- Commonly prescribed treatment for acid refulux
- Relieves the symptoms of acid reflux and heartburn
- Reduces excessive stomach acid
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What is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole belongs to a group of medicines known as proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). It is a commonly prescribed and effective acid reflux treatment.
You can buy Omeprazole when you have a prescription from a doctor, although the lowest dose of 10 mg can be bought without a prescription.
At Medicine Direct, we sell Omeprazole capsules in doses of 10 mg, 20 mg and 40 mg.
You can order this medicine following an online consultation with one of our certified doctors.
What is Omeprazole used to treat?
Omeprazole is commonly used to treat the likes of heartburn, indigestion and acid reflux.
Stomach acid is vital for the digestive process, as it breaks down the food before it reaches the intestine. The oesophagus is protected from these acids by a group of muscles, but sometimes an excessive amount of acid can enter the oesophagus, which is known as acid reflux.
Omeprazole works by suppressing the activity of proton pumps, which produce acids in the stomach. This decreases the amount of acid in your stomach, relieving acid reflux and the symptoms of heartburn.
This medicine can relieve symptoms for up to 72 hours; the acid levels in your body will return to their previous levels between three and five days after you stop taking Omeprazole.
Omeprazole can also be used to treat Gastritis. It is also highly recommended for individuals taking over the counter painkillers such as naproxen or asprin on a consistent basis as this can erode the stomach lining leading to Gastritis.
Who can take Omeprazole?
Omeprazole capsules may not be suitable for everyone to take.
While this proton pump inhibitor is generally considered safe for most people, you should inform your doctor if any of the below apply to you:
- You are due to have an endoscopy
- You have liver problems
- You have had an allergic reaction to Omeprazole or any other medicines in the past
If you are due to have an endoscopy, you should ask your doctor if you should stop taking this medicine a few weeks beforehand. Omeprazole may hide some of the problems that an endoscopy would normally pick up.
Possible side effects
Like any medicine, Omeprazole does come with the risk of certain adverse effects, although not everyone gets them.
Talk to your doctor if any of the below symptoms bother you or do not go away.
Common adverse effects of this medicine may include:
- Benign stomach polyps
- Diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation, or wind
- Feeling sick or being sick
Less common reactions may include:
- Generally feeling unwell or lacking energy
- Changes in blood tests that check the liver's function
- Swelling of the feet or ankles
- Itchy skin, a lumpy rash and/or itchy skin
- Dizziness, pins and needles, or feeling sleepy
- Disturbed sleep
These lists are not exhaustive. Please, refer to the Side Effects tab on this page for a list of rarer and more serious reactions you may suffer while taking this medication.
Always take Omeprazole 20mg capsules as instructed by your doctor or pharmacist. Read the patient information leaflet thoroughly for instructions. Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure of the dose.
When used to treat indigestion, the usual Omeprazole dose is 10 mg to 20 mg each day.
For heartburn, stomach ulcers and acid reflux, the usual dose is Omeprazole 20mg to 40 mg each day.
A doctor may prescribe a lower dose for children and anyone who suffers from kidney problems.
Your doctor may increase your dose of Omeprazole capsules if your current dose is not working well enough.
Sometimes, you may take a higher dose of Omeprazole to begin with, but this will depend on why you are taking it.
How to take Omeprazole
Your doctor will normally instruct you to take Omeprazole capsules once a day, first thing in the morning. This medicine will not upset your stomach, so it does not matter whether you take it with food or not.
Swallow Omeprazole 20mg capsules whole with a drink of water or juice.
If you have trouble swallowing capsules, some brands of Omeprazole allow you to open the capsules and mix the granules with a small amount of water or juice.
Speak to your pharmacist about whether the version you have bought with your prescription allows you to open the capsules.
How long will I need to take it for?
If you bought a 10 mg dose from a pharmacy without a prescription, you should go to your doctor if you do not feel better after 2 weeks.
Omeprazole 10 mg capsules, when bought without a prescription, should not be taken for longer than 4 weeks.
Your doctor may decide to run some tests to find out what is causing your symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn.
Depending on why you need it, you may only need to take Omeprazole 20mg capsules for a few weeks or months.
In some cases, you may need it for longer, which could even be up to 1 year.
However, you will often feel better after a few days; if this does happen, you can stop taking it.
What if I forget to take it?
If you normally take Omeprazole 20mg capsules once a day and forget a dose, you should take it as soon as you remember, unless it is within 12 hours of your next dose. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose altogether.
If you normally take it twice a day, take the missed dose as soon as you remember, as long as it is not within 4 hours of your next scheduled dose.
Never take a double dose of medicine to try and make up for missing a previous dose.
To remember to take your medicine, it is best if you take it at the same time every day. Some people find it beneficial to set an alarm to remind them.
What if I take more than I am supposed to?
An extra dose of Omeprazole is unlikely to harm you.
However, if you exhibit any of the following symptoms after accidentally taking an overdose of Omeprazole, you should contact your doctor as soon as possible:
- Feeling sleepy
- Flushed skin
- Feeling confused or agitated
- Feeling sweaty
- Blurred vision
- A fast heartbeat
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Omeprazole Side Effects
Rarer Omeprazole side effects may include:
- Blood problems which can cause bruising and make you more vulnerable to infections
- Taste changes
- Low levels of sodium in the blood, which can cause weakness
- Dry mouth
- Inflammation inside the mouth
- Liver problems, including dark urine, yellowing of the skin and tiredness
- Hair loss
- Feeling confused, depressed or agitated
- Severe kidney problems
- Eyesight problems
- Skin rash when exposed to the sun
- Joint or muscle pains
- An increase in sweating
- Suddenly feeling short of breath
These adverse effects are very rare:
- Enlarged breasts in men
- Muscle weakness
- Feeling aggressive
- Severe liver problems, which lead to inflammation of the brain or liver failure
- Changes in your blood count
It is not known how likely these reactions may occur:
- Inflammation of the gut
- A drop in your magnesium levels, which may appear as fatigue, involuntary muscle contractions, disorientation, convulsions, dizziness, increased heart rate
Serious allergic reaction
In rare cases, it is possible to suffer a serious allergic reaction to Omeprazole.
You may require immediate treatment in hospital if you exhibit any of the following symptoms, so you must either call 999 or go to A&E straight away if:
- You get a skin rash that is red, itchy, swollen, blistered or peeling skin
- You are wheezing
- You have swelling in your lips, tongue, throat, face, or mouth
- You are finding it difficult to speak or breathe
You have tightness in your chest or throat
Omeprazole Warnings and drug interactions
Like all medications, Omeprazole might interact with other medicine.
Please be sure to tell your doctor if you are already taking, or have recently taken, any other medicines. This includes both prescription and non-prescription medication, herbal remedies, vitamins and supplements.
In particular, you should make sure they are aware if you are taking, or have recently taken, any of the following:
- Any medicine containing nelfinavir (used in medications for the HIV infection)
- Medicines to treat a fungal infection, such as ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole or voriconazole
- Digoxin to treat heart problems
- Diazepam, which is prescribed to treat epilepsy or anxiety, or to relax the muscles
- The epilepsy treatment phenytoin
- Vitamin K blockers or medicines to thin your blood, such as warfarin
- Rifampicin to treat tuberculosis
- Atazanavir to treat HIV
- Any medicines or remedies that contain St John's Wort, which is often used to treat mild depression
If you have any questions or concerns as to whether this medicine is suitable for you, please do not hesitate to speak to your doctor before you start to take it.
Pregnancy and breastfeeding
This medication is safe for women to take if they are pregnant or breastfeeding.
However, if you are pregnant, it is better to try and treat indigestion without medicine.
Your doctor or midwife will suggest certain lifestyle and dietary changes you could make to cut down your acid reflux.
The active ingredient in this medicine is omeprazole. Omeprazole 20 mg capsules will contain 20 mg of omeprazole.
Inactive ingredients also contained are: mannitol, crospovidone, hypromellose, poloxamer, meglumine, povidone, methacrylic acid ethyl acrylate copolymer, triethyl citrate and magnesium stearate.
How it works - get your medicine in 3 simple steps
- 1 Choose your treatment Select the treatment or medication you need and answer a few questions online regarding your condition.
- 2 Online consultation Our Independent Prescribers will review your questions and assess your suitability for the medication.
- 3 Receive your delivery Your medication is dispensed and delivered directly to you from our UK based Pharmacy.