Lansoprazole

Lansoprazole capsules are a proton pump inhibitor. Works by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach makes.

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What is Lansoprazole?

Lansoprazole is a prescription-only medicine (POM), it belongs to a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. Zoton is a brand name, meaning the active ingredient of Zoton is Lansoprazole. Lansoprazole works by reducing the amount of gastric acid that your stomach makes. The reduced acid production (acid secretion) in turn reduces your symptoms of stomach pain or chest discomfort and allows your body to heal any inflammation in your stomach lining. PPIs are excellent treatment options for acid reflux, gastro-oesophageal disease and indigestion.

Lansoprazole and other PPIs are also used to treat a rare condition called Zollinger Ellison Syndrome.

How can it help?

It is common for people to get heartburn and indigestion (acid reflux) symptoms from time to time. You may find the following measures help reduce symptom occurrences:

  • Eat smaller and more frequent meals
  • Avoid eating three to four hours before lying down or going to bed
  • Keep to a healthy weight
  • Stop smoking
  • Avoid fizzy drinks
  • Avoid foods that give symptoms e.g. coffee, chocolate, alcohol, tomatoes, and fatty or spicy food
  • Avoid anti-inflammatory painkillers e.g. ibuprofen
  • Reduce stress by learning relaxation techniques
  • Avoid tight belts or clothing
  • Raise the head of your bed by about 4-8 inches using blocks under the legs of the bed Over-the-counter medicines called ‘alginates’ or ‘antacids’ can be helpful in relieving heartburn and indigestion

Always check with your pharmacist or doctor to make sure Lansoprazole is suitable for you.

Treatment details

Most people are able to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (heartburn and indigestion) with simple changes to their diet and lifestyle or with medicines such as alginates and/or antacids. If your gastroesophageal reflux disease symptoms do not get better despite these measurements, your doctor may prescribe you Lansoprazole for four weeks. If your symptoms continue, then a further four weeks supply may be prescribed.

Most people only need a short course of treatment, although some may find their symptoms return several months later. Your doctor will advise you how long you should be taking your Lansoprazole.

What happens if I stop?

If you take Lansoprazole for more than a few weeks, your stomach may temporarily increase its ability to make acid, so that when the PPI (proton pump inhibitors) is stopped, acid levels may be higher than before it was started. For this reason, some people find that their symptoms of acid reflux appear exacerbated when they try to stop taking Lansoprazole. These are known as rebound symptoms and they can last for up to two weeks. Rebound symptoms can be reduced by stopping Lansoprazole slowly and making simple lifestyle changes. Stepping down or stepping off After the initial course of four to eight weeks, your doctor may advise you to ‘step down’ or ‘step off’ your treatment to reduce the potential for side effects.

However, some conditions (e.g. Barrett’s Oesophagus) require long term treatment, therefore please do not change doses or stop treatment unless you have discussed this with your GP.

Options for stepping down treatment

If you are suitable for stepping down or stepping off treatment, your doctor will discuss with you which approach would suit you best:

  1. “Take when needed” treatment. You only take a PPI occasionally when you have symptoms.
  2. Short courses of treatment If your symptoms return, a short course of PPI may be prescribed for two to four weeks.
  3. Reducing dose: The dose is reduced to the lowest effective dose. This can be done gradually over a few weeks.
  4. Stopping altogether (step off): If you are on a high dose, your doctor can prescribe a lower dose for you to take over four weeks until you reach the lowest dose, and eventually, you may be able to stop altogether. For example: Lansoprazole 30mg→15mg→ stop Omeprazole 40mg → 20mg → 10mg → stop
  5. Alternative treatment: An alginate and/or antacid may be recommended or prescribed, especially if you have rebound symptoms in the first few weeks of stepping down or off. You should always leave at least an hour between taking an antacid and a PPI because antacids can make PPIs less effective.

It is important that you continue to follow our advice on lifestyle and diet to keep your symptoms at bay.

How to use Lansoprazole

Swallow the capsules whole with a glass of water, with or without food, take once daily (single daily dose) and at the same time each day. The dose you take and for how long depends on what you are being treated for and your doctor’s recommendation.

Missed dose If you miss a dose take it as soon as you remember unless it is time to take the next dose, then skip the missed dose. Do not take a double dose.

How should Lansoprazole capsules be stored?

You should store your Lansoprazole capsules 30mg below 25°C in a cool dry place.

Are there alternatives to the capsule?

Lansoprazole is available as a dispersible tablet (lansoprazole orodispersible).

Side effects & precautions

The possible side effects are usually mild and reversible, they include:

  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea
  • Wind
  • Feeling sick
  • Vomiting
  • Headaches

Long-term use of PPIs may cause other side effects:

Increased risk of certain gastrointestinal infections e.g. Clostridium difficile Observational studies show an increased risk of developing osteoporosis (a condition that affects bones) and bone fractures.

Reporting of side effects If you get any side effects talk to your doctor or pharmacist. This includes any possible side effects listed on the attached leaflet. You can also report side effects directly via the internet at www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard. By reporting side effects, you can help provide more information on the safety of this medicine.

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