What is Lansoprazole? Facts On Its Uses, Benefits And Side Effects

What is Lansoprazole?

Lansoprazole (lan-SOP-pra-zole) is a medicine that reduces the amount of acid your stomach makes. It is used to treat indigestion, heartburn, acid reflux, stomach ulcers, and in combination with certain antibiotics to treat Helicobacter pylori infections. The medicine is also sometimes used to treat a rare illness called Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which is caused by an ulcer in the pancreas or gut.

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Quick Facts

·         Lansoprazole was originally synthesised at Japanese pharmaceutical company Takeda. It was patented in 1984 and the drug was launched in 1991.

·         It is also known by the brand name Zoton (among others).

·         A massive 24.6 million items of lansoprazole were prescribed by GP surgeries in England in 2017. That’s roughly equivalent to an item for every person in Northern England and the Midlands combined!

Lansoprazole Side Effects

Most people who take lansoprazole won’t experience any side effects. If you do, they will usually be mild and go away once you stop taking the medicine.

Common side effects may happen in more than 1 in 100 people. Speak to your GP or pharmacist if you any of these side effects persist:

·         headaches

·         diarrhoea

·         stomach pain

·         constipation

How Does Lansoprazole Work?

Lansoprazole belongs to a group of drugs called  (PPIs). PPIs stop the secretion of gastric acid by blocking the ‘proton pump’. Proton pumps are found on cells that line the stomach and are used by these cells to produce stomach acid.

By reducing the amount of acid that the stomach produces, lansoprazole helps to relieve the symptoms of indigestion. It prevents excess acid from flowing back into the oesophagus - relieving the painful heartburn symptoms associated with acid reflux. This allows the oesophagus to heal if it has been damaged by the acid.

But How Long Does Lansoprazole Take to Work?

This depends on which condition the medicine is treating. If you have heartburn or indigestion you should feel relief straight away (or at least in the first few days of your course). For other conditions, such as a peptic ulcer, it may take weeks to feel the benefits of the treatment.

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