In patients with severe liver impairment, the liver enzymes should be monitored regularly during treatment with pantoprazole, particularly on long-term use. In the case of a rise of the liver enzymes, the treatment should be discontinued (see section 4.2).
In the case of combination therapy, the summaries of product characteristics of the respective medicinal products should be observed.
Symptomatic response to pantoprazole may mask the symptoms of gastric malignancy and may delay diagnosis. In the presence of any alarm symptom (e. g. significant unintentional weight loss, recurrent vomiting, dysphagia, haematemesis, anaemia or melaena) and when gastric ulcer is suspected or present, malignancy should be excluded. Further investigation is to be considered if symptoms persist despite adequate treatment.
Co-administration with HIV protease inhibitors
Co-administration of pantoprazole is not recommended with HIV protease inhibitors for which absorption is dependent on acidic intragastric pH such as atazanavir, due to significant reduction in their bioavailability (see section 4.5).
Influence on vitamin B12 absorption
In patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and other pathological hypersecretory conditions requiring long-term treatment, pantoprazole, as all acid-blocking medicines, may reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) due to hypo- or achlorhydria. This should be considered in patients with reduced body stores or risk factors for reduced vitamin B12 absorption on long-term therapy or if respective clinical symptoms are observed.
Long term treatment
In long-term treatment, especially when exceeding a treatment period of 1 year, patients should be kept under regular surveillance.
Gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria
Treatment with Protium may lead to a slightly increased risk of gastrointestinal infections caused by bacteria such as Salmonella and Campylobacter or C. difficile.
Severe hypomagnesaemia has been reported in patients treated with PPIs like pantoprazole for at least three months, and in most cases for a year. Serious manifestations of hypomagnesaemia such as fatigue, tetany, delirium, convulsions, dizziness and ventricular arrhythmia can occur but they may begin insidiously and be overlooked. In most affected patients, hypomagnesaemia improved after magnesium replacement and discontinuation of the PPI.For patients expected to be on prolonged treatment or who take PPIs with digoxin or medicinal products that may cause hypomagnesaemia (e.g. diuretics), health care professionals should consider measuring magnesium levels before starting PPI treatment and periodically during treatment.
Proton pump inhibitors, especially if used in high doses and over long durations (>1 year), may modestly increase the risk of hip, wrist and spine fracture, predominantly in older people or in the presence of other recognised risk factors. Observational studies suggest that proton pump inhibitors may increase the overall risk of fracture by 1040%. Some of this increase may be due to other risk factors. Patients at risk of osteoporosis should receive care according to current clinical guidelines and they should have an adequate intake of vitamin D and calcium.Subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus (SCLE)Proton pump inhibitors are associated with very infrequent cases of SCLE. If lesions occur, especially in sun exposed areas of the skin, and if accompanied by arthralgia, the patient should seek medical help promptly and the healthcare professional should consider stopping Protium. SCLE after previous treatment with a proton pump inhibitor may increase the risk of SCLE with other proton pump inhibitors.Interference with Laboratory TestsIncreased Chromogranin A (CgA) level may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumours. To avoid this interference, Protium treatment should be stopped for at least 5 days before CgA measurements (see section 5.1). If CgA and gastrin levels have not returned to reference range after initial measurement, measurements should be repeated 14 days after cessation of proton pump inhibitor treatment.