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Prevacid is a medication used in the treatment of certain types of ulcers. This is a class of medication known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that is used alone or in combination with antibiotics to decrease the amount of acid secretion in the stomach and eradicate a type of bacteria known as Helicobacter Pylori that may be resulting in an ulcer. As well as its use for certain kinds of ulcers it may also be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, or erosive esophagitis. There may be other conditions where Prevacid is a good choice of medication for you and so do not be surprised if your doctor prescribes you this medication for another condition. However you can expect a full explanation for why he or she has done so.
As is the case with all drugs, it is vital that you carefully follow the instructions given to you by your doctor. In most cases this will be written on the label of the medicine bottle or box and you must read this information very carefully. If you do happen to have any questions about how to take this medicine then you should talk to your pharmacist, nurse or doctor and they will be happy to help you. You should take this medication before a meal unless otherwise stated by your doctor and ensure that you stick to the number of tablets you are supposed to take per day. It is ideal to swallow the capsules whole with a full glass of water, however if you cannot manage this then it is acceptable to sprinkle the granules on some food or in a drink. If you are intending to open the capsules and use the granules you must sprinkle them onto a tablespoon of yoghurt, applesauce, or cottage cheese and then swallow immediately. You may also sprinkle the granules into a small amount of fruit juice, stir them around and then swallow immediately. To ensure that you have taken all of the medicine rinse the glass two or three times with a small amount of the fruit juice and swallow in the same fashion each time. You must not prepare the mixture in advance and only open the capsules directly before use. Medications such as Prevacid can reduce the effectiveness of sucralfate, as well as some other drugs such as ketoconazole and itraconazole (antifungal medications). Where you keep the medicine is very important and in this case it must be stored at room temperature (77 degrees F) away from the sun and in the bottle or box provided or in an airtight container. You should not store this medicine in the bathroom and ensure that it is out of the reach of children. You must take the medicine as directed by your doctor and if you can take it at the same time everyday i.e. at breakfast time, then that may help you to remember. It is very important that you take this medicine everyday as directed and do not miss a dose, even if you are feeling better. Failure to take your medicine as directed will likely result in the worsening of your symptoms. In the unfortunate scenario that you do forget to take a dose, you must take the missed dose as soon as you remember unless this is near the time of your next dose. In this case you should just forget about the missed dose and carry on with your normal schedule, as you must never take two doses of a single medication at the same time. If you have any concerns then you should contact your pharmacist, nurse or doctor for more information.
First and foremost you should not take Prevacid if you have experienced an allergic or other adverse reaction to it or any other ingredient that is used in the production of Prevacid. If you are worried that you may have had an adverse reaction to Prevacid in the past then you should discuss this with your doctor. Stopping a medicine suddenly will often result in a worsening of symptoms and side effects and in most cases your doctor will want you to come off a medicine slowly, a process known as tapering. There may be tests that are required by your doctor to check for side effects and/or monitor how effective the medicine is for you, however your doctor will talk to you about what is required. It is important to attend all laboratory and doctor appointments while you are taking Prevacid and additional appointments may be necessary when a change to the dose is made and during the initial starting period. As this medicine may take several weeks to reach its full effect you should avoid performing tasks such as driving, operating heavy machinery or any other dangerous activities during this time. Prevacid may have adverse effects on the fetus in pregnant women and so all women who may be thinking about getting pregnant should weigh up the pros and cons of taking this medicine during pregnancy with their doctor. Also there is not enough research for us to know if Prevacid is excreted in the breast milk and so general advice at this time is to not breast-feed while on this medication. However it is wise to consult your doctor and discuss all of the options with him or her.
As is the case with most drugs Prevacid is not without its side effects. Some of the things that you may notice when taking this medication include: diarrhea or constipation. These may be minor and go away during the course of treatment, however if they do bother you then you must talk to your doctor. Prevacid was prescribed to you, as your doctor believes that the benefits will outweigh the side effects and so it is usual to expect some symptoms. However these symptoms should not cause you major discomfort and if this is the case then please talk to your doctor. You must talk to your doctor as soon as possible if you experience any stomach pain. Fortunately it is uncommon for someone to have an allergic reaction to this medicine, however they do occur and if you notice severe dizziness, a rash, itching, trouble breathing or swelling then you must seek immediate medical attention. If you experience any symptoms that worry you, even if they are not listed above, then it is vital that you talk to your doctor, pharmacist or nurse about it.
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