Last updated on April 20th, 2024

A proton pump inhibitor called Prilosec reduces the quantity of acid the stomach produces. Prilosec is used to treat problems brought on by an excess of stomach acid, such as symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Additionally, omeprazole, the active ingredient of Prilosec, is used to aid in the recovery of erosive esophagitis, which is an acid reflux disease that damages the esophagus.

When treating a gastrointestinal ulcer brought on by a Helicobacter pylori infection, Prilosec may also be administered in addition to antibiotics.

Over-the-counter Prilosec can manage heartburn that happens two or more days a week. Prilosec OTC is to be taken as a regimen for a consecutive 14 days.

How Does It Work?

Prilosec suppresses the stomach’s production of hydrochloric acid by acting as an inhibitor of the “proton pump”—the mechanism that exchanges hydrogen ions. The mechanism of antisecretory activity is linked to the inhibition (suppression) of the gastric mucosa cell membranes’ H-K-ATPase enzyme, which speeds up the exchange of hydrogen ions and blocks the last step of hydrochloric acid generation. Consequently, independent of the stimulus type, it lowers the basal (own) level and stimulates secretion (secretion of digestive juices).

Your doctor may prescribe this medication for different reasons. If you would like additional information on this medication, contact your doctor.

Even if you see improvements in your health, don’t stop taking Prilosec earlier than your doctor has suggested. If you stop taking the drug too soon, it could make things worse. Until you know how this drug affects you, take caution when operating machinery, driving, climbing, or performing other risky actions. Avoid consuming alcohol.


Before Treatment 

Early signs of a heart attack can be confused with heartburn. If you feel dizzy or overheated and your chest pain radiates to your shoulder or jaw, get emergency medical attention.

Use of Prilosec is not advised in the following cases:

  • if you have an omeprazole allergy or if you have an allergy to medications that are similar to omeprazole, including Protonix, Nexium, Prevacid, Lansoprazole, Pantoprazole, and Rabeprazole; 
  • you’ve previously taken omeprazole and experienced respiratory issues, renal issues, or a severe allergic reaction; 
  • you use rilpivirine-containing HIV medications (Complia, Edurant, Odefsey, Juluca). 

Find out from a physician or pharmacist if using this medication is safe if you have the following: 

  • difficulty or pain during swallowing;
  • black or bloody stools, vomit that resembles coffee grounds or blood; 
  • heartburn persisting for more than three months; 
  • regular heartburn and wheezing, chest pain; 
  • rapid weight loss; 
  • nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain;
  • hepatic illness; 
  • inadequate blood magnesium levels; 
  • decreased bone mineral density, often known as osteoporosis (osteopenia). 

When using a proton pump inhibitor for an extended period or more than once a day, you run the risk of breaking a bone in your hip, wrist, or spine. Consult your physician about maintaining the health of your bones. 

Proton pump inhibitor (PPI) acid-suppressing medications, including omeprazole, have been linked to a higher risk of stomach cancer, commonly known as gastric cancer when used long-term. Based on the findings of multiple observational studies, it is believed that PPIs, like omeprazole, are strong gastric acid suppressants that may raise the risk of gastric cancer by thinning the stomach lining, increasing the hormone gastrin levels, and encouraging the growth of bacteria in the stomach.

Consult a physician before using this medication if you are nursing a baby or pregnant.

How Should Prilosec Be Taken? 

Adhere strictly to the label’s instructions or your doctor’s prescription when using Prilosec. Read all drug guides or instruction sheets and abide by all guidelines on the label of your medicine.

If you are unable to take the entire contents, open the capsule and sprinkle the medication into a spoonful of applesauce. Immediately swallow the mixture. Don’t keep it for later.

The powdered Prilosec needs to be dissolved in a tiny amount of water. This combination can be administered with a catheter-tipped syringe via a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube or by swallowing it. 

Take OTC Prilosec no more than 14 days in a row. It could take one to four days for your symptoms to get better. Before you begin a fresh 14-day round of treatment, give yourself at least 4 months. 

If your symptoms worsen or do not improve, call your doctor. 

Antibiotics and Prilosec are used in conjunction to treat certain illnesses. Take all prescriptions exactly as prescribed.

This medication may influence certain medical test results. Inform every medical professional you see that you take Prilosec. 


Adverse Effects of Prilosec

If you have any of the following symptoms of a Prilosec allergic reaction: hives, trouble breathing, or swelling in your face, lips, tongue, or throat, get emergency medical attention.

Call your doctor and cease taking Prilosec if you have: 

  • acute stomach ache, bloody or watery diarrhea; 
  • unexpected or fresh back, hip, thigh, or wrist pain; 
  • seizure (fits and fits); 
  • kidney problems: fever, rash, nausea, appetite loss, joint discomfort, decreased frequency of urination, blood in the urine, weight gain;
  • low magnesium – jitteriness, cramps, spasms in the muscles, feeling like you’re choking, or experiencing dizziness;
  • joint pain and a skin rash on your face or arms that worsens in the sun are new or worsening signs of lupus.

Long-term Prilosec use may increase the risk of fundic gland polyps, which are growths in your stomach. Discuss this risk with your physician. 

Over three years of omeprazole use may result in vitamin B-12 insufficiency. If you have this illness, consult your physician about how to treat it. 

Typical Prilosec adverse effects could be: 

  • signs of a cold, including stuffy nose, sneezing, and sore throat (particularly in kids); 
  • fever, particularly in young people; 
  • gas and stomach ache; 
  • vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea; 
  • headache. 

Other adverse effects might also arise; this is not an exhaustive list. For medical advice regarding side effects, contact your physician. 

Which Other Medications Will Impact Prilosec?

There are situations when taking certain drugs with Prilosec is unsafe. Certain drugs can alter the blood levels of other medications you take, which could worsen side effects or reduce their efficacy. 

Inform your physician about every medication you are taking. Omeprazole interacts with several medications, particularly: 

  • digoxin;
  • clopidogrel;
  • methotrexate;
  • St John’s Wort;
  • a “water pill” or diuretic;
  • an antibiotic (rifampin, clarithromycin, or amoxicillin). 

Numerous additional medications may interact with omeprazole; this list is not exhaustive. 


Can Prilosec cause kidney damage?

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), like omeprazole (Prilosec), are medications that lower stomach acid levels but may be harmful to the kidneys. It may exacerbate the course of chronic kidney disease (CKD) and result in acute renal damage. 

What makes omeprazole and pantoprazole different from one another?

Omeprazole and pantoprazole belong to the group of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Pantoprazole and omeprazole have slightly different permitted applications; however, they are all related to problems of excess stomach acid. 

How long can I take this medicine? 

The typical prescription for Prilosec provides momentary symptom relief or a maximum of 14 days of treatment. If necessary, your doctor might, however, prescribe it for longer durations. 

What time of day should I take Prilosec? Should I do it at night or in the morning?

Depending on your preferences and doctor’s advice, you can take Prilosec in the morning or at night. For it to be effective, timing must be consistent.

Is it safe to consume alcohol when taking Prilosec? 

Drinking too much alcohol might make stomach problems worse and interfere with the prescription. It’s advisable to speak with your doctor about drinking alcohol while taking Prilosec. 

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