advertisement
Updated 11 February 2013

Omeprazole

Omeprazole is prescribed for a short period of time - usually 4-8 weeks - to treat ulcers of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach.

0

Omeprazole is the active ingredient of Adco-Omeprazole, Altosec, DRL-Omeprazole, Lokit, Losec, Nozer, Omez, Omiloc and Sandoz-Omeprazole.

General information

Omeprazole is prescribed for a short period of time - usually 4-8 weeks - to treat ulcers of the stomach and the first part of the small intestine that connects to the stomach (the duodenum). It is also effective in treating gastro-oesophageal reflux, the backward flow of stomach acid contents into the oesophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach).

It is prescribed for longer periods of time to treat patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare condition associated with a tumour that creates high levels of stomach-acid secretion.

In some cases, omeprazole is prescribed along with other medication (often two different antibiotics) to eradicate H. pylori, a cause of stomach ulcers. It is also registered for the short-term treatment of severe reflux oesophagitis in children older than 12 months.

For this drug to remain effective, it has to be taken regularly. An ulcer may recur when you stop treatment prematurely.

Omeprazole can mask the symptoms and may delay the diagnosis of stomach cancers. Possible malignancy should be excluded prior to the start of treatment.

How does omeprazole work?

This medication decreases the production of acid in the stomach as a result of blocking an enzyme needed for this process.

Fast facts

Drug schedule: schedule 4

Available as: omeprazole is available as capsules, tablets and as an injection

What does it do ? omeprazole reduces stomach-acid production

Overdose risk : low

Dependence risk: low

Is omeprazole available as a generic? yes

Is omeprazole available on prescription only? yes

User information

Onset of effect: within 3 hours

Duration of action: up to 24 hours

Dietary advice: take immediately before a meal; avoid food that may increase the production of stomach acid, i.e. alcohol, spicy meals etc.

Stopping this medicine: do not discontinue using this medication without consulting your prescriber as symptoms may recur with premature discontinuation

Prolonged use: although few problems are expected, omeprazole is not intended for indefinite use - a typical course of this medication is 8 weeks

Special precautions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if:

  • you have liver disease
  • you are taking any other medication

Pregnancy: avoid. Potential risk to the foetus has been reported. Consult your doctor before use, or if you are planning to fall pregnant.

Breastfeeding: avoid. This medication is passed through breast milk and may affect your baby adversely. Consult your doctor before use.

Porphyria: avoid. This medication may cause serious adverse effects. Consult your doctor before use.

Infants and children: this medication is not intended for use in children and should only be prescribed by a paediatrician.

The elderly: no special precautions need to be taken.

Driving and hazardous work: caution is advised as use of this medication may lead to dizzines and/or light-headedness. Avoid such activities until you know how this medication affects you.

Alcohol: avoid concomitant use of alcohol with this medication as it may aggravate your condition and reduce the apparent efficacy of this medication.

Possible side effects:

Side effect

Frequency

Consult your doctor

Common

Rare

Only if severe

In all cases

diarrhoea

x

x

headache

x

x

nausea/ vomiting

x

x

constipation

x

x

skin rash

x

x

abdominal pain/ flatulence

x

x

dizziness

x

x

Interactions:

Drug interactions:

warfarin

increased risk of warfarin toxicity

phenytoin

increased risk of phenytoin toxicity

ketoconazole; itraconazole

reduced effect of these anti-fungal drugs

benzodiazepines

increased risk of benzodiazepine toxicity

digoxin

increased risk of digoxin toxicity

disulfiram

increased reports of confusion, unusual muscle movement

tacrolimus

increased risk of tacrolimus toxicity

ciclosporin

increased risk of ciclosporin toxicity

Disease interactions

Consult your doctor before using this drug if you have liver disease.

Overdose action

A small overdose is no cause for concern. In case of intentional large overdose, seek emergency medical attention.

Recommended dosage

Adults: 10-40mg once daily. Maximum daily dose: 120mg

Children, 10-20kg: 10-20mg once daily

Children, > 20kg: 20-40mg once daily

This material is not intended to substitute medical advice, but is for informational purposes only. Please consult a physician for specific treatment and recommendations.

 
advertisement

Get a quote

advertisement

Read Health24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Live healthier

Allergy alert »

Allergy myths Cold or allergy? Children and allergies

Allergy facts vs. fiction

Some of the greatest allergy myths and misconceptions can actually be damaging to your health.

Vitamin wise »

Vitamins for HIV What to eat for vitamin B? Cut down on vitamins

All you need to know about vitamins

Find out which vitamin to use for which condition. Ask our Vitamin expert.