Omeprazole is the generic version of the drug known as Losec, and is used to relieve heartburn and other GORD associated symptoms.
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In this dose is 10mg of omeprazole. It is a one a day tablet, prescribed as a starting dose for the treatment of heartburn, taken over 4-8 weeks.
These tablets contain 20mg of omeprazole, and are taken once a day for 4-8 weeks for the treatment of heartburn with oesophageal damage.
For those who have found smaller doses insufficient in relieving symptoms, the 40mg tablet may be prescribed. It is taken once a day for up to 8 weeks.
This capsule contains 10mg of omeprazole, and may be issued as a starting dose to those with heartburn. It is taken once a day for 4-8 weeks.
The 20mg dose may be prescribed to those with heartburn who have sustained oesophageal damage. It is a one a day capsule, typically taken for 4-8 weeks.
The maximum dose of 40mg is only used in cases where milder doses have proved ineffective. One capsule is taken daily, for up to 8 weeks.
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Omeprazole is a treatment used for heartburn, and is made in tablet-form by Dexcel, and in capsule-form by Mylan. It is a generic alternative to Losec, which is the name of the branded version. Its capacity to reduce the presence of stomach acid means that it can also be used to relieve other symptoms which can occur as a result of gastroesophageal reflux, or GORD. These include the unpleasant taste in the mouth caused by acid reflux, as well as pain and difficulty with swallowing.
- Easy to use capsule
- Sold in a range of doses
- Proficient at reducing heartburn
The name heartburn is quite misleading, as it is a condition which does not affect the heart. It takes hold when acid from the stomach creeps up into the passage connecting it to the mouth and throat, also known as the oesophagus. This substance is abrasive to the tissues in these areas, and as a result, pain and a sensation of burning may become present.
Many people at some point in their lives will get heartburn, but the majority may only experience infrequent instances of it. In cases where the problem persists, however, a doctor may advise taking measures to treat it. There are several possible causes. It may present itself after the consumption of a large meal, or excessive amounts of alcohol. Those who are overweight or have a high fat diet are thought to be more at risk, as are those are pregnant.
It occurs in the body when the function of the oesophageal sphincter becomes compromised. This is a small group of muscles, situated at the base of the oesophagus, which help to control the flow of food into the stomach. In simple terms, these muscles function as a gateway; opening to allow food into the stomach; and closing up again afterwards to prevent stomach acids from getting out.
When extra pressure is exerted on these muscles, due to the stomach being full, or the presence of high body mass, they can start to not function as well. This means that they cannot close as easily, and acid escapes upwards into the upper digestive tract., causing burning feelings of pain.
The active ingredient in Omeprazole works on proton pumps in the wall of the stomach. These are responsible for the production and release of acids, which are essential in the breaking down of food. By stifling the action of these pumps, Omeprazole lowers the amount of stomach acids they produce, and helps to decrease symptoms.
Omeprazole can also be employed to medicate ulcers in the stomach and intestinal tract, and those caused by bacterial infections when used in unison with antibiotics.
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How to use Omeprazole
Before using any treatment, you should make sure you fully understand the directions issued by your prescriber, and familiarise yourself with the usage guidelines contained in the patient information leaflet. This will help you to get the most out of your medication, and assist you in decreasing the risk of possible side effects.
- Take the capsules as directed.
- If your gullet has not been damaged, then the usual starting dose for cases of heartburn will be one 10mg tablet, taken once a day.
- Cases where damage has been sustained to the gullet may require an increased dose of 20mg, or possibly 40mg.
- The standard length of a course is 4-8 weeks. A doctor may increase this as appropriate.
- Capsules should be swallowed whole with water, and taken at the same time each day.
- Never exceed the dose prescribed for you.
- In the event that you forget to take it, do so when you remember. If your next dose is due however, you should skip the one you have missed and take your next one as scheduled.
This constitutes only a summary of the directions you will need to follow when using this item. Consult the guidelines provided in the leaflet before use.
Omeprazole side effects
It is essential to be aware of the side effects associated with this medicine before you start taking it. Seek urgent medical attention if you notice signs of: an allergic reaction; severe skin disease; or hepatitis. Detailed advice on what these signs look like can be found in the patient information leaflet.
Common (1 in 10 people or less):
Headache, stomach pain, constipation, flatulence, feeling or being sick, or diarrhoea.
Uncommon (1 in 100 people or less):
Swollen ankles or feet, difficulty sleeping, tingling feeling, dizziness, sleepiness, vertigo, altered liver function test results, rash, hives, itchiness, weakness, or fractures of the hip, wrist and spine.
Rare (1 in 1000 people or less):
Reduced number of white cells or platelets, allergic reactions, fall in levels of sodium in the blood, changes in mood, vision problems, bronchospasm, dry mouth, thrush, liver problems, alopecia, rash on exposure to sunshine, muscular or joint pain, increased sweating, or kidney problems.
The above is provided only as a guide, and does not constitute a complete list of side effects. For a more detailed list, refer to the leaflet provided.
Taking it with other medicines
Inform your prescriber when filling in our medical assessment of any other treatments you are currently using. This tablet is not suitable for use by those who are also taking nelfinavir, or any drugs containing this agent.
Omeprazole may also interact with the following: ketoconazole, itraconazole or voriconazole; digoxin; diazepam; phenytoin; blood thinners such as warfarin or other vitamin K blockers; rifampicin; atazanavir; tacrolimus; St John’s wort; cilostazol; saquinavir; clopidogrel; erlotinib; or methotrexate.
Conditions to look out for
This item should not be used by persons with certain medical conditions, and in some cases only used with special care. Do not take it if you have ever had a reaction when using other proton pump inhibitors.
Our doctor also needs to know if you have or have ever had: irregular weight fluctuations; stomach pain or indigestion; bloody vomit or stools; an intolerance to any sugars or lactose; osteoporosis; persistent diarrhoea; or severe liver problems.
Q&A: our Omeprazole discussion forum
Can I still drink alcohol?
It is not recommended that you drink alcohol, especially in large amounts, while taking this treatment for heartburn, as doing so may exacerbate symptoms.
Will I still be able to drive?
Yes, provided you do not experience any side effects which may make doing so unsafe. If you do, refrain from driving and let your doctor know right away.
Can I take the medicine while pregnant?
It may not be suitable for you if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Tell your doctor during consultation if you are, and they will advise you.
How should I store it?
In a secure place out of the reach of children, and below 30°C.
Am I allergic to anything in the medicine?
In the capsules are the following ingredients: omeprazole, sugar spheres (sucrose, maize starch), hypromellose, sodium hydroxide, methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate copolymer (1:1) dispersion 30% (methacrylic acid-ethyl acrylate (1:1), sodium lauryl sulphate, polysorbate 80), talc, titanium dioxide (E171), macrogol 6000, polysorbate 80, iron oxide red (E172), gelatin, sodium lauryl sulphate, iron oxide black, sunset yellow (E110), brilliant blue (E133), allura red (E129), shellac, ammonia solution concentrated, and potassium hydroxide.
The tablets consist of: omeprazole, lactose monohydrate, sodium starch glycolate, sodium stearyl fumarate, sodium stearate, hypromellose acetate succinate, brownish pink colour [contains propylene glycol titanium dioxide (E171), red iron oxide (E172), hypromellose and yellow iron oxide (E172)], talc, triethyl citrate, monoethanolamine, sodium laurilsulfate and traces of carnauba wax.
Do not take it these items if you are allergic to any components contained therein.
Is it available over-the-counter?
Omeprazole is only available to buy online with a prescription. This can be obtained by completing our online questionnaire.
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