Cautions With Other Medicines
Some medicines and pantoprazole can affect each other and make you more likely to have side effects or stop one of the medicines working as well.
Tell your doctor if you’re taking any of these medicines before you start pantoprazole treatment:
- medicines that hep to prevent blood clots, such as warfarin
How Are Ulcers Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider may be able to make the diagnosis just by talking with you about your symptoms. If you develop an ulcer and youre not taking NSAIDs, the cause is likely an H. pylori infection. To confirm the diagnosis, youll need one of these tests:
If you have severe symptoms, your provider may recommend an upper endoscopy to determine if you have an ulcer. In this procedure, the doctor inserts an endoscope through your throat and into your stomach to look for abnormalities.
H. Pylori tests
Tests for H. pylori are now widely used and your provider will tailor treatment to reduce your symptoms and kill the bacteria. A breath test is the easiest way to discover H. pylori. Your provider can also look for it with a blood or stool test, or by taking a sample during an upper endoscopy.
Less frequently, imaging tests such as X-rays and CT scans are used to detect ulcers. You have to drink a specific liquid that coats the digestive tract and makes ulcers more visible to the imaging machines.
Black Or Dark Colored Stool
If you think you may have an ulcer, a good way to tell is to look at your stool. If you notice that when you use the restroom your stool is extremely dark in color, or even black, chances are you are right about what is ailing you. If this is the case, you should absolutely go to the hospital immediately.
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Treating Helicobacter Pylori Infection
If your stomach ulcers caused by a Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection, youll be given:
- a course of antibiotics
- a medication called a proton pump inhibitor
This is also recommended if its thought your stomach ulcers caused by a combination of an H. pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .
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Can Stomach Ulcers Just Go Away
Some ulcers follow a chronic pattern of healing temporarily on their own and then returning. This might happen if the factors contributing to your ulcer, such as NSAID use, smoking and alcohol, are temporarily reduced and then resumed. You wont completely heal your ulcer until you eliminate the cause, whether that is chronic NSAID use, H. pylori infection or an overactive stomach. Even after successful treatment, you can get another ulcer.
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How Can I Prevent Ulcers
You may be able to prevent ulcers from forming if you:
- Talk to your doctor about alternatives to NSAID medications to relieve pain.
- Discuss protective measures with your doctor, if you cant stop taking an NSAID.
- Opt for the lowest effective dose of NSAID and take it with a meal.
- Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all.
Advice On Taking Nsaids
If your stomach ulcer has been caused by taking NSAIDs, your GP will want to review your use of them.
You may be advised to use an alternative painkiller not associated with stomach ulcers, such as paracetamol.
Sometimes an alternative type of NSAID that’s less likely to cause stomach ulcers, called a COX-2 inhibitor, may be recommended.
If you’re taking low-dose aspirin to reduce your risk of embolism , your GP will tell you whether you need to continue taking it.
If you do need to keep taking it, long-term treatment with a PPI or H2-receptor antagonist may be prescribed alongside the aspirin to try to prevent further ulcers.
It’s important to understand the potential risks associated with continued NSAID use.
You’re more likely to develop another stomach ulcer and could experience a serious complication, such as internal bleeding.
Page last reviewed: 14 January 2022 Next review due: 14 January 2025
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Stomach Cancer And Other Conditions Associated With H Pylori
H pylori is strongly associated with certain cancers. Some studies have also linked it to a number of non-gastrointestinal illnesses, although the evidence is inconsistent.
Stomach cancer, also called gastric cancer, is the third leading cause of cancer death worldwide. In developing countries, where the rate of H pylori is very high, the risk of stomach cancer is six times higher than in the United States. Evidence now suggests that H pylori may be as carcinogenic to the stomach as cigarette smoke is to the lungs.
Infection with H pylori promotes a precancerous condition called atrophic gastritis. The process most likely starts in childhood. It may lead to cancer through the following steps:
- The stomach becomes chronically inflamed and loses patches of glands that secrete protein and acid.
- New cells replace destroyed cells. But the new cells do not produce enough acid to protect against carcinogens.
- Over time, cancer cells may develop and multiply in the stomach.
Although the evidence is mixed, some research suggests that early elimination of H pylori may reduce the risk of stomach cancer to that of the general population. It is important to follow patients after treatment for a long period of time.
H pylori also is weakly associated with other non-intestinal disorders, including migraine headache, Raynaud disease , and skin disorders such as chronic hives.
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What Exactly Is A Stomach Ulcer
Stomach, or peptic, ulcers are open sores that develop on the inside lining of your stomach or the upper portion of your small intestine. This occurs when the thick layer of mucus that protects your stomach from digestive juices is diminished, which then enables digestive acids to eat away at the tissues that line your stomach, causing an ulcer.
According to Medscape, peptic ulcers are almost equally as common in men and women.
There are two types of peptic ulcers:
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How Are Stomach Ulcers Treated
Ulcers can heal if they are given a rest from the factors that created them. Healthcare providers treat uncomplicated ulcers with a combination of medicines to reduce stomach acid, coat and protect the ulcer during healing and kill any bacterial infection that may be involved. Medicines may include:
- Antibiotics. If H. pylori was found in your digestive tract, your healthcare provider will prescribe some combination of antibiotics to kill the bacteria, based on your medical history and condition. Commonly prescribed antibiotics include tetracycline, metronidazole, clarithromycin and amoxicillin.
- Proton pump inhibitors . These drugs help reduce stomach acid and protect your stomach lining. PPIs include esomeprazole,dexlansoprazole,lansoprazole, omeprazole,pantoprazole and rabeprazole.
- Histamine receptor blockers . These reduce stomach acid by blocking the chemical that tells your body to produce it . H2 blockers include famotidine, cimetidine and nizatidine.
- Antacids. These common over-the-counter medicines help to neutralize stomach acid. They may bring some symptom relief, but they arent enough to heal your ulcer. They also might interfere with some antibiotics.
- Cytoprotective agents. These medicines help to coat and protect your stomach lining. They include sucralfate and misoprostol.
- Bismuth Subsalicylate. This over-the-counter medicine, commonly found as Pepto-Bismol, can help coat and protect your ulcer from stomach acid.
What Are The Possible Complications Of Peptic Ulcer Disease
An ulcer left untreated may cause serious complications, including:
- Internal bleeding: While most people with ulcers wont have bleeding, this is the most common complication that can occur. A slow bleeding ulcer can cause anemia or even severe blood loss.
- Perforation: An ulcer that is continuously eroded by acid can eventually become a hole in the stomach or intestinal wall. This is intensely painful and also dangerous. It allows bacteria from the digestive tract to enter the abdominal cavity, which can lead to an infection of the abdominal cavity called peritonitis. From there, the infection is at risk of spreading to the rest of the body . This can lead to a life-threatening condition called .
- Obstruction: An ulcer in the pyloric channel, the narrow passageway that leads from the stomach into the duodenum, can become an obstruction that blocks the flow of food into the small intestine. This can happen after the ulcer has healed. Ulcers that have gone through a healing process may build up scar tissue that enlarges them. An ulcer that is big enough to obstruct the small intestine can stall the digestive process, with numerous side effects.
- Stomach cancer: Some gastric ulcers can become malignant over time. This is more likely when your ulcer is caused by H. pylori infection. H. pylori is a contributing cause of gastric cancer, though fortunately, this is uncommon.
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What Does A Stomach Ulcer Feel Like
The classic symptoms of peptic ulcers are stomach pain and indigestion. Ulcer pain feels like burning or gnawing inside your stomach, which is between your breastbone and your belly button. It may improve temporarily when you eat or drink or when you take an antacid, medication to reduce stomach acid. It may feel worse between meals and at night when stomach acid builds up without food to digest. It may also make you feel like you dont want to eat.
How do I know if I have an ulcer or gastritis?
Gastritis and gastric ulcers share many symptoms and often go hand in hand. Gastritis can be a precursor to stomach ulcers, caused by the same conditions that will eventually cause ulcers, including H. pylori infection and mucous erosion. You may also have both.
Both gastritis and stomach ulcers can cause stomach pain, as well as symptoms of indigestion. Usually, the pain from an ulcer will feel more localized like its coming from one particular spot. But since some ulcers are silent, you might not feel it if you do have one.
If you have symptoms of either gastritis or stomach ulcer, you should seek medical care. Gastritis can lead to ulcers if it hasnt already. It can also indicate an infection or other condition that needs to be treated. Medical testing can quickly determine the causes of your stomach pain.
How can I tell if I have ulcer pain or heartburn?
When Should I Call My Healthcare Provider
See your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:
- Vomiting blood or dark material that looks like coffee grounds
- Extreme weakness or dizziness
- Blood in your stools
- Nausea or vomiting that doesnt get better, or gets worse
- A sudden, severe pain that may spread to your back
- Losing weight without even trying
Untreated peptic ulcers may cause other health problems. Sometimes they bleed. If they become too deep, they can break through your stomach.
Ulcers can also keep food from going through your stomach.
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Mixing Pantoprazole With Herbal Remedies And Supplements
Do not take St John’s wort, the herbal remedy for depression, while you’re taking pantoprazole. St John’s wort may stop pantoprazole working as well as it should.
There’s not enough information to say that other complementary medicines and herbal remedies are safe to take with pantoprazole. They’re not tested in the same way as pharmacy and prescription medicines. They’re generally not tested for the effect they have on other medicines.
What To Eat If You Have A Stomach Ulcer
Since H. pylori bacteria is now known to be an important cause of ulcer formation, scientists are exploring what foods may have a role in fighting against an infection.
In addition to taking the antibiotics and acid-blocking medications recommended by your doctor for your ulcer treatment, eating these foods may also be helpful against the ulcer-causing bacteria:
for ulcer treatment. These foods, such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchi, may prevent reinfection.
Turmeric is currently being studied as a potential treatment for ulcers as well.
Garlic, decaffeinated green tea, and licorice round out the list of things you might want to incorporate in your diet.
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Soothe The Stomach With Bananas
Bananas can help heal a stomach ulcer by promoting cellular proliferation in the stomach. In addition to this, there are certain antibacterial compounds in bananas that inhibit the growth of ulcer-causing H. pylori. Bananas also help reduce inflammation and strengthen the stomach lining.
A 1986 study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology suggests that banana powder treatment not only strengthens mucosal resistance against ulcerogens but also promotes healing by inducing cellular proliferation.
A 2001 study published in the Indian Journal of Experimental Biology suggests that the antioxidant activity of bananas may be involved in its ulcer-protective activity.
In a 2013 study published in Pharmacognosy Research, researchers suggest that the anti-ulcer effect of banana may be due to its antisecretory and cytoprotective activity. The healing of the ulcer base might be connected to the basic fibroblast growth factors responsible for epithelial regeneration in the case of acid-induced ulcers.
Both ripe and unripe bananas are very effective in treating a stomach ulcer.
- Simply eat at least 3 ripe bananas a day.
- Alternatively, peel 2 or 3 bananas and cut them into thin slices. Put the banana slices in the sun until they dry. Now, grind the dry pieces into a fine powder. Mix together 2 tablespoons of this powder and 1 tablespoon of honey. Take this mixture 3 times a day for 1 week.
How To Cope With Side Effects Of Pantoprazole
What to do about:
- headaches make sure you rest and drink plenty of fluids. It’s best not to drink too much alcohol. Ask your pharmacist to recommend a painkiller. Headaches usually go away after the first week of taking pantoprazole. Talk to your doctor if they last longer than a week or are severe.
- diarrhoea drink plenty of water or squash by having small, frequent sips to avoid dehydration. Signs of dehydration include peeing less than usual or having dark, strong-smelling pee. Do not take any other medicines to treat diarrhoea without speaking to a pharmacist or doctor. If diarrhoea does not get better, talk to your doctor.
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Relieve Pain With An Antacid
To stop the pain of ulcers, doctors recommend taking an antacid. During ulcer flare-ups, taking an antacid is the quickest way to relieve the pain, says Meyers. Antacids contain calcium, aluminum, magnesium, or a combination. Aluminum causes constipation in some people, while magnesium can lead to diarrhea. I advise people to evaluate their overall bowel habits, and choose an antacid based on that, as well as their overall calcium requirement, says Meyers.
How Bad Are Soft Drinks
People with peptic ulcers should avoid consuming foods and drinks that cause discomfort, including caffeinated soda, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
According to a January 2015 review in the journal BioMed Research International, soft drinks may include ingredients you might not want to consume even if you dont have an ulcer, such as caffeine sugar or other sweeteners artificial coloring preservatives and flavorings like phosphoric acid.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns that sugar-sweetened beverages in general are a major cause of the overabundance of sugar in the American diet. These drinks have been linked to tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver disease, gout and arthritis.
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A safe drink to reduce stomach acid symptoms is one you can make at home, Rubman says. Add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to 4 or 5 ounces of water and sip slowly. Baking soda is sodium bicarbonate, which strengthens the mucosal barrier in the stomach.
Bottom line: Avoid soft drinks if you have an ulcer.
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What Causes Peptic Ulcers
In the past, experts thought lifestyle factors such as stress and diet caused ulcers. Today we know that stomach acids and other digestive juices help create ulcers. These fluids burn the linings of your organs.
Causes of peptic ulcers include:
- H. pylori bacteria . Most ulcers are caused by an infection from a bacteria or germ called H. pylori. This bacteria hurts the mucus that protects the lining of your stomach and the first part of your small intestine . Stomach acid then gets through to the lining.
- NSAIDs . These are over-the-counter pain and fever medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen. Over time they can damage the mucus that protects the lining of your stomach.
What Is A Stomach Ulcer
A stomach ulcer, also called a gastric ulcer, is an open sore that develops in your stomach lining. You can also get one in your duodenum, the first part of the small intestine that your stomach feeds into. Duodenal ulcers and stomach ulcers are both types of peptic ulcers. Theyre named for pepsin, one of the digestive juices that are found in the stomach and that sometimes leak into the duodenum. These juices are a contributing factor in peptic ulcer disease.
Peptic ulcers occur when the protective mucous lining in your stomach and duodenum has been eroded, allowing gastric acids and digestive enzymes to eat away at your stomach and duodenal walls. This eventually results in open sores that are continually irritated by the acid. If left untreated, they can begin to cause serious complications, such as internal bleeding. Over time, they can even wear a hole all the way through. This is a medical emergency.
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