Pantoprazole vs Omeprazole: What's the Difference?
Omeprazole and pantoprazole sound similar because they are similar. Both of these proton pump inhibitors can treat stomach acid conditions, including esophageal irritation resulting from acid reflux.
But pantoprazole and omeprazole aren’t precisely the same. They have different dosages, side effect profiles – and, crucially, different prices.
Here, we’ll pit the two medications against each other, pantoprazole vs. omeprazole, in a few different categories so you have the information you need to discuss with your doctor and make the best choice for your care.
(We’ll also provide a straightforward way to save up to 94% on these effective GERD medications by working with a safe online Canadian pharmacy and international drugstore.)
Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole vs. Protonix vs. Prilosec
Protonix and Prilosec are the brand names for pantoprazole and omeprazole, respectively. These prescription medications are proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), drugs that reduce the amount of acid our stomachs produce.
As proton pump inhibitors, pantoprazole and omeprazole can provide game-changing relief for people who suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or related complications.
GERD occurs when stomach contents – including strong acids – make their way back up from the stomach to the esophagus.
This is both extremely painful and highly damaging.
Fortunately, proton pump inhibitors can help reverse this reflux, allowing people with GERD to live a symptom-free (or mostly free) life.
How Do Proton Pump Inhibitors Work?
The name doesn’t immediately make clear how proton pump inhibitors and stomach acid conditions are connected. So let’s connect quickly connect those dots:
Proton pump inhibitors inhibit (or block) a specific enzyme called a proton pump. Proton pumps help make stomach acid by influencing the number of protons, or charged hydrogen ions, into the stomach.
The more hydrogen ions there are in an environment, the more acidic that environment is. By stopping the action of proton pumps, PPIs reduce that acidity.
Stomach acid can be beneficial. When present at healthy levels, stomach acid helps us break down our food. Too much acid, however, is simply too much. An excess of stomach acid can cause many unpleasant symptoms, from ulcers to acid reflux to esophageal erosion.
That’s where pantoprazole and omeprazole can make a big difference.
What Is Pantoprazole?
Pantoprazole, or brand Protonix, treats GERD as well as erosive esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus. Sometimes, physicians will prescribe pantoprazole off-label to treat specific bacterial infections or as a preventative measure against certain ulcers.
When pantoprazole is used to treat GERD, it’s an efficient option.
In 2018, one study found that nearly 70% of GERD patients who took 40mg of pantoprazole daily for eight weeks experienced significant symptom improvement.
Patients taking GERD have their choice of time-release capsules or oral suspensions. Pantoprazole comes in two different strengths (20mg and 40mg). Your doctor will help you determine which is best for you.
In the United States, a 30-day supply of brand Protonix can cost as much as $583.00, or nearly $20.00 per pill.
Alternatively, American patients can send their prescriptions across the border to an online Canadian pharmacy or international drugstore and save big. At NorthWestPharmacy.com, you can buy a 30-day supply of brand Protonix for approximately $37.00 – just about $1.20 per pill (and up to 94% savings).
You can buy generic pantoprazole through NorthWestPharmacy.com to realize even steeper savings. We sell a 30 day supply of generic pantoprazole for just over $0.25 per pill.
What is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole, or the active ingredient in Prilosec, predates pantoprazole as an approved PPI. Omeprazole was approved for stomach acid conditions in 1989, while pantoprazole didn’t arrive on the pharmaceutical scene until 2000.
At the time, omeprazole was an incredible breakthrough for GERD patients.
Before the discovery and approval of proton pump inhibitors, patients with painful stomach acid concerns had antacids like Tums, milk of magnesia, and Mylanta.
These products effectively neutralize stomach acids and relieve heartburn and other GERD symptoms, but they don’t stop the production of stomach acids. (That’s a job for proton pump inhibitors.)
Omeprazole is available in both prescription and OTC forms. The two forms contain the same active ingredient but are available in different strengths. OTC omeprazole is only for treating heartburn, whereas prescription omeprazole should be used under a doctor’s supervision to treat chronic GERD.
American patients can pay $475.00 for a 30-day supply of brand-name prescription Prilosec, or about $15.80. While that’s more affordable than the same amount of Protonix, that’s still far out of accessible range for most Americans!
To save up to 85%, you can buy brand-name prescription Prilosec through NorthWestPharmacy.com for around $66.00 for a four-week supply, or approximately $2.35 per pill.
Is Pantoprazole the Same as Omeprazole?
Pantoprazole is not the same as omeprazole – although, as their similar names may suggest, they do have similar functions. These drugs are proton pump inhibitors that can effectively relieve stomach acid conditions.
Pantoprazole and omeprazole have different chemical structures. They also may produce different side effects, and sometimes require different dosages.
In this next section, we’ll look at pantoprazole vs. omeprazole across several categories – dosages, side effects, price, and more – so you and your doctor can determine which medication is most appropriate for you and your condition.
Comparing Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole
Pantoprazole and omeprazole have a lot in common.
But how do these two prescription PPIs differ? What are the real differences if you directly compare pantoprazole vs. omeprazole?
Here are a few highlights:
- While omeprazole is available in prescription and OTC forms, pantoprazole is prescription-only.
- Omeprazole is appropriate for children if they’re at least one year old. Pantoprazole is only appropriate for children over the age of five. Consult your pediatrician before giving a child these medications.
- Pantoprazole has fewer drug interactions than omeprazole.
- Pantoprazole is slightly cheaper than omeprazole. (Fortunately, both medications are significantly more affordable through an international drugstore and online Canadian pharmacy.)
In the following sections, we’ll discuss these and other differences between pantoprazole and omeprazole.
Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole: Dosing
Your dose of pantoprazole or omeprazole will depend on your condition's severity, age, health history, and other factors. It’s best to discuss dosing with your doctor, but to give you an idea of what to expect, here are typical dosing structures for both PPIs:
- Patients typically take 40mg of pantoprazole once daily. The treatment period will last eight weeks if they treat an inflamed esophagus due to GERD complications. If the patient takes pantoprazole as a preventative measure, it may be a longer-term medication – but it likely will not be permanent.
- Patients will often take 20mg of omeprazole once daily. Patients treating esophageal irritation take omeprazole for eight weeks, while patients treating GERD without esophagitis usually only take the medication for four weeks. Patients may take omeprazole longer-term as a preventative measure, but likely not for over one year.
Finally, here are a few dosing tips that should be helpful for both pantoprazole and omeprazole use:
- Take your PPIs 30 minutes before your first meal.
- Try taking your PPI at the same time each day, so your stomach acid levels remain consistently low.
- Don’t break or chew your PPI tablets. Instead, swallow them whole with water.
- Be aware that, for some people, PPI use can make it more difficult for their bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals (such as calcium and magnesium). If this concerns you, ask your doctor for recommendations about supplementation.
Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole: Side Effects
All prescription drugs are associated with at least a few side effects. Pantoprazole and omeprazole are no exceptions.
If you take either pantoprazole or omeprazole, keep an eye out for these common side effects of both drugs:
- Stomach pain
More serious side effects of PPI use, especially long-term PPI use, include osteoporosis and related bone fractures.
Pantoprazole and omeprazole also have their own sets of side effects. For example, patients taking pantoprazole may experience dry mouth, blurred vision, joint pain, and dizziness. It’s rarer that omeprazole would cause those effects.
On the other hand, omeprazole use has been associated with a specific type of bacterial diarrhea that can come with stomach cramping and even a fever. (This side effect is rare, but it’s good to know what’s possible.)
Discuss your options with your healthcare provider if you experience any unwanted side effects when taking either pantoprazole or omeprazole. Your doctor may recommend a different dosing strategy or a different medication altogether.
Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole: Price
Pantoprazole and omeprazole vary considerably in price, depending on the dose you need, whether you opt for generic or brand-name medications, and where you get your medications.
In America, Protonix is a little more expensive than Prilosec – about $20.00 per pill to Prilosec’s $15.00 per pill.
Both become considerably more affordable (less than $2.50 per pill!) when you buy brand Protonix and Prilosec through an international or online Canadian pharmacy.
Pantoprazole vs. Omeprazole: Interactions
When you take prescription medications, they cause a very specific set of actions within your body. Sometimes, the actions triggered by two different medications interfere with one another.
This is called an interaction. Unfortunately, interactions between medications can be hazardous because they make it difficult to predict how effective or safe medication will be for a patient.
Omeprazole has more interactions to be aware of than pantoprazole.
If you’re taking a high dose of omeprazole, be aware of possible interactions with:
Pantoprazole interacts with these medications less.
There’s also a set of medications that interact with both pantoprazole and omeprazole. These medications include:
This is not a comprehensive list. When your doctor prescribes PPI medication, they should check your current list of prescriptions to ensure there are no problematic interactions.
How Fast Do Omeprazole and Pantoprazole Work for GERD, Heartburn, or Reflux?
Both omeprazole and pantoprazole should provide relief relatively efficiently.
Pantoprazole’s effects should begin between 2-3 hours after taking your first dose, though it can take about a week for the full impact of the medication to kick in.
Omeprazole may work faster. You should feel relief between 1-2 hours after taking your medication. Then, you should feel the full impact of the medication about four days after taking omeprazole regularly.
Whether You Need Pantoprazole or Omeprazole, We Have What You Need
Accessibility and affordability are often deciding factors – if not the deciding factors – when American patients buy necessary prescription medications.
But there may be better ways to determine which medication is best for you. For example, while pantoprazole and omeprazole (or brand Protonix and Prilosec) are very similar prescription medications, they do have differences in dosage, side effects, and interactions, as well as cost.
You need to feel free to learn about your prescription medications and select the best one for you without cost being the only determinant.
American patients may not have that luxury with brick-and-mortar United States pharmacies.
Our international and online Canadian pharmacies are proud to ensure you have access to the safe, brand-name prescription medications you need to thrive.
At NorthWestPharmacy.com, we keep our processes very straightforward. Simply add your prescription medication to your cart, upload, email or fax your doctor’s prescription then and check out through our private, secure online payment portal. Before you know it, your medications will be delivered to your front door.
Interested in speaking with a knowledgeable, friendly customer service rep to place your order, or asking a question of our pharmacists? You can do so by calling 1-866-539-5330.
When you’re ready to purchase your prescription PPIs, the team at NorthWestPharmacy.com is here to make the entire process easier for you. In the meantime, Check out our online pharmacy’s customer reviews – over 425,000 of them -- or browse our resource library to learn more about your required medications. We look forward to supporting you and your healthcare journey.