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What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole falls into the category of proton pump inhibitors, which are drugs that work to lower the amount of acid created in the stomach. It blocks the enzymes in the stomach that produce the acid, before they have a chance to get going, so the stomach only produces enough acid to help in food digestion, and not enough to cause a buildup.

Omeprazole is sold under the brand names Prilosec, Prilosec OTC and others, as well as generic omeprazole. It is available in tablet and capsule form.

Uses for Omeprazole

Omeprazole is used to treat conditions like heartburn and acid reflux, both of which are caused by excess acid in the stomach. It's also used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as well as erosive esophagistis, which occurs when stomach acid causes damage to your esophagus. Finally, omeprazole in combination with antibiotics is used to help treat some forms of gastric ulcers.

It's important to know that omeprazole is not a fast-acting medication and should not be used to treat immediate symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. Use omeprazole only as recommended by your doctor.

Possible Side Effects of Omeprazole

Allergic reaction side effects of omeprazole include swelling of face, lips tongue or throat, hives and difficulty breathing.

Symptoms of low magnesium, another side effect of omeprazole, include dizziness, fast or uneven heart rate, jitters, muscle cramps, muscle weakness or jerking muscle movements, coughing or feeling of choking, seizure and confusion.

Other side effects of omeprazole include headache, nausea, vomiting, stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, cold symptoms (sneezing, sore throat, stuffy nose) and fever. Be sure to consult a doctor if any of the side effects listed here occur, or if you notice any additional changes in health or behavior.

Warnings About Omeprazole

The information listed here regarding omeprazole is for reference purposes only, and should not be used in place of medical advice. Always consult a doctor before introducing a new medication into your health regimen for correct dosage and treatment information, proper monitoring and further side effects or possible interactions with other medications.

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