Omeprazole is effective in the treatment of Acid Reflux and can provide effective relief from painful symptoms caused by excessive stomach acid.
Omeprazole Tablets for Acid Reflux Treatment
Omeprazole 20 mg (also known by the brand names Prilosec and Losec) effectively reduces the amount of stomach acid your body produces. Therefore, they are prescribed to treat conditions such as gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) more commonly known as Acid Reflux, Stomach or intestine ulcers, ulcers which have become infected by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori, medicine induced ulcers and an abnormal quantity of acid being produced by a growth on the pancreas.
Omeprazole comes in different strengths of 10, 20, and 40 mg either in the form of a capsule or tablet.
This is the lowest strength of the medicine which you can buy at pharmacies in the form of capsules or tablets. You are usually prescribed this lower strength after taking a corrective course of Omeprazole 20mg to prevent further problems or symptoms returning after a completion.
This is the most commonly prescribed strength of Omeprazole. For most stomach acid related diseases, you will be recommended to take a once-daily course of Omeprazole 20mg. This is usually sold under the branded name of Prilosec 20mg.
40mg is the highest prescribed strength of Omeprazole. You can expect to only be prescribed this strength if your symptoms have not alleviated after taking a course of 20mg tablets. For instance, if your ulcer has resisted healing, a doctor may increase the strength of your prescription and advise you to continue taking it for a further 4 weeks. 40mg dosages are usually administered through two 20mg tablets being taken per day rather than purchasing separate Omeprazole 40mg tablets.
How should Omeprazole be taken?
It is recommended to take Omeprazole tablets or capsules in the morning on an empty stomach alongside a half glass of water. Do not chew or crush the tablets as this may damage the coating which is important in preventing the tablets from dissolving too quickly in the acid.
If you take more Omeprazole tablets or capsules than you have been advised to take, it is important that you contact your doctor or pharmacist quickly. Please note that you should not try and take a double dose to make up for a forgotten tablet.
Below are the recommendations of dosage of Omeprazole in regards to your ailment:
- GERD i.e. heartburn and acid reflux/ regurgitation
This condition can damage your gullet. If so, it is recommended to take a dose of one 20mg Omeprazole a day for between 4-8 weeks. After this you may be put on an increased strength of 40mg for a further 8 weeks or a weaker 10mg Omeprazole which is to be taken once a day.
- Duodenal Ulcers (Upper part of your intestine)
In general the recommended dose to take to treat this disease is one Omeprazole 20mg a day for 2 week. This length of time may be extended for a further two weeks if your duodenal ulcer is still yet to heal itself. In some cases of a duodenal ulcer remaining after this initial treatment, a doctor may advise you to take the higher 40mg strength once a day for a further 4 weeks.
- Gastric Ulcers (Stomach):
The standard recommended dose of Omeprazole 20mg for stomach ulcers is one per day for 2 weeks. This may be repeated for a further two weeks if you ulcer has not yet healed, or increased to 40mg.
- Treatment of Ulcers caused by Non-Steroid Anti-inflammatory:
Non-steroidal Anti Inflammatory medications such as Naproxen and Ibuprofen can wear away the lining of the stomach with in effect can cause symptoms of Acid Reflux to persist. One 20mg tablet per day for between 4-8 weeks.
One 20mg tablet per day for between 4-8 weeks.
- Treatment of ulcers infected by the bacterium Helicobacter Pylori:
Two 20mg Omeprazole tablets or capsules a day for one week. As part of an eradication therapy to treat this disease, your doctor will also prescribe you to take two forms of antibiotics alongside this. Gastritis is a condition that is caused by an infection of the H. pylori bacteria. Although Gastritis and Acid Reflux are both completely separate medical conditions, Gastritis can cause some of the same symptoms as acid reflux. As a result, gastritis is treated using the same medications.
Possible Omeprazole Side Effects:
The most common Omeprazole side effects are:
- Stomach pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Dizzy/ sleepy
- Difficulty going to sleep
These symptoms, if present, tend to be mild and stop once you have finished taking Omeprazole. Below are the more uncommon side effects of Omeprazole. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms contact your doctor straight away, or if serious your local casualty department.
Uncommon Omeprazole side effects include:
- Joint pain with rash particularly on areas of skin exposed to the sun. A red skin rash on your arms, cheeks and nose could be a sign of a rare skin condition which can develop as a result of consuming Omeprazole.
- Signs of liver problems in the form of dark urine, fatigue or tiredness and a yellowing of the skin
- Damage to skin in the form of blistering, reddening and peeling away. Please note that areas of the lips, eyes, mouth, nose and genitals may break out in severe blisters and bleeding – this is a sign of a syndrome called Stevens-Johnson.
- Severe allergic reaction. IMPORTANT: if you think you are experiencing a serious allergic reaction to taking Omeprazole you must contact a doctor straight away as this is an emergency. Warning signs of an oncoming allergic reaction are usually in the form of an itchy, swollen or peeling rash, tightness in the chest or throat, wheezing, swelling of the extremities on your face such as the mouth, lips or throat.
- Eyesight problems i.e. distorted vision
- Swelling of the inside of the mouth
- Increased body temperature or sweating
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Severe Kidney problems.
Much like other gastro resistant tablets, Omeprazole can hide the signs of other more serious diseases. With this in mind, it is important that you contact your doctor if you exhibit any of the following symptoms before, or after, taking Omeprazole 20mg capsules:
- Unintentional weight loss
- Stomach discomfort or troubles digesting
- Vomiting of food or blood
- Blood stained faeces
- Severe/ persistent diarrhoea (this is due to omeprazole being linked to infectious diarrhoea)
- Severe liver problems
If you notice any side effects caused by Omeprazole not mentioned, please contact your doctor straight away.
It is important that you do not consume Omeprazole 20mg if you:
- Are allergic to any of the ingredients listed in the medicine
- Are allergic to any other protein pump inhibitors
- Are taking medicine to treat HIV infection which contains nelfinavir
Side effects for women
Unlike some of the other gastro resistant medicines available, Omeprazole is safe to use whilst breastfeeding even though small amounts can of the medicine can pass into your milk as they are not dangerous to your baby. However, it is still recommended to check with your pharmacist or doctor before taking Omeprazole, in particular if you baby has health problems or is premature.
Omeprazole Pregnancy and Breastfeeding Warnings
You must tell your doctor before taking Omeprazole if you are already pregnant or are trying to conceive.
Pregnancy is one of the main causes of acid reflux. Omeprazole is considered safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
As acid reflux is usually caused by a number of lifestyle choices most commonly diet, for pregnant women; the safer and first point of call should always be to make small changes to lifestyle and diet. Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you on making slight changes to your diet such as avoiding foods that cause acid reflux and also eating more foods that help with the symptoms of acid reflux.
If after making slight changes to your lifestyle you are still experiencing symptoms, you may be recommended omeprazole or a similar medication.
Omeprazole and Breastfeeding
Omeprazole is considered safe to take when breastfeeding. Although Omeprazole will travel into the breast milk and be consumed by your baby, this only equates to a small amount, which is not harmful to the baby.
Extra caution should be taken if your baby is premature or has been born with health problems. Please inform your GP if you are pregnant and taking Omeprazole or any other proton pump inhibitor.
Omeprazole Drug Interactions
If you are taking any other medications, it is possible that these may affect the way Omeprazole works.
Please inform your doctor if you are taking any other medications. The most common medications that can interact with the effectiveness of Omeprazole are:
- Digoxin used to increase the strength of heartbeats and used for a variety of heart conditions
- HIV medication
- The anti-epilepsy drug Phenytoin
- Blood thinning medications such as Clopidogrel and Warfarin
- Methotrexate used to treat Psoriasis and Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Anti fungal medications such as Intraconazole, Ketoconazole, Posaconazole, Voriconazole
Do not take Omeprazole if you are taking St John’s Wort, the herbal remedy used to treat depression. This will cause Omeprazole to stop working as well as it should.
A complete list of the medicines that Omeprazole can interact with will be detailed in the product information leaflet located inside the box of your medication.
How can I buy Omeprazole 20mg online in the UK?
You are able to purchase Omeprazole 20mg online with us, Medicine Direct, if you are a UK citizen our doctors can prescribe you with a course of Omeprazole for your condition. If you are prescribed 40mg of Omeprazole you can substitute by using a dosage of two 20mg tablets.
How does omeprazole work?
Omeprazole belongs to a group of gastro resistant medicine, also known as ‘protein pump inhibitors.’ By obstructing the protein pumps in your stomach, Omeprazole works to decrease the amount of acid released and produced by the protein pumps which mean that over time there is a decrease in excessive amounts of stomach acid.
What is Omeprazole usually prescribed for?
Omeprazole is prescribed for the treatment of Stomach Ulcers, Duodenal Ulcers, Ulcers infected by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, too much stomach acid caused by an abnormal growth in your pancreas, symptoms of GERD such as heartburn and acid reflux.
If I am self-medicating with Omeprazole how long should I take it for?
If you are self-medicating using Omeprazole 20mg you should not take it for longer than 2 weeks without consulting your doctor or pharmacist.
Can you drink alcohol whilst using Omeprazole?
Omeprazole is not effected by the consumption of Alcohol. It is worth noting, however, that alcohol can cause your stomach to produce more acid than usual. As a result of this increase your stomach lining may become more irritated and so intensify your symptoms.
Can you take Paracetamol and Omeprazole at the same time?
It is safe to take both Paracetamol and Omeprazole together.
What are the long term side effects of Omeprazole?
Please note that the levels of magnesium in your blood may begin to fall if you take Omeprazole for longer than 3 months. Signs of low magnesium levels are exhibited through tiredness, confusion, dizziness, shakiness, irregular heartbeat. You must inform your doctor if any of these symptoms present themselves.
Additionally, if you take Omeprazole for longer than a year you can increase your chances of bone fractures, gut infections and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Your doctor will normally run regular health checks on you if you are taking Omeprazole for a prolonged amount of time in order to monitor your symptoms.
When is the recommended time to take omeprazole capsules?
In the morning on an empty stomach with a half glass of water.
How long can you take Omeprazole for?
Depending on your condition, Omeprazole is usually taken from anything between 2-8 weeks and you may then be given an increased or decreased strength for even longer periods of time.
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