Omeprazole

Acid reflux/indigestion or heartburn are terms used interchangeably to describe the burning pain caused by stomach acid.
Get prescription acid reflux treatment such as regular Losec (Omeprazole) or Zantac (Ranitidine) for people with severe or ongoing acid symptoms.

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Strength Quantity Price
10mg28 capsules9.99
10mg56 capsules15.99
20mg28 capsules17.99
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About

What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole is a treatment for acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD), heartburn and stomach ulcers. It is available in capsule form, as dispersible tablets and as an over-the-counter medication.

How does Omeprazole work?

Omeprazole is a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor (PPI). It works by blocking the production of stomach acid by the proton pump in the stomach, settling the symptoms of acid reflux and allowing the esophagus to heal. 

Omeprazole for GORD

GORD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is characterised by frequent acid reflux and can cause some minor damage to the esophagus. For treatment of GORD, Omeprazole is usually taken once daily for 4 to 8 weeks at  dosage recommended by your doctor.

Omeprazole for acid reflux

If you are experiencing acid reflux regularly, you can start taking Omeprazole daily until symptoms have settled. If you are self-treating with over-the-counter omeprazole, you should not take it for longer than 2 weeks without checking in with a doctor. If you experience acid reflux very occasionally or on a one-off occasion, some simple lifestyle changes such as eating smaller meals and avoiding trigger foods can help.

How long does Omeprazole take to work?

When taken regularly to treat GORD or acid reflux, Omeprazole should start to make you feel better within 2 to 3 days. It can take up to 4 weeks for Omeprazole to work fully and you may continue to experience some symptoms in this time.

How long does Omeprazole take to work?

Omeprazole can relieve your symptoms and settle stomach acid within 2 to 4 weeks. If you are self-treating with over-the-counter Omeprazole, you should not take it for more than 2 weeks without consulting a doctor. For treatment of GORD, treatment may continue for up to 8 weeks.

Ingredients

Active ingredients

The active ingredient in Omeprazole is omeprazole.

Inactive ingredients

The inactive ingredients in Omeprazole are sugar spheres (corn starch and sucrose), sodium lauryl sulfate, disodium phosphate, mannitol, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 6000, talc, polysorbate 80, titanium dioxide, Eudragit L30-D55 (poly(methacrylic acid, ethyl acrylate)), gelatin, quinine yellow (E104) and titanium dioxide (E171).

Please Note: Different brands of generic Omeprazole could contain different inactive ingredients than those listed here.

Dosage

How to take Omeprazole

Always take Omeprazole as instructed by a doctor or pharmacist. It is usually taken once daily in the morning, although your doctor may decide you need an additional evening dose. Swallow one capsule with water about an hour before eating, without splitting or chewing the capsule. Dispersible tablets should be dissolved in a small glass of water and drunk. If you forget to take a dose, don’t worry, just take the next one as planned. There is no need to take a double dose to make up for a missed one.

Omeprazole dosage

For treatment of persistent acid reflux or GORD, the recommended dose is 10 mg taken once daily for 4 to 8 weeks, or 20 mg if the esophagus is damaged. If the esophagus has not healed within 8 weeks, your doctor may recommend a dose of 40 mg once daily for a further 8 weeks.

For the treatment of stomach ulcers, the recommended dose is 20 mg taken once daily for 4 weeks. If ulcers have not healed, your doctor may increase the dose to 40 mg per day for a further 4 to 8 weeks.  

Can Omeprazole be crushed/divided?

Omeprazole comes in the form of hard-coated capsules, which should be swallowed whole with water and should not be split, and orodispersible tablets which dissolve in the mouth. 

Why do you need to take Omeprazole in the morning?

Omeprazole should be taken in the morning or at at least 1 hour before a meal. This will allow it to be absorbed via the stomach lining before acid production begins with food. If you are taking Omeprazole twice daily, you should take one dose in the morning and one in the evening.

Side Effects

Omeprazole side effects

Like all medication, Omeprazole can cause side effects in some patients. If not experience any of the following rare but serious side effects, stop taking Omeprazole and contact a doctor immediately:

  • Severe allergic reaction, characterised by sudden wheezing, swelling of the lips, tongue or throat, body rash, fainting, and difficulty swallowing
  • Reddening of the skin with blisters of peeling, or severe blistering of the skin around the eyes, nose, lips, or genitals
  • Symptoms of liver failure, including jaundice (yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes), dark-coloured urine and tiredness
  • Shortness of breath, tiredness, dizziness, bleeding or bruising, which may be caused by a reduction in red or white blood cells or platelets in the blood
  • Infection with symptoms such as fever and severely reduced general condition, or fever with symptoms of a local infection such as pain in the neck, throat or mouth or difficulty urinating. In very rare cases Omeprazole may affect white blood cells and led to immune deficiency.

Common side effects may affect up to 1 in 10 people and include:

  • Headache
  • Diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation or wind
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Benign polyps in the stomach

Uncommon side effects, affecting up to 1 in 100 people, can include:

  • Swelling of the feet or ankles
  • Insomnia
  • Dizziness, tingling sensation, feeling sleepy
  • Vertigo
  • Changes in blood tests monitoring liver function
  • Skin rash, hives or itchy rash
  • Generally feeling unwell and lacking energy
  • Increased risk of fracture of the hip, wrist or spine

Rare side effects (1 in 1,000 people) can include:

  • Blood problems such as reduced number of white blood cells or platelets
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood
  • Agitation, confusion or depression
  • Taste changes
  • Blurred vision
  • Bronchospasm
  • Dry mouth
  • Inflammation of the inside of the mouth
  • Alopecia
  • Rash on exposure to sunshine
  • Joint or muscle pains
  • Severe kidney problems
  • Increased sweating
  • Liver problems, including jaundice, which can cause yellow skin, dark urine and tiredness
  • Thrush

Very rarely, (1 in 10,000 cases) the following side effects can be experienced:

  • Aggression
  • Hallucinations
  • Severe liver problems leading to liver failure and inflammation of the brain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Enlarged breasts in men

Contraindications

Do NOT take Omeprazole if:

  • You are allergic to any of the ingredients in this medication
  • You are allergic to other medications containing proton pump inhibitors

Before taking Omeprazole, speak to your doctor or pharmacist if:

  • You lose a lot of weight for no reason and have problems swallowing
  • You get stomach pain or indigestion
  • You begin to vomit food or blood
  • You pass black stools
  • You experience severe or persistent diarrhoea
  • You have severe liver problems
  • You have ever had a skin reaction after treatment with a medicine similar to Omeprazole
  • You get a rash on your skin, especially in areas exposed to sun

Drug interactions

Do NOT take Omeprazole in combination with nelfinavir (used to treat HIV infection). Before taking Omeprazole, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any other medication, including those purchased over the counter without a prescription. In particular, tell your doctor or pharmacist if you are taking any of the following:

  • Ketoconazole, itraconazole, posaconazole or voriconazole (antifungals)
  • Digoxin for heart problems
  • Diazepam
  • Phenytoin for epilepsy
  • Blood thinners such as Warfarin or other vitamin K blockers
  • Rifampicin for tuberculosis
  • Atazanavir for HIV infection
  • Tacrolimus
  • Methotrexate
  • St John’s Wort
  • Cilostazol
  • Saquinavir for HIV infection
  • Clopidogrel
  • Erltinib
  • Clarithromycin

How to cope with Omeprazole side effects

Omeprazole should be taken approximately an hour before eating. If this causes any sickness or nausea, try drinking small sips of water to stay hydrated and eat smaller portions at mealtimes. Drinking water will also help prevent any constipation, as will eating foods that are rich in fibre and exercising regularly. Stomach pain or discomfort can be soothed by holding a hot water bottle against your abdomen, and avoiding foods such as onions, peas, beans and lentils which can cause wind. 

Omeprazole and alcohol

Drinking alcohol is a common cause of acid reflux. For best results, do not drink alcohol while being treated with Omeprazole.

Omeprazole and pregnancy

Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you are, think you might be or are planning on becoming pregnant. 

Treatment Options

Omeprazole vs Omeprazole dispersible

Omeprazole can be purchased in the form of capsules which dissolve in the stomach, and tablets which can be dissolved in water and drunk for those who struggle with swallowing capsules. A branded version of Omperazole, Losec, is also available in the form of tablets which are placed in the mouth and dissolve on the tongue.

Losec vs Omeprazole

Losec is a brand name for the generic drug called Omeprazole. Both contain omeprazole as the active ingredient and work in exactly the same way, although the generic version is somewhat cheaper.

Prescription Omeprazole vs Omeprazole over the counter

Omeprazole can be bought over the counter for self-treatment of acid reflux that occurs regularly (more than twice per week). It is the same as the 20 mg dose of prescription Omeprazole, but should not be taken for longer than 2 weeks without consultation with a doctor.

Q&A

Can I take Paracetamol/Ibuprofen with Omeprazole?

It is fine to take Paracetamol with Omeprazole, but you should avoid taking anti-inflammatory painkillers such as Ibuprofen or Aspirin if you have heartburn or ulcers, as it can make these conditions worse.

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