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Pantoprazole vs. omeprazole: What's the difference between them?

Medically reviewed by Sally Chao, MD. Last updated on May 29, 2022.

Official answer


Pantoprazole and omeprazole are both medicines from the class of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs work by decreasing the amount of acid your stomach produces and have similar effectiveness. The approved uses for pantoprazole and omeprazole differ slightly, but they are all disorders related to too much stomach acid.

Pantoprazole is approved to treat:

  • Erosive esophagitis associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions, including Zollinger-Ellison (ZE) syndrome

Omeprazole is approved to treat:

  • Duodenal ulcer
  • H. pylori infection and duodenal ulcer disease (in combination with clarithromycin)
  • Gastric ulcer
  • Treatment of GERD in adults and pediatric patients
  • Erosive esophagitis (short-term, or long-term for healing and maintenance)
  • Pathological hypersecretory conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, multiple endocrine adenomas and systemic mastocytosis

Omeprazole was the first PPI to be marketed in 1989 under the brand name Prilosec. It is available by prescription as 10 mg, 20 mg or 40 mg delayed-release capsules, and as granules for oral suspension. When prescribed by a doctor, it is usually taken for 4 to 8 weeks, depending on which disorder is being treated. Omeprazole is also available over the counter (OTC) as a 20 mg tablet for individuals who experience frequent heartburn. The OTC product should be used for only 2 weeks. Omeprazole should be taken on an empty stomach.

Pantoprazole was marketed in 2000 under the brand name Protonix. It is available by prescription only and comes as 20 mg or 40 mg delayed-release tablets, a 40 mg packet of delayed-release granules to make an oral suspension and as an intravenous (IV) form. It may be taken with or without food, and the usual course of treatment is up to 8 weeks long.

  1. U.S. National Library of Medicine DailyMed. Protonix Product Information. [Accessed May 10, 2022].
  2. U.S. National Library of Medicine DailyMed. Prilosec Product Information. [Accessed May 11, 2022].
  3. U.S. National Library of Medicine DailyMed. Prilosec-OTC Product information. [Accessed May 11, 2022].

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