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Protonix: Can it be dangerous?


I have had trouble with GERD for years now.  When on a good PPI, it wanes.  When on a not so good PPI, or none at all, it waxes.  Stress also seems to be a factor.  Now I am puking into my mouth when I am asleep at night, which causes me to awaken for several hours; it hurts when I eat food, all the way from my throat, down the tube, all the way down to the stomach, it hurts all the way; I get horrible acid pain, and I am taking 40 mg Prilosec to boot!

The day of the Air France 447 terrorist event (06/01/2009), I was hospitalized and they put me on Protonix 40 mg and it was a Godsend.  Protonix made ALL the discomfort go away immediately, completely.  I haven't taken all the PPIs but Protonix is the best for me by far.  When I was discharged, I got a script for it but New York State Medicaid would not fill it, surprise of all surprises!

I'd like to ask for Protonix again when I see my new internist soon.  I don't know if Protonix is the "strongest" of all the PPIs or the "last resort" PPI--is it?  I read it causes cancer in lab rats?  Does Protonix get used as the last resort because it has potential serious dangers?  I want to know because I am having so much trouble with GERD now that I just want to take 40 mg Protonix indefinitely and put an end to all this unnecessary suffering.  

I don't want to get an endoscopy.  I get scared.  I won't do it.  They could do an MRI of my stomach but not a scope.  To hell with scoping.  All they do is tell you to take a PPI after a scope anyhow, I already know I need one, let's save the expense of a scope?

Can anyone discuss the risks vs. benefits of Protonix, if it really has serious dangers humans have to worry about, and if it's okay to take for long periods of time?  I have MediCARE now, they pay completely for pantoprazole generic.


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