How to use Omeprazole
Omeprazole is a medication that is used for the treatment of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, a condition characterized by the backward flow of acid from the stomach that causes heartburn and possible injury to the oesophagus. Omeprazole may be used alone or in combination with other medicines such as an antibiotic to treat ulcers associated with the infection caused by the H. pylori bacteria. It is available in both generic and brand versions, and without a prescription.
Video: What is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole is also used for the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a condition where the stomach produces too much acid. It is used for the treatment of dyspepsia, a condition that causes sour stomach, belching, indigestion, or heartburn.
In seriously ill patients, Omeprazole is used for the prevention of upper gastrointestinal tract bleeding.
Omeprazole is classified as a proton pump inhibitor, a type of drug that decreases the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
Proper use of Omeprazole
Omeprazole is to be taken only as directed by your doctor. You should not take more of it, or take it more often, and for a longer time than your doctor ordered. If you are using the over-the-counter version of this product, you should strictly follow the instructions on the information label that comes with the product package.
Omeprazole comes with a medication guide. It is necessary that you read and follow the instructions carefully. You should ask your doctor if you have any questions about the use of the medication.
You should take an omeprazole capsule or delayed-release capsule before a meal, preferably in the morning. It may be taken with food or on an empty stomach. Omeprazole powder that is used for oral suspension should be taken when the stomach is still empty, at least one hour prior to a meal. Patients who receive continuous tube feeding should temporarily stop feeding about 3 hours and 1 hour after administration of omeprazole powder for oral suspension.
Do not expect the medicine to give you instant relief, as it may take several days before it begins to provide relief to stomach pain. Taking antacids with omeprazole may help you relieve stomach pain unless your doctor will tell you otherwise.
If you are taking omeprazole for the treatment of ulcer that is associated with an H. pylori infection, you should take it together with an antibiotic at the same time of day.
Omeprazole, either in tablet or capsule form, must be swallowed whole. You should not open the capsule. Also, you should not break, crush, or chew the capsule or tablet.
If you find it difficult to swallow the omeprazole delayed-release capsules, you have the option of opening it and sprinkle the pellets on one tablespoon of applesauce. You should swallow the mixture immediately with a glass of cold water. The applesauce need not be hot and should be soft enough to be swallowed without the need for chewing. Do not chew or crush the pellets.
When to take Omeprazole
Omeprazole, as with other proton pump inhibitors such as Losec, is taken for once-daily dosing. It is usually taken in the morning for optimal efficacy.
Omeprazole provides an improved intragastric pH control when it is given before breakfast and a breakfast meal is ingested. It is important to take Omeprazole before a meal in the morning to eliminate any timing issue and for the patient to easily remember taking his dose. It is best to take the medicine immediately after waking up in the morning, while preparing breakfast, or while waiting for the meal to be served when eating out in a restaurant.
There are cases when a patient needs more than a single dose of omeprazole. In these cases, omeprazole dose can be split into two and be given once in the morning before breakfast and another one before dinner. Splitting the dose has been proven to be more effective in providing gastric relief compared to taking double the dose taken once daily.
The common side effects of omeprazole include a headache, stomach pain, and diarrhoea. The side effects are mild and usually go away when you stop taking the medication.
For people who are using omeprazole as a self-treatment, medicine should not be taken longer than 2 weeks without checking with a doctor.
Not everyone can take omeprazole. This medication can be taken by adults including pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers. Omeprazole can be taken by children and infants as long as it is prescribed by a doctor.
Some omeprazole capsules contain gelatin, making them not suitable for vegans and vegetarians. Some omeprazole capsules may contain a small amount of lactose, making them unsuitable for people with lactose intolerance, a digestive problem.
You can make omeprazole safe for your use by telling your doctor if you are allergic to proton pump inhibitor such as omeprazole. Also, you need to tell your doctor if you have liver problems.
Taking omeprazole first thing in the morning before your first meal will not upset your stomach.
Scott is an experienced and professional content writer who works exclusively for UK Meds.