Difference Between Nexium & Protonix

By Rebecca S. McClinton

Nexium (esomeprazole) and Protonix (pantoprazole) are both Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) that are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of erosive espophagitis, gastroespohgael refulx disease (GERD), Helicobacter pylori infection and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. PPIs work by inhibiting the action of the proton pump which supresses stomach acid.

Additional Indications for Protonix

Protonix is also approved for the treatment of duodenal ulcers, gastric ulcers, peptic ulcers and ulcer prevention.

Additional Indications for Nexium

Nexium is approved for pathological hypersecretory conditions, and NSAID-Induced Gastric Ulcers in addition to the conditions mentioned above.

Duration of Therapy

Perhaps the biggest difference between these two PPIs is the recommended duration of treatment. Nexium is only indicated for short term therapy, although physicians can prescribe it for longer. Protonix is typically prescribed for longer treatment. Nexium also needs to be taken one hour prior to eating. Protonix may be taken at any time.

Nexium Side Effects

According to DIOne, a medication management system used by hospitals, Nexium appears to have more side effects than Protonix. Side effects include but are not limited to, constipation, dyspepsia, epigastric pain, gastroenteritis, increased appetite, anorexia, vomiting, pancreatitis, confusion, dizziness, insomnia, migraines, drowsiness, tremor, vertigo, .hypertension, tachycardia, chest pain, joint pain, muscle pain, cramps, hernia, anemia, excessive thirst, vitamin B12 deficiency, weight changes, impotence, dysmenorrhea, vaginitis, confusion, depression, nervousness, asthma, sinusitis, fatigue, fever, conjunctivitis, abnormal vision and ringing of the ears.

Protonix Side Effects

DIOne also states that Protonix appears to be well tolerated among patients. Reported side effects include (but are not limited to), diarrhea, flatulence, abdominal pain, belching, constipation, dyspepsia, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, dry mouth, gingivitis, bad breath, increased appetite, increased salivation, stomach ulcer, tongue discoloration, abnormal stools, hernia, ulcerative colitis, headache, insomnia, back pain, neck pain and chest pain.

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