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All about: omeprazole

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Generic Name: omeprazole (oh MEP ra zol)
Brand Names: Prilosec, Prilosec OTC

What is omeprazole?

Omeprazole decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Omeprazole is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess stomach acid. Omeprazole is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to your esophagus caused by stomach acid).

Omeprazole may also be given together with antibiotics to treat gastric ulcer caused by infection with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

Omeprazole may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about omeprazole?

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, dizziness, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and a general ill feeling.

Omeprazole is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.

Some conditions are treated with a combination of omeprazole and antibiotics. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before the condition is completely treated.

Prilosec OTC (over-the-counter) should be taken only once every 24 hours for 14 days. It may take up to 4 days for full effect. Do not take more than one tablet every 24 hours.

Allow at least 4 months to pass before you start another 14-day treatment with Prilosec OTC. Call your doctor if you have additional symptoms and need treatment before the 4 months has passed.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking omeprazole?

Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, dizziness, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, sweating, nausea or vomiting, and a general ill feeling.

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to omeprazole.

Before using this medication, tell your doctor if you are allergic to any drugs, or if you have liver disease. You may not be able to use omeprazole, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Some conditions are treated with a combination of omeprazole and antibiotics. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Do not use over-the-counter omeprazole (Prilosec OTC) without the advice of a doctor if you have:
  • trouble or pain with swallowing;

  • bloody or black stools;

  • vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds;

  • heartburn that has lasted for over 3 months;

  • frequent chest pain;

  • heartburn with wheezing;

  • unexplained weight loss;

  • nausea or vomiting; or

  • stomach pain.

If you have any of these conditions, you may not be able to use Prilosec OTC or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

FDA pregnancy category C. Omeprazole may be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. Omeprazole can pass into breast milk and may harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

Do not give this medication to a child without your doctor's advice.

How should I take omeprazole?

Omeprazole is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.

Take this medication exactly as directed on the label, or as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on the medicine label or on your prescription label.

Take each dose of omeprazole with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.

Omeprazole is usually taken before eating. Follow your doctor's instructions.

Do not crush, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

You may open the delayed-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

Prilosec OTC (over-the-counter) should be taken only once every 24 hours for 14 days. Take the medicine in the morning before you eat breakfast. It may take up to 4 days for full effect. Do not take more than one tablet every 24 hours.

Allow at least 4 months to pass before you start another 14-day treatment with Prilosec OTC. Call your doctor if you have additional symptoms and need treatment before the 4 months has passed.

Do not crush, chew, or break a Prilosec OTC tablet. Swallow the pill whole. Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before your treatment is completed. Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while you are taking this medicine. Store omeprazole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of an omeprazole overdose include drowsiness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, nausea, vomiting, sweating, headache, or dry mouth.

What should I avoid while taking omeprazole?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while taking omeprazole, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Omeprazole side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • stomach pain, gas;

  • nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or

  • headache.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect omeprazole?

Before taking omeprazole, tell your doctor if you are taking any of the following drugs:

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin);

  • atazanavir (Reyataz);

  • disulfiram (Antabuse);

  • cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune);

  • digoxin (digitalis, Lanoxin);

  • tacrolimus (Prograf);

  • phenytoin (Dilantin);

  • theophylline (TheoBid, Theo-Dur, Theochron, Theolair, Elixophyllin, Slo-Phyllin);

  • fluconazole (Diflucan), itraconazole (Sporanox), or ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • ampicillin (Omnipen, Principen);

  • iron (Feosol, Mol-Iron, Fergon, Femiron, others); or

  • a medicine for insomnia or anxiety such as diazepam (Valium), alprazolam (Xanax), lorazepam (Ativan), temazepam (Restoril), clorazepate (Tranxene), chlordiazepoxide (Librium), and others.

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use omeprazole, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect omeprazole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about omeprazole written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Omeprazole is available with a prescription and over-the-counter under the brand names Prilosec and Prilosec OTC. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Prilosec 10 mg--opaque, hard-gelatin, apricot/amethyst-colored capsules

  • Prilosec 20 mg--opaque, hard-gelatin, amethyst-colored capsules

  • Prilosec 40 mg--opaque, hard-gelatin, apricot/amethyst-colored capsules

  • Prilosec OTC 20 mg-round, pink tablets

  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.
  • Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.
Copyright 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 5.06. Revision Date: 04/26/2007 3:21:10 PM.

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