Generic Name: omeprazole (oh MEP ra zol)
Brand Names: FIRST Omeprazole, Omeprazole + SyrSpend SF Alka, Prilosec, Prilosec OTC
Medically reviewed by Sophia Entringer, PharmD. Last updated on May 1, 2019.
What is Prilosec?
Prilosec is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess stomach acid. Prilosec is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to your esophagus caused by stomach acid).
Prilosec may also be given together with antibiotics to treat gastric ulcer caused by infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).
Over-the-counter Prilosec OTC is used to help control heartburn that occurs 2 or more days per week. Prilosec OTC must be taken as a course for 14 days in a row.
Prilosec may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.
Prilosec is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.
Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.
Omeprazole was associated with kidney problems with long-term use. Tell your doctor if you are urinating less than usual, or if you have blood in your urine.
Diarrhea may be a sign of a new infection. Call your doctor if you have diarrhea that is watery or has blood in it.
You may be more likely to have a broken bone while taking this medicine long term or more than once per day.
Prilosec OTC (over-the-counter) should be taken for no longer than 14 days in a row. Allow at least 4 months to pass before you start another 14-day treatment.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Prilosec if you are allergic to omeprazole, or if:
Heartburn can mimic early symptoms of a heart attack. Get emergency medical help if you have chest pain that spreads to your jaw or shoulder and you feel sweaty or light-headed.
Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use Prilosec if you have other medical conditions, especially:
trouble or pain with swallowing;
bloody or black stools, vomit that looks like blood or coffee grounds;
heartburn that has lasted for over 3 months;
frequent chest pain, heartburn with wheezing;
low levels of magnesium in your blood; or
You may be more likely to have a broken bone in your hip, wrist, or spine while taking a proton pump inhibitor long-term or more than once per day. Talk with your doctor about ways to keep your bones healthy.
Ask a doctor before using Prilosec if you are pregnant or breast-feeding.
Do not give this medicine to a child without medical advice.
How should I take Prilosec?
Prilosec is usually taken before eating (at least 1 hour before a meal). Follow all directions on your prescription label and read all medication guides or instruction sheets. Use the medicine exactly as directed.
Use Prilosec OTC (over-the-counter) exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor.
Read and carefully follow any Instructions for Use provided with your medicine. Ask your doctor or pharmacist if you do not understand these instructions.
Shake the oral suspension (liquid) before you measure a dose. Use the dosing syringe provided, or use a medicine dose-measuring device (not a kitchen spoon).
If you cannot swallow a capsule whole, open it and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of applesauce. Swallow the mixture right away without chewing. Do not save it for later use.
You must dissolve Prilosec powder in a small amount of water. This mixture can either be swallowed or given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube using a catheter-tipped syringe.
Prilosec OTC should be taken for only 14 days in a row. Allow at least 4 months to pass before you start a new 14-day course of treatment.
Use this medicine for the full prescribed length of time, even if your symptoms quickly improve.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve, or if they get worse.
Some conditions are treated with a combination of omeprazole and antibiotics. Use all medications as directed.
This medicine can affect the results of certain medical tests. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using Prilosec.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the medicine as soon as you can, but skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next dose. Do not take two doses at one time.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.
What should I avoid while taking Prilosec?
Omeprazole can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor before using anti-diarrhea medicine.
Prilosec side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Prilosec: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Stop using Prilosec and call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
new or unusual pain in your wrist, thigh, hip, or back;
kidney problems - little or no urination, blood in your urine, swelling, rapid weight gain;
low magnesium - dizziness, irregular heartbeats, feeling jittery, muscle cramps, muscle spasms, cough or choking feeling; or
new or worsening symptoms of lupus - joint pain, and a skin rash on your cheeks or arms that worsens in sunlight.
Taking omeprazole long-term may cause you to develop stomach growths called fundic gland polyps. Talk with your doctor about this risk.
If you use omeprazole for longer than 3 years, you could develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Talk to your doctor about how to manage this condition if you develop it.
Common Prilosec side effects may include:
stomach pain, gas;
nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
What other drugs will affect Prilosec?
Sometimes it is not safe to use certain medications at the same time. Some drugs can affect your blood levels of other drugs you take, which may increase side effects or make the medications less effective.
Tell your doctor about all your current medicines. Many drugs can interact with omeprazole, especially:
St. John's wort; or
This list is not complete and many other drugs may interact with omeprazole. This includes prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible drug interactions are listed here.
Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Prilosec only for the indication prescribed.
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