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Why it's used

Omeprazole is used for the short-term treatment of ulcers in the stomach and intestines. This medicine helps by reducing the level of acid in the stomach. Omeprazole is also used to treat heartburn and indigestion caused by GERD, for the short-term treatment of inflammation of the food pipe, and for the long-term treatment of overproduction of stomach acid caused by various conditions of the stomach.
Omeprazole may also be used together with other medicines to treat certain conditions as recommended by the doctor. It is used in combination with Clarithromycin, or Amoxicillin to reduce the risk of ulcers in the upper part of the small intestine called as duodenal ulcers. It is also used with Clarithromycin, or Metronidazole to remove certain bacterial infections which lead to stomach ulcers.
Proton Pump Inhibitors
Omeprazole is a prescription medicine that belongs to a class of medicines called Proton Pump Inhibitors. Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a group of medicines that significantly reduce stomach acid production. Excess acid production causes diseases related to the stomach and intestines. PPIs are used to treat such disorders.

How to use

Read the medicine guide provided by your pharmacist, your doctor, or the medicine company. If you have any questions related to Omeprazole, ask your doctor or pharmacist. Use Omeprazole as per the instructions provided by your doctor.
Omeprazole is consumed 1 hour before food. Swallow Omeprazole whole. Do not chew or crush the medicine. Omeprazole is consumed usually in the morning.
The typical dose of Omeprazole for adults is 20-40 mg once daily for 4-8 weeks. The usual dose for children is 5-20 mg once daily for inflammation of the food pipe, heartburn and GERD. This medicine is generally used for a period of 4 weeks for ulcers in the intestines, 4-8 weeks for stomach ulcers, and 4-8 weeks for GERD. It takes 1-2 hours for this medicine to start its action. This medicine is not known to be addictive or habit-forming.
This medicine should be used on an as-needed basis. Omeprazole may be prescribed for the long-term treatment of conditions that produce an excessive amount of stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.
Discuss with your doctor if you develop new symptoms. Discuss with your doctor if conditions like weight loss, problems while swallowing, stomach pain, indigestion, vomiting (food or blood), black stools, severe diarrhea, severe liver problems and skin reaction occurs. If you have issues with the health of your liver, a low dose is required in patients with liver disease when being used for the treatment of erosive esophagitis. Consult with your doctor before stopping the use of Omeprazole.
Older patients may see an increase in the incidence of side-effects. As a result, a lower dose may be recommended for older patients.
If you are giving Omeprazole to a child, be sure to use a product that is for use in children. Use the child's weight or age to find the right dose from the product package or medicine label. You can also read the dosage section of this page to know the correct dose for your child. Else, consult with your doctor and follow their recommendation.
If using the delayed-release form of this medicine, do not crush or chew the medicine, unless indicated on the package. Crushing or chewing of the medicine can result in unpleasant taste resulting in patients not following the medicine schedule. Crushing or chewing can also release all of the medicine at once, resulting in a decrease of effectiveness and a possible increase in side-effects.
If using the liquid form of this medicine, measure the dose using the provided measuring cup, spoon, or dropper. Before pouring the medicine into the measuring device, you should check the measurement markings carefully. Then, pour the dose amount into the device. After use, clean and store the measuring device in a safe place for your next use. You should not use a tablespoon or teaspoon as the dose measuring devices since it can result in an incorrect dose. If indicated on the product package, shake the medicine before use.
Your doctor may request that specific lab tests be performed before you start using Omeprazole. Your doctor may ask you to undergo Magnesium test. Low levels of magnesium has been reported in patients on who have used Omeprazole (with digoxin or certain other medicines such as diuretics) for long periods of time. Hence, careful monitoring of magnesium levels is required before starting the use of this medicine.
Medicines may be recommended for uses other than those listed in the medicine guide. You should not use Omeprazole for conditions or symptoms for which it was not prescribed. Do not give Omeprazole to other people, even if they have the same conditions or symptoms that you have. The use of this medicine without the advice of a doctor may cause harm.
Follow storage instructions on the product package if available. Store Omeprazole Store Omeprazole between 15°C and 30°C (59°F and 86°F)., away from moisture, and away from light. Store this medicine away from children and pets.

How to take Omeprazole

The dose and frequency of using Omeprazole will depend on the following factors:
  • age of the patient
  • the weight of the patient
  • patient's health
  • the health of the patient's kidneys
  • medicines recommended by the doctor
  • any other medicines being used
  • herbal supplements being used
  • response to the medicine

Omeprazole Dosage

Dosage for ulcers in the upper part of the small intestine (duodenal ulcer)

Adult
  • Recommended: 20 mg once per day for 4 weeks. An additional 4 weeks of treatment may be required in some patients.
  • Maximum: 40 mg once a day for 4 weeks

Dosage for stomach ulcer

Adult
  • Recommended: 40 mg once a day for 4-8 weeks
  • Maximum: 40 mg once a day for 8 weeks

Dosage for the digestive disorder in which stomach acid flows back into the food pipe (gastroesophageal reflux disease)

Adult
  • Recommended: 20 mg once a day for 4-8 weeks
Children (age 1-16 years and weight between 5-10 kg (11-22 lbs))
  • Recommended: 5 mg/day
Children (age 1-16 years and weight between 10-20 kg (22-44 lbs))
  • Recommended: 10 mg/day
Children (age 1-16 years and weight more than 20 kg (44 lbs))
  • Recommended: 20 mg/day

Dosage for inflammation of the food pipe (erosive esophagitis)

Adult
  • Recommended: 20 mg/day
Children (age 1-16 years and weight between 5-10 kg (11-22 lbs))
  • Recommended: 5 mg/day
Children (age 1-16 years and weight between 10-20 kg (22 - 44 lbs))
  • Recommended: 10 mg/day
Children (age 1-16 years and weight more than 20 kg (44 lbs))
  • Recommended: 20 mg/day

Dosage for excessive production of stomach acid (pathological hypersecretory conditions)

Adult
  • Recommended: 60 mg once per day
  • Maximum: 120 mg thrice a day

Dosage for Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection (triple therapy with clarithromycin and amoxicillin)

Adult
  • Recommended: 20 mg Omeprazole plus 500 mg clarithromycin plus 1000 mg amoxicillin twice a day for 10 days
Children (children over 4 years and weight between 15-30 kg (33-66 lbs))
  • Recommended: Omeprazole 10 mg, amoxicillin 25 mg/kg of body weight and clarithromycin 7.5 mg/kg of body weight twice a day for one week
Children (children over 4 years and weight between 31-40 kg (68-88 lbs))
  • Recommended: Omeprazole 20 mg, amoxicillin 750 mg and clarithromycin 7.5 mg/kg of body weight twice a day for one week
Children (children over 4 years and weight more than 40 kg)
  • Recommended: Omeprazole 20 mg, amoxicillin 1000 mg, and clarithromycin 500 mg twice a day for one week

Dosage for Helicobacter pylori bacterial infection (dual therapy with clarithromycin)

Adult
  • Recommended: 40 mg Omeprazole once daily plus 500 mg clarithromycin thrice a day for 14 days

Dosage calculation for children

To calculate the dosage for children please use the weight based dose calculator to calculate the appropriate dosage as per the weight of your child.

Forms

Delayed-Release Capsule
Strength: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg
Delayed-Release Oral Suspension
Strength: 2.5 mg, 10 mg
Delayed-Release Tablet
Strength: 20 mg

Missed Dose

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if the time for the next dose is almost there, then skip the missed dose and follow the regular dosing schedule. Avoid taking a repeated dose to make up for a missed one.

Overdose

What to do if you overdose on Omeprazole?
No specific antidote for an overdose of Omeprazole is available. The treatment depends on its symptoms.
Symptoms of an overdose of Omeprazole
If you use too much of this medicine, it could lead to dangerous levels of the medicine in your body. In such cases, symptoms of an overdose may include:
If you think you have overdosed on Omeprazole, call a poison control center immediately. You can look up the poison control center information from the Poison Center Finder at TabletWise.com.

Precautions while using Omeprazole

Before you use Omeprazole, tell your doctor if you are allergic to it or its ingredients. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative medicine and update your medical records to record this information. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to proton pump inhibitors (example pantoprazole, rabeprazole, lansoprazole, esomeprazole).
Before you use Omeprazole, tell your doctor of your medical history including low magnesium levels in the blood, or liver problems. The chances of severe side effects increase if the patient has these problems.
The use of this medicine may change magnesium. Use of this medicine may lead to decreased magnesium level. So it is advised to monitor magnesium level when using the drugs that reduce stomach acid secretions (proton pump inhibitors).
Omeprazole is known to be safe for use in women who are pregnant. Consult with your doctor on the use of Omeprazole during breastfeeding. Omeprazole may pass into breast milk and can cause serious side effects to the baby. Hence a decision must be made to discontinue breastfeeding or discontinue taking the medicine as per the health needs of the patient. Consult with your doctor on the use of Omeprazole, if you are trying to conceive. Although, animal studies have shown no negative impact on fertility, consult with your doctor on the impact on fertility when using Omeprazole.
Omeprazole can make you feel sleepy. Be careful while driving, using machinery, or doing any other activity that needs you to be alert. The consumption of alcohol with Omeprazole can make you feel more sleepy.
Omeprazole can increase your risk of getting infections/worsen existing infections. Reduce your chances of new infections. Wash your hands often. Avoid people who may have infectious diseases. Prevent injuries, cuts, and bruises. Do not vaccinate without discussing with your doctor. Medicines that reduce stomach acid secretions including #NAME increase the risk of bacterial infections in the stomach and intestines.
Omeprazole may cause an increased risk of side-effects in younger patients. Children using this medicine may see an increased risk of respiratory system problems, and fever.
Use of Omeprazole for a long time may lead to long-term inflammation of the stomach (atrophic gastritis) and increases the risk of bone disease (osteoporosis) related fractures of the spine, hip or wrist.

Omeprazole Side-effects

The following side-effects may commonly occur when using Omeprazole. If any of these side-effects worsen or last for a long time, you should consult with your doctor:
The following side-effects may commonly occur in older patients on the use of Omeprazole. Discuss with your doctor if any of these side-effects last for a long time or are severe:
The following side-effects may commonly occur in children when using Omeprazole. Discuss with your doctor if any of these side-effects last for a long time or are severe:
  • accidental injury
  • fever
  • respiratory diseases
Rarely, the use of Omeprazole may cause the following side-effects:
The following severe side-effects may also occur when using Omeprazole:
  • Low levels of magnesium in the blood
    Symptoms: fatigue, uncontrolled muscle contractions, mental confusion (disorientation), convulsions, dizziness and increased heartbeat
    The blood tests should be performed to monitor the levels of magnesium in the patients.
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood
    Symptoms: weakness, vomiting and uncontrolled muscle movements
  • Blood disorders such as reduced number of white blood cells and platelets
    Symptoms: weakness, tear of blood vessels in the skin due to injury (bruising) and more likely to get an infection
  • Liver diseases such as jaundice or liver failure
    Symptoms: yellowing of skin, dark colored urine and tiredness
  • Severe skin allergic reactions such as Stevens-Johnson syndrome, or erythema multiforme
    Symptoms: skin rashes, the formation of bubble under the skin due to infection (blistering of skin), removal of the outer layer of skin (skin peeling), high fever and joint pain
  • Low white blood cells
    Symptoms: fever, pain in the neck, throat or mouth and difficulty in urinating
  • Tightening of the smooth muscles of the lungs (bronchospasm)
    Symptoms: sudden wheezing and shortness of breath
  • Severe kidney problem (interstitial nephritis)
  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Severe diarrhea
Your doctor has prescribed this Omeprazole because they have judged that the benefits outweigh the risks posed by side-effects. Many people using this medicine do not have serious side-effects. This is not a complete list of possible side-effects for Omeprazole.
If you experience side-effects or notice other side-effects not listed above, contact your doctor for medical advice. You may also report side-effects to your local food and drug administration authority. You can look up the drug authority contact information from the Drug Authority Finder at TabletWise.com.

Warnings

Patients using other proton pump inhibitors

Such patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine. These patients may suffer from subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, the disease in which the body's immune system attacks the healthy skin cells. Avoid use of this medicine after consultation with the doctor.

Low magnesium levels in the blood

These patients are at increased risk when using this medicine. Such patients may suffer from severe side effects like heart palpitation, seizures and uncontrolled contractions of the muscles. Careful monitoring of magnesium levels is required before initiating the treatment.

Patients using antidepressants and antibacterial (rifampin) drugs

Such patients are at an increased risk when using this medicine. In such patients, the levels of Omeprazole is decreased. The patients should avoid using Omeprazole with these medicines.

False positive results for neuroendocrine tumors

Omeprazole causes an increase in chromogranin A (CGA) protein levels in the blood that lead to false positive results for neuroendocrine tumors. It is advised to stop Omeprazole treatment temporarily before examining CGA levels and in case if initial levels of CGA are high, then the test should be repeated.

Patients using methotrexate, which is used to treat cancer

These patients are at increased risk when using this medicine. The use of proton pump inhibitors with methotrexate may increase the level of methotrexate in the blood. Patients should temporarily stop the use of proton pump inhibitors during intake of the high dose of methotrexate.

Patients under long-term therapy using Omeprazole

The long-term use of this medicine may lead to a decrease in the absorption of vitamin B12.

Stomach cancer (gastric malignancy)

Treatment with Omeprazole does not prevent the presence of stomach cancer in patients.

Severe inflammation of the stomach (atrophic gastritis)

Patients who use Omeprazole for a long time have been shown to develop atrophic gastritis.

Diarrhea associated with Clostridium difficile bacterium

Patients using this medicine are at increased risk of developing Clostridium difficile associated diarrhea. Low dose should be given to these patients for a shorter duration.

Bone fractures

Patients using this medicine are at increased risk for developing weak bone-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Low dose should be given to these patients for a shorter duration.

Patients using clopidogrel (antiplatelet medicine)

These patients are at increased risk when using this medicine. Omeprazole prevents the antiplatelet effect of clopidogrel. These patients should not take Omeprazole and clopidogrel together.

Interactions with Omeprazole

When two or more medicines are taken together, it can change how the medicines work and increase the risk of side-effects. In medical terms, this is called as a Drug Interaction.
Omeprazole may interact with antiretroviral drugs, which are used to treat viral infections like HIV/AIDS caused by a retrovirus (atazanavir, saquinavir, and nelfinavir). Proton pump inhibitors decrease the amount of atazanavir and nelfinavir in the body which may result in reduced therapeutic effect of the antiretroviral medicines. Omeprazole, when used in combination with saquinavir, increases the level of saquinavir in the blood which further leads to an increase in harmful effects. The use of proton pump inhibitors with atazanavir and nelfinavir is not recommended. While in the case of saquinavir, a lower dose of saquinavir is required.
There may be an interaction of Omeprazole with medicines whose absorption depends on stomach pH (such as, ketoconazole, iron salts, erlotinib, ampicillin esters, and digoxin). When using Omeprazole with these medicines, it decreases the absorption of ketoconazole, ampicillin, iron salts, esters, and erlotinib. Omeprazole increases the absorption of digoxin. Patients may need to monitor digoxin level in blood when taken in combination with Omeprazole.
Omeprazole interacts with drugs that are metabolized in the liver (such as, diazepam, warfarin, cyclosporine, disulfiram, benzodiazepines, and phenytoin). Omeprazole can extend the duration of the removal of these medicines from the body. Use of this medicine with warfarin may result in increased blood clotting time which maybe possibly fatal. When using this medicine with warfarin, prothrombin time should be monitored.
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with clopidogrel, which is a medicines used to prevent blood clotting. The use of Omeprazole with clopidogrel may result in reduced levels of clopidogrel in the body. Avoid the use of Omeprazole and clopidogrel in combination.
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medicine along with tacrolimus, which is used to treat a skin condition called eczema and lowers the risk during organ transmission from healthy donor to recipient. The use of Omeprazole with tacrolimus results in an increase in the level of tacrolimus in blood. Careful monitoring of the functioning of kidneys and dose adjustment is required when both the drugs are used in combination.
Omeprazole may interact with methotrexate, which is used to treat cancer. The use of proton pump inhibitors with methotrexate may increase the level of methotrexate in blood. When a high dose of methotrexate is used, a temporary withdrawal of Omeprazole is needed.
There may be an interaction of Omeprazole with St John’s Wort, a plant which is used to treat depression. St John’s Wort decreases the amount of Omeprazole in enzyme (CYP2C19) metabolizers. Avoid the combined use of St. John’s Wort with this medicine.
Omeprazole interacts with voriconazole, which is used to treat fungal infections. When using this medicine with voriconazole, it may results in increased levels of Omeprazole in the blood by decreasing its rate of metabolism. Dose adjustment is required in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.
Special instructions need to be followed while taking this medicine along with cilostazol, which is used to prevent blood clotting. When both the drugs are used in combination, the levels of cilostazol get increased. A dose reduction of cilostazol is required from 100 mg twice daily to 50 mg twice daily.
Your doctor's guidelines may need to be followed while taking this medicine along with rifampin, which is used to treat tuberculosis infection. Use of rifampin may lead to decrease in Omeprazole level in the blood. The combined use of rifampin with this medicine should be avoided.
Omeprazole may interact with posaconazole and itraconazole, which are used to treat fungal infections. The absorption rate and clinical effectiveness of these drugs is reduced when used in combination with Omeprazole. The combined use of posaconazole with this medicine should be avoided.
This page does not contain all the possible interactions of Omeprazole. Share a list of all medicines that you use with your doctor and pharmacist. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any medicines without the approval of your doctor.

Traveling With Medication

  • Ensure that you carry enough doses of each of your prescription medicines to last the entire trip. The best place to store your medicines is in the carry on baggage. However, while flying, if carrying liquid medicines, make sure you do not go over the limits imposed for carry-on liquids.
  • While traveling overseas, make sure that you can carry each of your prescription medicines legally to your destination country. One way to ensure this is by checking with your destination country's embassy or website.
  • Make sure that you carry each of your medicines in their original packaging, which should typically include your name and address, and the details of the prescribing doctor.
  • If your travel involves crossing time zones, and you are required to take your medicine as per a fixed schedule, make sure that you adjust for the change in time.

Expired Medication

Taking a single dose of expired Omeprazole is unlikely to cause a side-effect. However, please discuss with your doctor or pharmacist, if you feel unwell or sick. An expired medicine may become ineffective in treating your prescribed conditions. To be on the safe side, it is important not to use an expired drug. You are much safer by always keeping a fresh supply of unexpired medicines.

Safe Disposal of Medication

  • If there are disposal instructions on the package, please follow the instructions.
  • If there are medicine take-back programs in your country, you should contact the respective authority to arrange for the disposal of the medicine. For example, in the USA, the Drug Enforcement Administration regularly hosts National Prescription Drug Take-Back events.
  • If there are no take-back programs, mix the medicine with dirt and place them in a sealed plastic bag. Throw the plastic bag in your household trash. Separately, remove all personal information including the prescription label from the medicine packaging and then dispose off the container.
  • If specifically indicated on the medicine package that it needs to be flushed down the toilet when no longer needed, perform the required step.

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