Are Prilosec and Protonix the Same?

Prescription Drugs

Are Prilosec and Protonix the Same?

GERD
Jennifer Hadley
By Jennifer Hadley
Apr 20, 2021
Jennifer Liang, PharmD
Medically Reviewed ByJennifer Liang, PharmD
A woman holding onto her stomach

Acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and heartburn are extremely common medical conditions. Treatment for these gastrointestinal disorders includes medications known as proton pump inhibitors (PPI). PPIs are deemed the most effective drug for providing relief from frequent heartburn. Commonly prescribed PPIs include Prilosec and Protonix. So, are Prilosec and Protonix the same? Read on to learn about similarities and differences between these two medications.

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What’s the difference between Prilosec and Protonix?

Prilosec and Protonix both belong to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors. However, there are differences between the two medications. The differences between Prilosec and Protonix include:

  • How quickly they provide relief from heartburn
  • Over-the-counter availability
  • Differences in dosage

How Quickly do Prilosec and Protonix work?

One of the differences between Prilosec and Protonix is how quickly you may experience relief from heartburn symptoms. Prilosec and its generic omeprazole have an onset of action in less than an hour.. Protonix and pantoprazole may not reach peak effectiveness for two hours or so.

Are Prilosec and Protonix Available Over the Counter?

Prilosec is available in its generic form, omeprazole over-the-counter. Protonix and its generic pantoprazole require a prescription and must be purchased from a pharmacy. However, you can use an RxSaver coupon to save on both prescription pantoprazole and over-the-counter omeprazole.

Differences in Prilosec and Protonix Dosages

The standard dosage of Prilosec and Protonix differs. The typical dosage of Protonix and pantoprazole is 40 mg once per day. The usual dosage of Prilosec and omeprazole is 20 mg once per day. Prilosec and omeprazole are typically taken without food in the morning. Protonix and pantoprazole are generally taken 30 minutes before a meal.

What are the similarities between Prilosec and Protonix?

Both Prilosec and Protonix work by decreasing the amount of acid that your stomach makes. They are both FDA-approved for the treatment of heartburn, GERD, and erosive esophagitis. They are also both used to treat conditions including Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, peptic ulcers, gastric ulcers, and duodenal ulcers.

What are the generic versions of Prilosec and Protonix?

The generic form of Prilosec is omeprazole, which is available over the counter. The generic form of Protonix is pantoprazole, which requires a prescription from your health care provider.

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Is Prilosec stronger than Protonix?

In multiple studies, both Prilosec and Protonix proved to have similar effectiveness in treating GERD. There is some evidence that Protonix may be a bit more effective at treating stomach ulcers.

Prilosec and Protonix Pricing

Prilosec and Protonix are both available as generic medications. Generic medications are much cheaper than their brand-name counterpart. Here’s how the generics compare to the brand drugs when using an RxSaver coupon

Medication Lowest Price for Common Dosages*
Omeprazole $7.99
Prilosec $361.25
Pantoprazole $11.84
Protonix $477.13

Talk With Your Health Care Provider About Relief from Heartburn Symptoms

If you’re struggling with symptoms of acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD, talk with your health care provider about treatment options. One medication may be better suited for you, based on other medications you’re taking, the type of gastrointestinal disorder you’re suffering from, and your budget. If you’re prescribed Prilosec or Protonix, be sure to request the generic form, for significant savings.

Omeprazole: 20 mg / 30 capsule drs

Prilosec: 10 mg / 30 suspdr pkts

Pantoprazole: 40 mg / 30 tablet drs

Protonix: 40 mg / 30 granpkt drs

*Lowest online price at national pharmacy chains Costco, CVS, RiteAid, Walgreens and Walmart as of 4/14/2021. Prices vary by location and pharmacy, see RxSaver.com for actual pricing in your area.

Jennifer Hadley

Jennifer Hadley

Jen Hadley is a freelance writer and journalist based in Los Angeles, who writes extensively about the medical, legal, health care, and consumer products industries. Jen is a regular contributor to RxSaver.

Jennifer Liang, PharmD

Jennifer Liang, PharmD

Chia Feng (Jenn) Liang, PharmD, is a pharmacist who earned her Pharm D. from St. John's University in Queens, NY. She remains in active practice serving as a local pharmacist for Walgreens. She has acted as the first point of care to the community and helped patients understand and manage chronic and acute conditions. She has educated patients on the role and importance of medication and adherence to improve health outcomes.

The information on this site is generalized and is not medical advice. It is intended to supplement, not substitute for, the expertise and judgment of your healthcare professional. Always seek the advice of your healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard seeking advice or delay in seeking treatment because of something you have read on our site. RxSaver makes no warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of this information.

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