Omeprazole (Oral)

Overview

Omeprazole is a drug that is given to patients suffering from conditions with too much acid in the stomach. Such conditions include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), erosive esophagitis, and gastric and duodenal ulcers. GERD occurs when the acid in someone's stomach washes back up and into their esophagus. Omeprazole is sometimes used with other antibiotics (such as clarithromycin or amoxicillin) in order to treat ulcers that are associated with the infection that results from the H. pylori bacteria.

This drug can be taken to help treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which is a condition whereby a patient's stomach is producing too much acid.

This drug is given to patients suffering from dyspepsia. This condition causes a patient to have belching, indigestion, sour stomach, or heartburn.

It can be used to prevent tract bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal area if a patient is seriously ill.

As a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), Omeprazole works by decreasing the levels of acid your stomach produces.

You can obtain this medicine either over the counter or with a prescription from your doctor. It is used for very specific cases and can interact with a range of other medicines you may be currently be taking. Your doctor can advise you on the best way to treat your condition and offer other possible dietary and lifestyle changes alongside this medicine.

Condition(s) treated

  • Erosive esophagitis

Type of medicine

  • Powder for suspension

Side Effects

As well as having its intended effects, it is possible that this medicine will cause you to experience some unwanted side effects. Some patients may experience no side effects, whilst others may experience a number. Below is a list of the more serious side effects that may occur. If you experience any of the following, inform your doctor immediately.

Rare

  • Joint pain

Incidence not known

  • Trembling

If you experience any of the following symptoms of overdose, get emergency medical help.

  • Flushing

As well as these more serious side effects, you could experience the less serious ones listed below. The following do not necessarily require immediate medical attention, instead, you may find that they simply pass over time as your body adjusts to the medicine. However, if you experience any of the following and find them bothersome or lingering, you can still contact your doctor for advice.

Less common

  • Constipation

Thought these lists are extensive, they are not necessarily complete. If you experience other side effects not listed here, then you may still contact your doctor.

Dosage

Below you can find the typical doses of Omeprazole that are prescribed to patients suffering from a number of conditions. Be aware that the exact doses your doctor prescribed you may differ greatly from what is listed below. That's because each patient is different and your doctor will base your prescription of your exact needs. It also takes into account other factors, such as other drugs you are currently using or how frequently you must take the medicine. DO not alter the doses you take unless told to do so by your doctor.

The following is for patients taking delayed-release capsules, capsules, delayed-release suspension, or tablets:

For treating duodenal ulcers:

  • Adults. Take 20mg once per day before eating a meal. Your doctor may then adjust your dose if necessary.

For treating duodenal ulcers:

  • Adults. Take 20 to 40 mg once, twice, or three times per day before eating a meal. These doses are often taken at the same time as clarithromycin plus amoxicillin or clarithromycin. Your doctor may then adjust your dose if necessary.

For treating erosive esophagitis:

  • Adults. Take 20mg once per day before eating a meal. Your doctor may then adjust your dose if necessary.

For treating erosive esophagitis caused by acid-mediated GERD:

  • Adults aged 17 and above. Take 20mg once per day before eating a meal. Your doctor may then adjust your dose if necessary.

For treating gastric ulcers:

  • Adults. Take 40mg once per day before eating a meal. Your doctor may then adjust your dose if necessary.

For treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD):

  • Adults. Take 20 mg once per day before eating a meal. Your doctor may then want you to take this medicine for more than 8 weeks if you have certain conditions.

For treating Zollinger-Ellison syndrome:

  • Adults. Take 60mg once per day before eating a meal. Your doctor may then adjust your dose if necessary.

The following is for patients taking the powder for suspension:

For preventing upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding in patients who are seriously ill:

  • Adults. Or the first day, take 40mg as your first dose, then take a second 40mg 6 to 8 hours later. After this first day, take 40 mg once per day for a period of up to 14 days.

For treating duodenal ulcers:

  • Adults. Take 20mg once per day for a period of up 4 to 8 weeks.

For treating gastric ulcers:

  • Adults. Take 40mg once per day for a period of up 4 to 8 weeks.

For treating GERD for erosive esophagitis:

  • Adults. Take 20mg once per day for a period of up 4 to 8 weeks.

You should try to never miss a dose, as doing so will affect the effectiveness of your treatment. If you do miss a dose, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose, you should skip the missed one and return to your normal schedule of dosing. It is important you never double dose.

  • You should take Omeprazole only in the way as prescribed by your doctor. Never take it any more frequently, never take any more of it, and never take it for longer than prescribed. If you are taking Omeprazole without a prescription, then you should read the accompanying instructions and Medication Guide carefully and address any questions you do have to your pharmacist or doctor.

You should take your delayed-release or regular capsules before your morning meal. They can be taken either with food or on an empty stomach. You should take the powder for oral suspension form of Omeprazole on an empty stomach at least one hour prior to the meal. If you are receiving continuous feeding via a tube, this feeding should be stopped temporarily for 3 hours before and 1 hour after the Omeprazole is administered.

You may find that it takes several days before your stomach ache starts to get better. In the meantime, you may take antacids alongside Omeprazole. This is, of course, as long as your doctor hasn't advised against it.

If you are taking this medicine to treat an ulcer associated with an H. pylori infection, then you should take it at the same time as the other antibiotics (such as clarithromycin or amoxicillin).

You should swallow your Omeprazole tablets or capsules whole. Never open them, break, chew, or crush them.

If you find you are unable to swallow the delayed-release capsules, you are able to open them and sprinkle the contents over a tablespoon of applesauce. You should swallow this mixture immediately with cold water. Ensure that the applesauce is soft enough to swallow without chewing and that it is not hot. Never crush or chew the pellets inside the capsule.

Here is advice on using the oral suspension form of Omeprazole:

  • First, empty the powder packer into a small cup that contains 2 tablespoons worth of water.

Here is advice for using the delayed-release oral suspension form of Omeprazole:

  • Empty the 2.5mg powder packet contents into a container of 5ml worth of water

Here is advice for using the delayed-release oral suspension form of Omeprazole with a gastric or nasogastric tube:

  • Add 5 ml into a catheter tipped syringe, and afterward, add in the contents of a 2.5mg packet. Alternatively, add the 10 mg packet to 15 ml of water

Interactions

It is possible that Omeprazole will interact with other drugs you are currently taking. In many cases, your doctor will want to avoid such interactions as they can interfere with your treatment. However, in other cases, it may still be necessary for an interaction to occur as taking both drugs is best for your treatment. Either way, you should inform your doctor of any prescription and nonprescription drugs you are currently taking. They can decide whether your doses of any drugs needs altering, or whether it would be better not to prescribe you with Omeprazole, but different medicine instead. Below is a list of drugs with which it is not recommended you take at the same time as Omeprazole. Your doctor may need to alter one or both of the interacting drugs.

  • Rilpivirine

It is usually not recommended that you take Omeprazole at the same time as any of the following drugs, However, it may be best for your treatment that you do so. Under such circumstances, it may be that your doctor will alter one or both of the doses of the interacting medicines.

  • Clozapine

If you take Omeprazole at the same time as the following drugs, you may be at an increased risk of experiencing certain side effects. However, it may be the case that taking both is best for your treatment. Your doctor may wish to adjust one of your doses in order to limit any interaction that may occur.

  • Raltegravir

As well as interacting with other drugs, it is possible that this medicine will interact with certain part of your dietary intake. For this reason, your doctor may recommend you make alterations to what you eat, drink, or smoke. Doing so will enable the best course of treatment for you. In particular, it is worth noting that taking Omeprazole at the same time as the following may cause an increased chance of certain side effects. Your doctor may ask you to consume the following less frequently or to reduce the amount you have in one sitting.

  • Cranberry

Finally, it is possible that Omeprazole will interact with other medical problems you suffer from. Below is a list of such conditions that are known to interact more severely with this medicine.

  • A history of seizures

Warnings

Before a doctor decides to prescribe you this medicine, they will first want to ensure it is suitable for you to have and the best course of treatment. As a part of this process, they will want o get an understanding of any allergies you have These can be allergies to foods, preservatives, animals, or dyes.

As of writing, the appropriate studies that have taken place between this medicine and pediatric patients have not highlighted any problems that would make this medicine less useful for younger patients aged 1 to 16 years old. However, efficacy and safety have not yet been established in children who are aged younger than 1 month old.

The studies that have taken place in older patients have not highlighted any geriatric-specific problems that would make this drug any less useful.

As of writing, there are no suitable studies into the effects this medicine has on patients who are breastfeeding. Instead, your doctor is best placed to advise you of any increased risks. You can then weigh the risks against the benefits to ensure this is a suitable drug to take.

Your doctor may want to check your condition regularly via appointments. It is important that you attend all of these, ask your doctor will be able to see how your treatment is progressing and make any necessary changes to your prescriptions. During these appointments, it may be necessary to perform certain laboratory tests, like those on your bloods or urine. This is to check for any unwanted effects and to check the medicine is working. If you find that your condition doesn't get any better, or gets worse, check with your doctor how to proceed.

If you have any Taiwanese, Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, or other Asian relatives, you should inform your doctor. In treating esophagitis it may be that you need a lower dose of the medicine.

You should not use this medicine if you are taking other drugs that contain rilpivirine (Complera®, Edurant®). Doing so could cause you to experience a range of unwanted effects.

In treating ulcers, Omeprazole is sometimes given alongside other medicines. You should ensure you know how to use these other medicines, as well as any associated risks.

If this drug is taken by patients whose conditions are usually treated with antibiotics, a serious allergic reaction may occur. If you have any of the following symptoms whilst using this medicine, tell your doctor immediately:

  • Any swelling of your face, mouth, or hands

If, after using this medicine, you have any of the following symptoms, tell your doctor immediately. They could be signs of acute interstitial nephritis.

  • Swelling of the feet, ankles, or body

If you take Omeprazole for a long period, your body may find it harder to absorb vitamin B12. If you have concerns about a B12 deficiency, tell your doctor.

You could experience severe stomach conditions when using this medicine either with or without antibiotics. If you have more than one of these symptoms, inform your doctor:

  • Fever

You may be at greater risk of having a fracture of your spine, wrist, or hip when using this medicine. This is more likely to happen if you are aged 50 or above, if you use it for longer than a year, or if you take high doses.

It is possible that taking this drug will cause you to have hypomagnesemia (low magnesium levels in your blood). This is more likely to occur if you take it with certain diuretic water pills or if you take it for longer than a year. If you experience any of the following, then check with your doctor right away:

  • Uneven, fast, or racing heartbeat

In patients receiving PPI, systemic or cutaneous lupus erythematosus may get worse or occur. If you encounter a skin rash on your arms or cheek when exposed to direct sunlight or if you have joint pain, tell your doctor.

You should only stop taking this medicine if told to do so by your doctor, or if you have already checked with your doctor.

If you receive any treatment from a doctor or dentist, let them know beforehand. You may need to stop taking Omeprazole for several days prior to any medical tests.

Unless they have been cleared by your doctor, do not take any other medicines. This includes both prescription and nonprescription drugs, as well as any vitamin or herbal supplements.

Storage

You should keep your Omeprazole in a sealed container and store it at room temperature. It should not be allowed to freeze and should be kept away from direct light, moisture, and heat. Also, you should keep it safely away from children. Once you are finished using this medicine, or if you find any goes out of date, you should dispose of it in a safe and sensible manner. You can ask your doctor or pharmacist for advice on safe disposal.

Summary

If you suffer from a build-up of acid in your stomach, then Omeprazole can be a very useful drug in helping to alleviate a number of different resulting conditions. It is possible to obtain this medicine both with and without a doctor's prescription. However, it is not necessarily suited to all patients, and it can be confusing working out the suitable amount to take. As such, you may find it best to discuss this medicine with a doctor prior to taking it. They can advise you of a suitable amount and any other medicine or dietary adjustments you should make in order to help your treatment.

Either way, you should read the accompanying instructions very carefully, and only take the amount that is suggested for your condition. Above you can find more details regarding the side effects you may experience when taking this medicine. If you experience any of the more serious ones at any time, then you should inform your doctor right away. If you have any more questions about your condition or the use of Omeprazole, you can address these to your doctor or to your pharmacist.