Why is this medication prescribed?
Rabeprazole is used to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and possible injury of the esophagus (the tube that connects the throat and stomach) in adults and children 1 year of age and older. Rabeprazole is used to treat damage from GERD, allow the esophagus to heal, and prevent further damage to the esophagus in adults. Rabeprazole is also used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome in adults. Rabeprazole is used to treat ulcers (sores in the lining of the stomach or intestine) and is used in combination with other medications to eliminate H. pylori (a bacteria that causes ulcers) in adults. Rabeprazole is in a class of medications called proton-pump inhibitors. It works by decreasing the amount of acid made in the stomach.
How should this medicine be used?
Rabeprazole comes as a delayed-release (releases the medication in the intestine to prevent break-down of the medication by stomach acids) tablet and a delayed-release sprinkle capsule (capsule that contains small granules of medication that are sprinkled on food or liquid) to take by mouth. The delayed-release tablets are usually taken once a day. When used to treat ulcers, rabeprazole tablets are taken after the morning meal. When used in combination with other medications to eliminate H. pylori, rabeprazole tablets are taken twice a day, with the morning and evening meals, for 7 days. Rabeprazole sprinkle capsules are usually taken once a day 30 minutes before a meal. Follow the directions on your prescription label carefully, and ask your doctor or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand. Take rabeprazole exactly as directed. Do not take more or less of it or take it more often or for a longer period of time than prescribed by your doctor.
Swallow the tablets whole with water; do not split, chew, or crush them.
To take the sprinkle capsules, open a capsule and sprinkle the granules onto a small amount of cool soft food such as applesauce, fruit or vegetable baby food, or yogurt and swallow the mixture immediately (within 15 minutes) without chewing or crushing the granules. You can also open a capsule and pour the contents into a small amount of cool liquid such as infant formula, apple juice, or pediatric electrolyte solution and swallow the mixture immediately (within 15 minutes) without chewing or crushing the granules.
Continue to take rabeprazole even if you feel well. Do not stop taking rabeprazole without talking to your doctor. If your condition does not improve or gets worse, call your doctor.
Other uses for this medicine
This medication may be prescribed for other uses; ask your doctor or pharmacist for more information.
What special precautions should I follow?
Before taking rabeprazole,
- tell your doctor and pharmacist if you are allergic to rabeprazole, dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid, in Previpac), omeprazole (Prilosec, in Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), any other medications, or any of the ingredients in rabeprazole tablets or sprinkle capsules. Ask your pharmacist for a list of the ingredients.
- tell your doctor if you are taking rilpivirine (Edurant, in Complera, Odefsey). Your doctor will probably tell you not to take rabeprazole if you are taking this medication.
- tell your doctor and pharmacist what prescription and nonprescription medications, vitamins, nutritional supplements, and herbal products you are taking or plan to take. Be sure to mention any of the following: certain antibiotics, anticoagulants ('blood thinners') such as warfarin (Coumadin), atazanavir (Reyataz), cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune), dasatinib (Sprycel), digoxin (Lanoxin), diuretics ('water pills'), erlotinib (Tarceva), itraconazole (Onmel, Sporonox), ketoconazole (Nizoral), iron supplements, methotrexate (Trexall, Xatmep), mycophenolate mofetil (Cellcept), nelfinavir (Viracept), nilotinib (Tasigna), saquinavir (Invirase), and tacrolimus (Prograf). Your doctor may need to change the doses of your medications or monitor you carefully for side effects.
- tell your doctor if you have or have ever had a low level of magnesium in your blood, low levels of vitamin B-12 in your body, osteoporosis, an autoimmune disease (condition in which the body attacks its own organs, causing swelling and loss of function) such as systemic lupus erythematosus, or liver disease.
- tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding. If you become pregnant while taking rabeprazole, call your doctor.
- talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of taking rabeprazole if you are 70 years of age or older. Do not take this medication for a longer period of time than recommended by your doctor.
What special dietary instructions should I follow?
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, continue your normal diet.
What should I do if I forget a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember it. However, if it is almost time for the next dose, skip the missed dose and continue your regular dosing schedule. Do not take a double dose to make up for a missed one.
What side effects can this medication cause?
Rabeprazole may cause side effects. Tell your doctor if these symptoms are severe or do not go away:
- sore throat
Some side effects can be serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call your doctor immediately, or get emergency medical help:
- blistering or peeling skin
- swelling of the eyes, face, mouth, lips, tongue, or throat
- difficulty breathing or swallowing
- irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeat
- excessive tiredness
- muscle spasms, cramps, or weakness
- uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
- severe diarrhea with watery stools, stomach pain, or fever that does not go away
- rash on cheeks or arms that is sensitive to sunlight
- increased or decreased urination, blood in urine, fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, fever, rash, or joint pain
Rabeprazole may cause other side effects. Call your doctor if you have any unusual problems while you are taking this medication.
People who take proton pump inhibitors such as rabeprazole may be more likely to fracture their wrists, hips, or spine than people who do not take one of these medications. People who take proton pump inhibitors may also develop fundic gland polyps (a type of growth on the stomach lining). These risks are highest in people who take high doses of one of these medications or take them for one year or longer. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking rabeprazole.
If you experience a serious side effect, you or your doctor may send a report to the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program online (http://www.fda.gov/Safety/MedWatch) or by phone (1-800-332-1088).
What should I know about storage and disposal of this medication?
Keep this medication in the container it came in, tightly closed, and out of reach of children. Store it at room temperature and away from excess heat and moisture (not in the bathroom).
It is important to keep all medication out of sight and reach of children as many containers (such as weekly pill minders and those for eye drops, creams, patches, and inhalers) are not child-resistant and young children can open them easily. To protect young children from poisoning, always lock safety caps and immediately place the medication in a safe location – one that is up and away and out of their sight and reach. http://www.upandaway.org
Unneeded medications should be disposed of in special ways to ensure that pets, children, and other people cannot consume them. However, you should not flush this medication down the toilet. Instead, the best way to dispose of your medication is through a medicine take-back program. Talk to your pharmacist or contact your local garbage/recycling department to learn about take-back programs in your community. See the FDA's Safe Disposal of Medicines website (http://goo.gl/c4Rm4p) for more information if you do not have access to a take-back program.
In case of emergency/overdose
In case of overdose, call the poison control helpline at 1-800-222-1222. Information is also available online at https://www.poisonhelp.org/help. If the victim has collapsed, had a seizure, has trouble breathing, or can't be awakened, immediately call emergency services at 911.
What other information should I know?
Keep all appointments with your doctor and the laboratory. Your doctor may order certain laboratory tests before and during your treatment, especially if you have severe diarrhea.
Before having any laboratory test, tell your doctor and the laboratory personnel that you are taking rabeprazole.
Do not let anyone else take your medication. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about refilling your prescription.
It is important for you to keep a written list of all of the prescription and nonprescription (over-the-counter) medicines you are taking, as well as any products such as vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements. You should bring this list with you each time you visit a doctor or if you are admitted to a hospital. It is also important information to carry with you in case of emergencies.
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