Pharmacology: Pharmacodynamics: Pantoprazole is a substituted benzimidazole which inhibits the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach by specific blockade of the proton pumps of the parietal cells.
Pantoprazole is converted to its active form in the acidic environment in the parietal cells where it inhibits the H+, K+-ATPase enzyme, i.e. the final stage in the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. The inhibition is dose-dependent and affects both basal and stimulated acid secretion. In most patients, freedom from symptoms is achieved within 2 weeks. As with other proton pump inhibitors and H2 receptor inhibitors, treatment with Pantoprazole reduces acidity in the stomach and thereby increases gastrin in proportion to the reduction in acidity. The increase in gastrin is reversible. Since Pantoprazole binds to the enzyme distal to the cell receptor level, it can inhibit hydrochloric acid secretion independently of stimulation by other substances (acetylcholine, histamine, gastrin). The effect is the same whether the product is given orally or intravenously.
The fasting gastrin values increase under Pantoprazole. On short-term use, in most cases they do not exceed the upper limit of normal. During long-term treatment, gastrin levels double in most cases. An excessive increase, however, occurs only in isolated cases. As a result, a mild to moderate increase in the number of specific endocrine (ECL) cells in the stomach is observed in a minority of cases during long-term treatment (simple to adenomatoid hyperplasia). However, so far, the formation of carcinoid precursors (atypical hyperplasia) or gastric carcinoids have not been observed in humans.
An influence of a long term treatment with Pantoprazole exceeding one year cannot be completely ruled out on endocrine parameters of the thyroid.
During treatment with antisecretory medicinal products, serum gastrin increases in response to the decreased acid secretion. Also CgA increases due to decreased gastric acidity. The increased CgA level may interfere with investigations for neuroendocrine tumours. Available published evidence suggests that proton pump inhibitors should be discontinued between 5 days and 2 weeks prior to CgA measurements. This is to allow CgA levels that might be spuriously elevated following PPI treatment to return to reference range.
Pharmacokinetics: Pantoprazole is rapidly absorbed and the maximal plasma concentration is achieved even after one single 20 mg oral dose. On average at about 2.0 h - 2.5 h p.a. the maximum serum concentrations of about 1-1.5 μg/ml are achieved, and these values remain constant after multiple administration. Volume of distribution is about 0.15 l/kg and clearance is about 0.1 l/h/kg. Terminal half-life is about 1 h. There were a few cases of subjects with delayed elimination. Because of the specific binding of Pantoprazole to the proton pumps of the parietal cell the elimination half-life does not correlate with the much longer duration of action (inhibition of acid secretion).
Pharmacokinetics do not vary after single or repeated administration. In the dose range of 10 to 80 mg, the plasma kinetics of Pantoprazole are linear after both oral and intravenous administration.
Pantoprazole's serum protein binding is about 98%. The substance is almost exclusively metabolized in the liver. Renal elimination represents the major route of excretion (about 80%) for the metabolites of Pantoprazole, the rest is excreted with the faeces. The main metabolite in both the serum and urine is desmethylpantoprazole which is conjugated with sulphate. The half-life of the main metabolite (about 1.5 h) is not much longer than that of Pantoprazole.