What is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole is an inexpensive drug compound that is white to off-white in color with a slightly crystalline feel to it. It is available for oral administration as pills/ tablets and is a delayed – response tablet. Omeprazole inhibits gastric acid secretions in the stomach for cases of ulcers, acid reflux, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Omeprazole belongs to the category of drugs that are commonly known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) that effectively block the enzymes producing excess acid in the stomach and helps in speedy acid reflux recovery. By blocking the enzymes, Omeprazole helps aid the recovery of the esophagus (food pipe) and stomach lining. Omeprazole is sold commonly under the names of Prevacid, Losec, Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid OTC, Lansoprazole, and Zegerid. Since it is a generic drug, Omeprazole is available Over-The-Counter (OTC) and can be availed without prescription.
Omeprazole is available through online prescriptions and is beneficial to a lot of people wishing to order regular medication online through home delivery and subscription services.
What is Omeprazole used for?
The primary function of Omeprazole is to reduce the acid production in the stomach. Often, the acid buildup in the stomach exceeds limitations and can travel back up the food pipe along with undigested food. Omeprazole helps this issue by curbing the excess production of acids in the stomach and prevents further damage to the digestive system.
It is used to treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), gastric or duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis (inflammation in the food pipe/esophagus), stomach infections caused by Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria, dyspepsia (sour stomach, excessive burping, heartburn), and hypersecretory conditions (where the enzymes present in the stomach produce excess acid). Omeprazole is sometimes consumed in combination with antibiotics like amoxicillin and clarithromycin to treat ulcers infected with the Helicobacter Pylori Bacteria.
In extremely severe cases, Omeprazole is also used to prevent cases of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding.
Who can take Omeprazole?
Adults and children can take Omeprazole in different dosages and strengths. If you are unsure of the correct dosages and symptoms, you should consult a doctor or physician to guide you with the correct medication.
Omeprazole is not the prescribed medication for heartburn. Heartburn is a side effect of ulcers in the stomach. If you are suffering from heartburn along with chest pains, shooting pains in your left arm and shoulder, sweating, dizziness, and breathlessness, immediately contact the nearest hospital since that could indicate an onset of a heart attack.
People with prevailing medical conditions of liver disease, osteoporosis (low bone mineral density), heartburn, nausea/ vomiting, and unexplained weight loss should first consult the doctor before taking Omeprazole. Similarly, people above the ages of 50 years and pregnant women should also consult the doctor.
What are the side effects of Omeprazole?
The side effects of Omeprazole have not been uniform over testing; different people have shown cases of varied side effects, while some haven’t shown any at all. In the event that you are experiencing any side effects from Omeprazole consumption, please contact the doctor immediately.
Some common side effects of Omeprazole are:
- Pain in the stomach, back, and legs
- Difficulty in urination (burning/ painful), bloody urine, cloudy urine, increase in frequency of urination
- Loss of appetite
- Red/ irritated eyes, watering eyes
- Muscular aches and cramps
- Redness/ itching/ peeling/ tenderness/ burning of skin
- A sore throat and fever
- Formation of sores and ulcers in and around the mouth/ lips/ genitals
Symptoms of Omeprazole overdose are:
- Blurry vision and confusion
- Unexplained headaches
- Excessive sweating
- Dryness of the mouth
In case you are experiencing any of these symptoms, kindly contact your doctor or emergency room immediately. Please ensure that you are able to tell the doctor or physician the dosage that you have consumed and how many times.
Omeprazole is available in 2mg/ml, 2.5mg, 10mg, 20mg, and 40 mg
Dosages differ for adults and children and should always be confirmed with a doctor/ physician or pharmacist before use.
Omeprazole is usually consumed orally with water an hour before the meal and is taken once a day or as prescribed by the doctor/ physician.
For adults suffering from GERD, ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and H. Pylori bacterial infection, the recommended dosage is usually 20mg – 40mg a day depending on the severity or intensity of the condition. For children, recommended dosages are between 2.5mg to 20 mg depending on what the physician or doctor recommends.
For maximum effect, Omeprazole should not be crushed, dissolved, or chewed, and should be swallowed whole (with water) before meals.