I have been on Protonix for 8 years, not realizing it is used for an 8 week (16 week max) treatment. After hearing all of the possible long term effects (blocking absorpsion of B12, Folic Acid and all the related side effects to these vitamin deficiencies) I decided to quit. I'm having a resurt of the GERD and it is very painful, however it is improving and their is dietary info out there now to help keep the GERD under control. You may want to google it. Essentially bland foods (no acidic foods), fat free is the best.
The long term effects are only starting to be realized. I went off when I found out I was pregnant and then the PA said it was okay to go back on. A month or so later, I was hospitalized with toximema. Are the two related - don't know, but if so my child and I suffered needlessly. She is healthy now and I can only hope there were no long term effects.