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- Reduces the amount of acid in your stomach
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Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces the amount of acid produced in the stomach. The drug is often prescribed for acid reflux and is available in 10mg, 20mg and 40mg capsules to be taken once per day.
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Omeprazole is a medication commonly used to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. This is helpful if you are experiencing heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion. Some people also take omeprazole for stomach ulcers.
- Stomach acid is required to help you digest food and kill any bacteria that could make you unwell
- A mucous barrier in the stomach stops the acid damaging the lining of the stomach
- In some people, the mucous barrier breaks down and the acid starts to damage the stomach by causing inflammation or an ulcer
- Omeprazole works to stop the stomach from producing too much acid, helping to relieve symptoms
- After discussion with a prescriber, omeprazole can often be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Omeprazole Work?
Omeprazole belongs to a group of medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). It reduces the amount of acid the cells in the lining of the stomach produce. This not only helps to stop ulcers from forming, but can also help the stomach lining to heal if damage has already occurred.
Heartburn is often described as a burning sensation in the centre of the chest. It is caused by excess acid escaping out of the stomach and into the oesophagus (food pipe). This is known as acid reflux. Acid reflux can also cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth. By reducing the amount of acid produced, omeprazole can help to prevent acid reflux.
How is Omeprazole Taken?
Omeprazole is most commonly taken as a tablet or a capsule. Occasionally it is taken in a liquid form, or as a tablet that melts in the mouth.
Omeprazole tablets or capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water or fruit juice.
Dosage of Omeprazole
The usual dosage of omeprazole for indigestion is 10mg to 20mg every day. If heartburn and acid reflux are already being experienced, the starting dose may need to be higher at around 20mg to 40mg daily.
Anyone who has a stomach ulcer can typically expect to take 20mg to 40mg of omeprazole every day.
After starting omeprazole, it can take a week or two to start feeling relief from your symptoms. If you do not notice an improvement, speak to a health professional.
Are there any Side Effects?
Many people who take omeprazole will not notice any side effects. However, there are some common side effects that are likely to settle after a while. These include:
- Nausea or vomiting (feeling sick or being sick)
- Stomach pain
- Excess wind.
More serious side effects include:
- Yellow skin, dark urine (pee), or tiredness which may be caused by liver problems
- Joint pain and skin rashes which could be a sign of a rare condition.
You should call a doctor straight away if you notice these side effects.
If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Omeprazole may not be suitable if you have liver problems or are awaiting an endoscopy (camera test to look inside the stomach). Many women who are pregnant or breastfeeding can take omeprazole, but it is important to discuss your individual circumstances with a prescriber.
During the Consultation with UK Meds, you will be asked to complete a health questionnaire to check that omeprazole is suitable for you. Omeprazole is not suitable for use with all medications, so it is important to tell you prescriber which medications, including herbal remedies and supplements, you already take.
Once prescribed, you can order omeprazole online for home delivery.