Omeprazole is a medicine used to treat stomach, duodenum, or esophagus diseases, especially those related to excess acidity. It is very effective, but more and more people are taking it without a prescription as a gastric protector. It must be said that this is not its function, and it has reached a point that we have taken it as a reference. It is in our medicine cabinet as a basic, like Paracetamol or Ibuprofen, thus making excessive use of Omeprazole.
It is a proton pump inhibitor that works by inhibiting an enzyme that causes acid secretion to decrease. However, it must be taken under a medical prescription. In this FastlyHealarticle, we explain when to take Omeprazole: how to take it, dosage, and side effects.
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Omeprazole: what is it
Contrary to popular belief, Omeprazole is not a stomach protector, and therefore we should not take it this way. Yes, it usually works for us, but this is due to its decreasing action on stomach acids. Also, if you take a lot of medications, your doctor has probably instructed you to take Omeprazole so that they do not affect your stomach too much. However, you should not take it as a reference and use it since, as we will see below, this has a reason. Omeprazole should always be taken under a prescription.
And so, what is Omeprazole used for? This medicine is indicated for digestive diseases related to gastric acidities, such as:
- the gastritis
- Peptic ulcer
- Gastroesophageal reflux
- Functional dyspepsia
- Upper digestive bleeding, among others
That is, it is capable of inhibiting heartburn. The doctor recommends it when taking any medications, especially anti-inflammatories, because its chronic use can cause peptic ulcers. Peptic ulcers form because the lining covering the stomach and small intestine breaks down and cannot protect itself against solid acids. Therefore Omeprazole would help prevent this from happening.
Omeprazole helps the stomach wall be protected as it also facilitates the healing process of ulcers. However, when we take it as a stomach protector on our own because we have overeaten or are going to do it, we are acting incorrectly, and it could even be harmful in some instances.
It is also not suitable for treating heartburn. For this, there are other more appropriate and specific medications for this. Some of the situations in which Omeprazole is being misused are:
- To avoid heartburn or stomach ailments after eating large meals or alcohol. Or even if you take it before meals that you know could make us feel bad, as a protector.
- Get used to taking it during or after breakfast.
Omeprazole dosage: adults and children
We can find Omeprazole in doses of 20 or 40 mg per capsule. Therefore, depending on the quantity indicated, we can acquire one. The amounts of Omeprazole will depend on the disease in question in each case. In addition, the use in adults and children is different:
- In cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease, the dose is 20 mg per day (one capsule) for one month (4 weeks).
- It will be the same dose ( 20 mg a day for a month), but the duration could be increased up to two months if the doctor considers it necessary.
- In the case of gastric ulcers, the time is prolonged, and the dose would be 20 mg per day for 1 or 2 months (4 to 8 weeks). The amount can also be increased to 40 mg in some cases.
- The dose is 20 mg a day for 4 to 8 weeks to treat erosive esophagitis but could be extended to 12 weeks.
- In Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, 60 mg should be taken a day, but it could even be increased to 120 mg divided into 3 daily doses. In this case, which is one of the most serious, the doctor will be the one to indicate when to stop taking it. It would be best if you did not stop treatment before your doctor told you.
- And in milder cases such as persistent heartburn, 20 mg a day will be taken for 14 days.
- The children, meanwhile, can take Omeprazole provided they are over 1 year old and weigh more than 10 kg. The doses will always be adjusted about your weight, and it will be the pediatrician who indicates it.
How to take Omeprazole
Always follow your doctor’s instructions regarding the dose of Omeprazole. Since, in most treatments, the quantity used is one capsule a day, it is recommended that it be taken in the morning, either with food or on an empty stomach.
Omeprazole is presented in capsules inside which the content is found, and they should be taken whole with a bit of water. You should not chew or crush them as they would not be effective.
However, some patients or children cannot swallow the capsule whole. In these cases, they can be opened, and the powder inside them can be taken with water. You can take it dissolved in a bit of water, but you must take it all. Don’t chew or crush it either.
In children, it is recommended that they take it half an hour before lunch. If they cannot take it whole, you can dissolve it in water or even in some juice.
If you have forgotten to take Omeprazole, do not wait for the next day and much less take twice as much. Take it as soon as you remember, and if the day of forgetfulness was yesterday, do not take double to compensate. In the same way, even if you begin to see the effects of Omeprazole and you feel fine, you should not suspend treatment until the doctor indicates it.
Omeprazole: side effects
Omeprazole is one of the safest drugs. However, it has side effects like the rest. The most common can be:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Lumbar pain
We can also find other rarer effects such as:
These are not very common, but long-term use of Omeprazole for years can increase the risk of these side effects. Omeprazole is contraindicated in pregnancy and lactation except in indicated cases. In addition, you should not take it if you have an allergy to any of its compounds.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Omeprazole: how to take, dosage, and side effects, we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.