Lansoprazole

Brand names of lansoprazole

  • Prevacid
  • Prevpac [CD]

Lansoprazole belongs to the class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) that interfere with the acid production in the stomach. Some of the other drugs that belong to the same class include omeprazole (Prilosec), rabeprazole (Aciphex), esomeprazole (Nexium) and pantoprazole (Protonix). Proton pump inhibitors are basically used to treat a number of medical conditions caused by stomach acid, for instance gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers in the stomach and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a medical condition wherein a gastrin-secreting tumor of the pancreas or small intestine results in excessive secretion of gastric juice causing obdurate peptic ulcers). Like any other proton pump inhibitor, lansoprazole also obstructs the enzyme in the lining of the stomach that is responsible for producing acid. This action of lansoprazole helps to lessen the production of stomach acid and this, in turn, facilitates the healing process of the stomach and esophagus.

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Things you need to tell your physician before taking lansoprazole

As in the case of taking any other drug, before you start treatment with lansoprazole, you need to adopt a number of precautions. Prior to taking lansoprazole, tell your doctor if you have any allergic reaction to this medication, any other medicament similar to lansoprazole, such as pantoprazole and omeprazole or if you have any additional allergies. In addition, before you start taking this medication, tell your doctor about your entire medical history, particularly if you have or have ever had any liver ailment and/ or any other stomach problem, such as tumours.

Some patients may experience a number of symptoms that are in reality likely to be indications of a more acute medical condition. Hence, before you start taking lansoprazole it is important to tell your doctor if you suffer from heartburn accompanied by sweating, dizziness, chest pain or pain in the shoulder or jaw, especially with breathing problems and/ or inexplicable weight loss and pain extending to neck, shoulders and arms.

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Lansoprazole should be given to pregnant women only when it is absolutely necessary for their condition. In fact, such women should consult with their doctor regarding the hazards and benefits of taking this medication. Although it is yet to be ascertained if lansoprazole passes onto the breast milk, new mothers should not breast-feed while they are taking this medication. It is important for nursing mothers to consult their doctor in this regard prior to taking lansoprazole.

Usage

Belonging to the class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors, lansoprazole is basically used to treat ulcers in the stomach and duodenum (intestine), gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) - a condition wherein there is constant heartburn due to the stomach acid being pushed back (backwash) into the esophagus, as well as conditions which enhance the secretion of stomach acid, for instance, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Usually, doctors prescribe lansoprazole along with antibiotics like amoxicillin and clarithromycin to eliminate H. pylori (a bacterium) and, thereby, avoid the relapse of the duodenal ulcers caused by H. pylori.

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Lansoprazole works by interfering with the action of a certain enzyme that is responsible for the production of stomach acid. In effect, this medication helps to reduce the secretion of stomach acid, thereby, creating a positive environment for the healing of the ulcer in the stomach and/ or esophagus. As aforementioned, this medication is used to treat stomach and throat (esophagus) problems related to the secretion of stomach acid, for instance, ulcers, GERD, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and erosive esophagitis (inflammation of the cell stratum lining the inside of the esophagus). Lowering the production of too much stomach acid facilitates in providing relief from certain symptoms, such as persistent cough, swallowing problems, heartburn and trouble in sleeping. In addition, lansoprazole is also used to treat certain ulcers caused by prolonged use of specific drugs for swelling and pain, for instance nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). If required, lansoprazole may also be used together with antibiotics to cure specific types of ulcers occurring due to bacterial infections.

How to use lansoprazole

Lansoprazole is available in capsule form and ought to be taken orally. The standard dosage of this medication is taking one capsule everyday prior to taking your meal or as prescribed by your physician. Basically, the dosage as well as the duration of treatment with this medication is dependent on the condition of the patients as well as their response to the treatment. It is best to take this medicine in an empty stomach. It is important not to chew or crush the capsule, but swallow it as a whole.

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People who find it difficult to swallow the capsule may open the capsule and sprinkle its ingredients on any soft food, such as cottage cheese, applesauce and/ or yogurt. Alternately, they may also empty the contents of the capsule in a small amount (two ounces or 60 ml) of juice and take it as recommended by their physician. After drinking the mixture, wash the container by adding some more juice and drink it with a view to ensure that you have taken the full dose of the medication and no residue of the ingredients are left behind.

Never masticate the medication or the food to which it has been added or prepared beforehand, as it may obliterate the drug. On the other hand, such an action may also enhance the side effects of the medication. People taking lansoprazole may also take antacids if required.

If you want to obtain the best results of taking lansoprazole, it is important to take this medication on a regular basis. In addition, it is also important to take the medicine around the same time everyday. Even if you feel better or notice improvement in your condition, you should take this medicine for the full treatment schedule recommended by your physician. At the same time, call your physician right away if you find that your conditions/problems persist or have deteriorated even after taking the medication for some time.

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In case you miss a dose of the medication, take it immediately when you remember. However, if it is already time for the subsequent dose of the medicine, drop the missed dose and continue with your regular schedule. Remember you should never take a double dose to make up for the missed dose. An overdose of the medication or taking it more frequently than what has been prescribed will not help to improve your condition. On the contrary, it may result in serious side effects. In case you suspect having taken an overdose of the medicine, seek immediate medical help from any emergency room or contact the poison control center in your locality.

How lansoprazole works

Lansoprazole belongs to the class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors and it works by obstructing the action of a certain enzyme in the stomach lining that is responsible for producing stomach acid. By interfering with the action of the enzyme, lansoprazole helps to lessen the production of stomach acid and this, in turn, facilitates the healing of the stomach and esophagus. In other words, the action of lansoprazole in the stomach results in a helpful environment for eradicating H. pylori, which promotes the healing of ulcers in the stomach and esophagus.

Side effects

Serious
No serious side effects have been reported.
Common
Less common

Possible interactions

As in the case of any other medication, lansoprazole is also known to interact with certain drugs, especially some herbal products and minerals and, hence, they should not be taken simultaneously. It has been found that herbs like kola and ma huang have the aptitude to enhance stomach acid, thereby, diminishing the effects of lansoprazole. In addition, people suffering from gastrointestinal disorders should never use herbs like ginkgo, black cohosh root and squill. Although licorice root also has a Commission E monogram indication for gastrointestinal ulcers, scientists are yet to study its impact when taken concurrently with any proton pump inhibitor, including lansoprazole. It is advisable that people taking lansoprazole should consult with their doctor prior to adding any herbal product to their list of medications.

For obtaining the best results of taking lansoprazole, take this medication on an empty stomach. Consumption of alcohol and smoking tobacco are also harmful for people taking lansoprazole. In effect, alcohol has been found to promote the secretion of stomach acid, the main cause for gastrointestinal disorders. In addition, consumption of alcoholic drinks is also likely to reduce the remedial benefits of lansoprazole. Like alcohol, even tobacco smoking promotes production of stomach acids and may diminish the effects of this medication. Therefore, it is advisable that people taking lansoprazole should keep away from both.

Discontinuation

Before you decide to stop taking lansoprazole for any cause, it is essential to consult your doctor. It may be warned that taking this medication for a period less than what has been prescribed by your doctor may result in incomplete healing of the stomach or esophagus ulcer. As a result of this, your problems are likely to continue despite the use of the medication.

Storage instructions

Lansoprazole should always be stored at room temperature at 77°F (25°C). However, it is permissible to store this medication for a very brief period at temperatures ranging between 59°F and 86°F (15°C and 30°C). It is important to store lansoprazole in a dark and dry place. Never store this medication in your bathroom, which is damp most of the time. In addition, always store all medicines in such a place that is beyond the reach of children and pets.

When your medicines become outdated or are no longer required, discard them in a proper and safe manner. Never dispose off the medicines by flushing them down the toilet or pouring them into the drain. If necessary, you may consult your physician or the neighbourhood disposal company regarding the proper and safe mode of discarding all unnecessary medications.

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