Digestive and esophageal problems such as GERD, heartburn, indigestion and ulcers are common health issues in the U.S. According to sources, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is one of the most prevalent gastrointestinal disorders affecting 20% adults in the U.S. and is continuing to rise.
If you or someone you know is currently struggling from digestive and/or esophageal health issues, Omeprazole, which is an over-the-counter or prescription drug may be able to help.
We have compiled a guide covering everything you need to know about the pharmaceutical drug, Omeprazole to determine if this medication may be right for you.
What is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole which you may also find marketed under the brand names, Prilosec and Prilosec OTC is a medication that is available both as an over-the-counter drug or with a prescription. It is used to treat frequent heartburn, reflux disease (acid reflux) and ulcers and belongs to a class of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) which work to help reduce acid produced by the stomach.
How Does Omeprazole Work to Treat Digestive and Esophageal Disorders?
As a PPI, Omeprazole helps suppress acid made in the stomach which can contribute to the discomfort associated with heartburn, reflux disease and ulcers. GERD is a digestive disorder in which stomach acid flows into the food pipe lining, and irritates the lining of the stomach, causing a variety of symptoms such as acid reflux, heartburn and indigestion. Helping to decrease acid produced by the stomach, Omeprazole can help treat the painful and uncomfortable symptoms associated with GERD, digestive and esophageal disorders, as well as help heal damage to the stomach caused by excessive production, and prevent ulcers.
How Do You Take Omeprazole?
It is critical that you first consult with your health care provider before beginning any new prescription drug medication. Also, be careful to take your medication in strict adherence to the recommendations of your doctor and the direction of the prescription label. Omeprazole can be taken in an over-the-counter version known as Prilosec OTC or in prescription form. If you are self-treating with Prilosec OTC, carefully take the medication as per the instructions on the label. Note that Omeprazole in the over-the-counter form is used to treat frequent heartburn which is characterized by heartburn that occurs 2 or more days a week.
If you are taking the prescription form or Omeprazole, also carefully read and follow the instructions on the label. Taken orally as capsules or delayed-release capsules, Omeprazole is typically taken before a meal, ideally in the morning, and can be taken with or without food. If you are taking Omeprazole to treat an ulcer, the medication should be taken at the same time each day. Omeprazole capsules are to be swallowed whole. Delayed-release capsules may be opened and sprinkled onto food if you have difficulty swallowing the capsules whole. If you are self-treating with over-the-counter Omeprazole, only take the medication for up to 14 days, unless otherwise advised differently by your doctor. If you are taking prescription Omeprazole, continue to take the medication for the period of time you were prescribed to take the medication, even if you feel relieved of your symptoms.
How Long Does it Take for Omeprazole to Start Working?
It can take several days for Omeprazole to get into your system and to start working to relieve your symptoms of GERD, acid reflux and ulcers. While you are waiting for Omeprazole to take effect, you may take antacids to treat your symptoms as well as to relieve you of discomfort, unless your doctor advises against it.
What are Common Side Effects of Omeprazole?
Keep in mind that if you are taking this medication as prescribed by your healthcare provider, your doctor has decided that its potential benefit to you of relieving your symptoms is greater than the risk of its side effects. Always consult your doctor if you experience any severe side effects. You may experience headache or abdominal pain. If these side effects continue for a prolonged period of time, consult your doctor or pharmacist as soon as possible. Serious side effects include symptoms that indicate a low magnesium blood levels such as irregular, fast or slow heartbeat, muscles spasms or seizures, or signs of lupus such as rash on the nose or cheeks or joint pain. Omeprazole may be the solution medication for you or someone you know who is struggling with digestive or gastroesophageal issues. CareCard can help make your prescription drug payments more affordable, helping you save up to 85% on prescription drugs. You can browse for an Omprazole coupon here and learn how CareCard can help make your medication payments more manageable.