Articles, DRUGS

Omeprazole (prilosec) – Uses, Dosage, Side Effects & Interactions

Our body works in a mechanism that is quite amusing as all the puzzle pieces just fits right in making the internal working procedure smooth as butter. While we chomp down on our food, the breakdown, the digestion, the excretion and the equal distribution of the nutrients in the system thus add up to form the complete process, something that works without us even noticing. However, the brand new lifestyle of the present day world is quite dominating on the everyday quota demanding more and more from us than ever which is exactly why we in the present days have a hard run taking out time for ourselves to actually indulge in self care. Along the long run it so happens that we completely neglect health care  postponing it until something grave shows up and often these neglects cause disorders within us. One such issue that we shall handle today is the increase of acid in our stomach and how we can regulate or control it.

Here in this article we have therefore come upon a medicine that can help us treat the acid increase in the stomach, this medicinal drug being called omeprazole. This medicine falls under the category of drugs that we recognize as PPI or proton pump inhibitors and they specialize in regulating the acid content in the stomach thereby reducing risks of hyperacidity or hyperchlorydria. Hyperacidity is a situation in the stomach when the acid content is too much compared to the water content thereby causing side effects like heat burn or swallowing difficulty. The generic name to this drug is omeprazole or omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate but this is usually sold under the brand names prilosec, zegerid OTC or just zegerid.

Apart from locking in the acid content in your stomach, this drug also helps first hand in healing esophagus problems that go hand in hand with stomach acid increase which is yet another area this medicinal drug encroaches on in the act of helping us.



Before we move to the benefits of this drug, let’s take a look into how exactly does this drug function? To start off, we have the stomach acids that are actually present to help you break down the nutrition in the food. The food chewed and molded now lands up in the gut where it segregates the bile and the nutrition thanks to the acids. Now often there might be a situation where due to influences, the acid content in your stomach rises causing the situation hyperacidity. The dysfunction of the LES or lower esophageal sphincter causes the acid to flow backwards which is up the pipe causing burns which we often may have felt. To treat these conditions we have the omeprazole.

  • Acid production prevented: the omeprazole uses its benefits to blocks excess acid production and in the bargain ensures or regulates the acid content in your stomach is at a suitable level. This is why in this section, we will talk about how exactly this medicine works. The PPI class of drug actually works by blocking the enzyme on the inner walls of the stomach, the enzyme that is supposed to increase the acidic content in your system.
  • Esophageal problems: often during moments of acidity you may notice how a small burp causes sour burning sensation at the back of your throat. At times this acid in the stomach gets pushed up backwards through the esophagus and may cause related problems. Such a situation is quite common to the disorder called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease where the bile or acid from the stomach bothers the lining of the food pipe. This too can be treated well using this medicine.
  • Gastric or duodenum ulcer cure: the presence of too much acid in the system may cause non malignant or non cancerous ulcers in your system which may or may not be a painful experience for you. With this medication you can treat that with finesse too.


Based on your weight and medical requirements and of course keeping the age in mind, your doctor will prescribe to you the proper dosage unit along with consumption style, intake gaps and time intervals all thoroughly explained to you. in case you are going for over the counter medicines, either seek help from your trusted pharmacist or simply read the patient information form completely before.

The omeprazole dose is usually entitled to be strictly taken by mouth. Now whether to take the medicine with food or without food is entirely up to your doctor. However, it is usually advised that you take this medicine before a meal and as a word of caution your doctor will also ask you to wait for a good hour or more after the medicine intake before you move into your meals. Usually scheduled for one day, a usual time span for a dose would be somewhere between 14 days or lesser and once a dose finishes, wait for a good four month before starting with another dose.

If you are using the pill form, make sure you swallow the whole tablet or omeprazole capsule using a glass of water and if you are using the powdered form of this medication, measure the powder if bought in bulk carefully and then mix it well in water by thorough stirring before you intake it.


Usually your doctor is there to take care of the dosage units and the consumption patterns for you. based on your weight and age and your body’s capabilities, your doctor or your pharmacist will offer you with the dose. There are two types of pills, the prescription ones with the higher doses and the OTC or over the counter pills that can be bought from a nearby drug store.

It is for the best that you usually start with a smaller dose for your body to get used to this medication. If required and if the results are not satisfactory, your doctor himself will prescribe a dose higher but it is often requested that you by yourself do not partake in dosage increase.

For any sort of ulcerous situations, be it duodenum, ie, intestinal or gastric related you can easily keep your dosage at the minimum or initial dose which is prilosec 20mg. this is an adult dosage unit for a daily dose that you can consume once a day before the morning meal. This medication is kept for a minimum of 4 to 8 weeks after which the medicine should be stopped for a good few months.

For gastroesophageal reflux diseases including the esophagus and its related problems, you can keep the dosage at a bar of 20 mg once again for 4-8 weeks but in case of dissatisfaction due to a lower dose the dosage for 20 mg can be increased to omeprazole 40mg.

Only in serious conditions like multiple endocrine adenomas or systematic mastocystosis, you can start with an initial dose of 60mg which only on doctor’s prescription can be increased to 120mg.


While taking in the omeprazole dosage, always keep a strict eye out on the consumption style. If you are prescribed the powder, keep a strict professional measure cup to measure the doses well. This is applicable only in case you buy the powder in bulk. In cases of tablets or pills, never crush, break or chew down the pills unless you are opting for the chewable tablets. These medicines contain a lot of inactive ingredients which can be bad for your system and may increase chances or overdosing.

Even though there is no strict rule against the use of this medicine during the period of pregnancy, it is usually for the best that you keep this medication for emergencies or simply consult a doctor regarding the usage of this. This drug may pass onto the breast milk and may endanger the unborn.

Also, make sure you alert your surgeon if you are scheduled for a surgery whilst being on the course of this drug, about your drug intake s that he can take measures necessary to curb omeprazole side effects.


Interaction with other medication usually means that this medicinal drug may or may not react with other medications already present in your system. usually the most reactive medicines are those that cure allergy. Allergy medicines react a lot with any sort of powerful drug and if you are following one make sure you know the course completely.

Also antibacterial or anti fungal and even herbal medicines at this time may cause a reaction so either refrain from it or simply consult your doctor. It is usually advised that you furnish a full medical history report to your doctor along with your medication intake history like those of the birth control pills and such so that he knows whether to warn you or not.


side effects are common, no matter how timid or powerful the drug is. Side effects often occur when a new foreign substance is introduced in the body or in cases when the foreign substance introduced is highly allergic to yourself. In cases like this, for some the side effects may go quite unnoticeable but for the rest the effects may be quite loud. Here is a list of some of the most common side effects that you may have faced along the line.

  • Allergic reaction: allergic reactions to this medicinal drug can be in the form of swollen lips or face, neck, arms and feet bloating along with painful red blotchy rashes. There might come a time when these allergic reactions actually cause shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing.
    Strong head ache and abdominal pain: head ache especially around the sinus region can be a torment at this time and hence any one with sinus problems are usually asked not to indulge too much in this medication. Abdominal pain in the form of muscle cramps may persist.
  • Bloody stools and change in their consistency: alongside abdominal pain, you may notice a change in your bowel movements where the frequency may lessen with blood or mucous forming in your stools. The stool consistency may change too where it becomes hardened and black tarry in consistency.
  • Muscle pain and spasms: much like the abdominal cramps, muscle stiffness or pain along with spasms may just be the other side effects of omeprazole.
  • Heart palpitations: heart palpitations may be faced at this time with irregular heart beat where the heart at times beats too fast and at other times simply just slows down its rate. Make sure to consult your doctor in case this scenario occurs repeatedly.
  • Seizures due to low magnesium in blood: one of the side effects to omeprazole is also regarded as low levels of magnesium in the blood which is when problems like seizures or convulsions may arise. Keep an eye out on that front and immediately consult the doctor in case it occurs.
  • Loss of appetite with nausea and drowsiness: appetite loss is no surprise as this forms one of the most common side effect. Along with this extreme fatigue and nausea feels may persist which may even result in day time sleeping after drowsiness feelings.

The heat burns or the constant acidity that you are facing too much off late is because of the increase in acid in your system, a cause that we strictly would regard to as hyperacidity of your system when the acid content in your stomach is over empowered rather than an equal mix of water and acid. To treat such situations, here we have the omeprazole that reduce or blocks acid intake and does so with finesse.