What is Omeprazole?
It is a medication known as a proton pump inhibitor. It is used to reduce the production of stomach acid. In the US it is sold under the brand name Prilosec®. It is used to treat ulcers, H. pylori, GERD, reflux and erosive esophagitis. It may also be used to protect the stomach from damage by other medications.
The dosage for ulcers usually about 20 mg daily for 4 weeks. GERD is often treated with 20 mg a day. H. Pylori is usually treated with 20 mg twice a day and it is combined with the antibiotics amoxicillin and clarithromycin.
Stomach protection from other medications is usually about 20 mg to 40 mg a day.
Your doctor will help determine the appropriate dose for you.
How to take omeprazole
Always follow your healthcare providers instructions. It is usually taken 60 to 30 minutes before a meal.
Side effects of Omeprazole
Common side effects can include: stomach pain, diarrhea, headache, nausea, vomiting and others.
Rare and Serious side effects can include: C. diff diarrhea, pancreatitis, liver problems, muscle damage, rash and others
Long-term risks and side effects can include: low magnesium, Vitamin B12 deficiency, can increase risk of fractures, may increase risk of pneumonia, may worsen kidney issues, possible link to dementia and others.
How to stop taking omeprazole
Best not to stop omeprazole suddenly, as hyperacidity could occur. The dose is usually decreased every week or two. Then when on the lowest dose, taken every other day. If unable to stop, a weaker medication like ranitidine may be used to continue the taper.
Always speak with a healthcare provider if you have concerns about your medications.