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Lansoprazole is a prescription drug used to prevent and treat indigestion, heartburn, gastric ulcers, and erosive oesophagitis. It is available in tablets and capsules form, containing benzimidazole as the active ingredient. Benzimidazole is a compound that works by blocking the proton pump in the cells of your stomach. As a result, the secretion of gastric acid is reduced, relieving you of the symptoms caused by excessive stomach acid.
How effective is Lansoprazole?
As a proton pump inhibitor drug, lansoprazole is effective in managing heartburn, abdominal pain, and other types of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Usually, the drug takes effect after 2 to 3 days of consumption, but can also take up to a month, depending on one's dosage. When taken in combination of certain drugs such as sucralfate or rifampin, lansoprazole effectiveness reduces. As such, it is advised to consult your doctor or pharmacist before beginning treatment.
Ideally, lansoprazole requires a prescription, especially when taken to treat complex gut diseases such as intestinal ulcers and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. As such, be sure to book an appointment with a health expert at Click Pharmacy, to discuss the appropriate usage of this drug.
Nonetheless, over-the-counter lansoprazole for treating occasional heartburns can be conveniently bought from a trusted online pharmacy. It is purchased in packs that are sent directly to you by Next Day Delivery.
What dose should I choose?
A single pack of lansoprazole contains about 28 tablets/capsule, each having about 15 to 30 mg of the active ingredient benzimidazole.
The usual dosage for an adult is 15 mg taken daily for at least 4 weeks. Of course, this depends on the type of condition being treated. For instance, to address systemic mastocytosis, the patient is required to take up to 60 mg of lansoprazole a day, for close to 8 weeks.
Doses for seniors and kids aged 1 - 17 years are usually lower, as most of them range between 15 to 30 mg, taken for not more than 12 weeks.
How should I take Lansoprazole?
Lansoprazole is taken orally, as delayed-release oral capsule or delayed-release orally disintegrating tablet. These two forms of lansoprazole are designed in a way such that they do not release medication until they pass through your stomach. While taking them, it is advised that you refrain from chewing or crushing the tablets/capsules.
In case you have any problem with swallowing the drug in whole, you can sprinkle the capsule's content on soft foods such as yoghurt or applesauce, ingest the mixture immediately, without chewing. Alternatively, you can stir the material in a small amount of water (2 ounces), and drink right away. Keep in mind that the mixture shouldn't be prepared ahead of time for later consumption, since doing so destroy's the potency of the drug.
Liquid lansoprazole is recommended for younger kids aged 1 to 10 years. It may also be given to adults who have a problem swallowing the capsules/tablets. The liquid lansoprazole is administered using an oral syringe or a calibrated spoon. Don't use kitchen spoons as they don't give the correct amount.
Regardless of the patient's age, lansoprazole should be taken 30 minutes before a meal or snack. This is to allow the medication to be absorbed into the body system since food slows down the absorption. Again, how frequent the drug should be taken depends on the gastric condition being treated. The severe ones may require taking medicine twice a day, while the less-severe ones can be treated by a single dose daily. Also, if symptoms persist after 14 days of consumption, consider consulting a doctor.
How does Lansoprazole work?
Lansoprazole is falling under the proton pump inhibitors (PPI) class of drugs. Generally, these types of drugs are the most potent acid secretion inhibitors across all categories of drugs. Lansoprazole, like all PPIs, targets the cells responsible for secreting gastric acid and blocks them, resulting in reduced production of the acid.
During consumption, lansoprazole is in its inactive form, which is a neutrally charged state, thus can readily pass other cell membranes, and reach into the acidic intracellular membranes. The acidic environment activates the active ingredient benzimidazole, irreversibly deactivating the production of gastric acid.
How long should I take Lansoprazole before I notice a difference?
Depending on your illness, you may take lansoprazole for a few weeks, months or even years. During this period, some take the drug daily while others take once they start experiencing symptoms linked to excessive production of gastric acid. Nonetheless, symptoms should subsidize after 3 days of receiving the lansoprazole.
Once you feel better, the doctor may advise you to stop taking lansoprazole, concerning how well you've recovered. Note that if you are self-treating using over-the-counter lansoprazole, you shouldn't take the drug for more than 14 days, unless advised otherwise by a doctor.
What are the side effects of Lansoprazole?
While most patients are tolerant to lansoprazole, some may experience mild side effects such as headache, nausea, constipation and abdominal pain, which fade away with time. However, if these symptoms persist or become more severe, talk to your doctor.
Serious side effects that should warrant a visit to the doctor include:
Pain around the kidneys
Cutaneous lupus erythematosus symptoms such as red skin rashes, and scaly skin
Poor muscular coordination
Fast heart rate
In most cases, the above serious side effects are common among patients who have taken lansoprazole for periods exceeding 3 months, since it decreases the absorption of minerals and vitamins.
Should you experience any of these symptoms, don't hesitate to consult a health specialist at Click Pharmacy for immediate assistance.
When Shouldn't I Take Lansoprazole?
Although there hasn't been sufficient research showing the effect of lansoprazole on pregnant women, it is not recommended to take it anyway when expectant. Similarly, studies have not been done in nursing mom's taking lansoprazole, though it is known to cause side effects in a child who is breastfed.
Lansoprazole is, however strictly forbidden for people with liver problems or has had a history of liver disease. Such patients may not be able to detoxify their body of this drug. But still, the doctor prescribes a reduced dosage for this type of patients.
Since lansoprazole can lead to bone fractures, patients who have osteoporosis shouldn't take this drug as it can increase the risk of fractures even more.
What is the difference between Lansoprazole and Nexium/Protonix?
The above-mentioned drugs can be used to treat heartburn, stomach ulcers, and excessive secretion of gastric acid. However, lansoprazole contain benzimidazole as the active ingredient while Nexium and Protonix contain magnesium trihydrate and pantoprazole sodium, respectively as the active ingredient.
Always read the patient information leaflet before starting your treatment. The patient information can be found here.
Content reviewed 06 April 2020, Last updated 06 April 2020
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