren, NJ 07059-6600. Be sure to include a copy of the front of your PROTONIX Savings Card, your name, and mailing address.
What should I tell my doctor before taking PROTONIX?
Before taking PROTONIX, tell your doctor about all of your medical conditions, including if you:
- have low magnesium levels in your blood
- are pregnant or plan to become pregnant. PROTONIX may harm your unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you become pregnant or think you may be pregnant during treatment with PROTONIX
- are breastfeeding or plan to breastfeed. PROTONIX can pass into your breast milk. You and your doctor should decide if you will take PROTONIX or breastfeed. You should not do both. Talk with your doctor about the best way to feed your baby if you take PROTONIX
Tell your doctor about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins and herbal supplements. Especially tell your doctor if you take methotrexate (Otrexup, Rasuvo, Trexall, XATMEP), digoxin (LANOXIN), or a water pill (diuretic).
How should I take PROTONIX?
- Take PROTONIX exactly as prescribed by your doctor
PROTONIX delayed-release tablets (PROTONIX tablets):
- Do not split, chew, or crush PROTONIX tablets
- Swallow PROTONIX tablets whole, with or without food
- Tell your doctor if you are not able to swallow your PROTONIX tablet
- You may use antacids while taking PROTONIX tablets
- Do not split, chew, or crush PROTONIX for oral suspension
- Take PROTONIX for oral suspension about 30 minutes before a meal
- PROTONIX for oral suspension should only be given by mouth mixed in apple juice or applesauce or through a nasogastric (NG) tube or gastrostomy tube mixed in apple juice. Do not mix PROTONIX for oral suspension in liquids other than apple juice or foods other than applesauce
- Do not divide a packet of PROTONIX for oral suspension to make a smaller dose
- See the Instructions for Use at the end of the Medication Guide for instructions on how to mix and take PROTONIX for oral suspension by mouth in applesauce or apple juice or how to mix and give the suspension through an NG tube or gastrostomy tube mixed in apple juice
- If you miss a dose of PROTONIX, take it as soon as possible. If it is almost time for your next dose, do not take the missed dose. Take the next dose at your regular time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time
- If you take too much PROTONIX, call your doctor or your poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 right away or go to the nearest emergency room
How should I store my PROTONIX?
Store PROTONIX at room temperature between 68°F to 77°F (20°C to 25°C).
Keep PROTONIX and all medicines out of the reach of children.
Safety & Possible Side EffectsTop
Who should not take PROTONIX?
Do not take PROTONIX if you are:
- allergic to pantoprazole sodium, any other PPI medicine, or any of the ingredients in PROTONIX. See the end of the Medication Guide for a complete list of ingredients
- taking a medicine that contains rilpivirine (EDURANT, COMPLERA, ODEFSEY) used to treat HIV-1 (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
What are the possible side effects of PROTONIX?
PROTONIX can cause serious side effects, including:
- See What is the most important information I should know about PROTONIX?
- Low vitamin B-12 levels in your body can happen in people who have taken PROTONIX for a long time (more than 3 years). Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of low vitamin B-12 levels, including shortness of breath, lightheadedness, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, pale skin, feeling tired, mood changes, and tingling or numbness in the arms and legs
- Low magnesium levels in your body can happen in people who have taken PROTONIX for at least 3 months. Tell your doctor if you have symptoms of low magnesium levels, including seizures, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, jitteriness, muscle aches or weakness, and spasms of hands, feet or voice
The most common side effects of PROTONIX in adults include: headache, diarrhea, nausea, stomach-area (abdominal) pain, vomiting, gas, dizziness, and joint pain.
The most common side effects of PROTONIX in children include: upper respiratory infection, headache, fever, diarrhea, vomiting, rash, and stomach-area (abdominal) pain.
These are not all the possible side effects of PROTONIX. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.