There's an overwhelming amount of medications available today, and it's easy to get confused. Especially when you have two medications that are said to do the same thing. Protonix and Prevacid are among the most commonly used drugs in the United States, so it's worth finding out a little bit more about them, including what they are, how they work, and what makes them different (if anything).
Both of these drugs treat acid reflux. This occurs when people's stomachs produce too much acid, forcing it back up through the intestines and esophagus. This condition is mainly caused by eating certain foods, and occurs more often in older adults than in young adults and children. It can, however, also be found to be a permanent condition called Gastroesophagul Reflux Disease, or GERD, and should be diagnosed by your doctor if experienced chronically.
Both Protonix and Prevacid are Proton-Pump Inhibitors, or PPI's. They have the same basic function, which is to stop the stomach from producing the excess acid by blocking the gastric proton pump of the gastric parietal cell. This reduces the amount of acid created in the stomach, and results in the lessening of ulcers and acid reflux.
Protonix, also commonly called Pantaprozole (its generic) is mainly used for short-term treatment of GERD and erosive esophagitis (damage to the esophagus from stomach acid). Patients are usually given an eight-week treatment course, and if necessary, can be followed up with another eight weeks. In some cases however, it may be necessary to use Protonix long-term to treat certain conditions. Protonix is only available by prescription in the United States.
Prevacid, also known as Omeprazole (its generic), is one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States and around the world. It can be used for indigestion, peptic ulcer disease (PUD), or GERD. Unlike some of its PPI counterparts, Prevacid is available in the United States without a prescription.
Which One To Choose
All PPI's do basically the same thing in basically the same way. But everyone reacts to different medications differently, so you should always talk to your doctor about which medication is right for you. Since Prevacid is available over the counter, and can be used in less severe instances, it may be better to start with Prevacid for mild conditions. If you experience intense or chronic acid reflux, talk to your doctor about which Proton Pump Inhibitor is right for you. Never take multiple PPI's at the same time, and always check interactions before taking anything.