Omeprazole is one of the most commonly prescribed medications on the market for a host of common (and not so common) stomach and oesophagus conditions. From indigestion to stomach ulcers, there's a plethora of gastric conditions that omeprazole can treat, so the chances are you may be advised to take it at some point. It is sometimes prescribed alongside non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to reduce the risk of damage to the stomach lining.
But how much do you know about this popular medication?
Whether you’re new to omeprazole or have used it in the past, today we are going to be looking at what it is, how it can be used and how long it takes to work.
Classed as a Proton Pump Inhibitor drug, omeprazole is used to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. You may also come across omeprazole under one of its brand names, which include Losec, Losec MUPS, Mepradec and Mezzopram, among others.
Available in capsule, tablet or liquid form – omeprazole reduces stomach acid levels by preventing further acid production. It works by inhibiting proton pumps, found in the cells which line the stomach, from secreting excessive stomach acid, which can lead to a range of health conditions including:
We understand that there can be nothing worse than waiting for medication to kick in when you’re suffering or in pain – so what can you expect when taking omeprazole?
You should start feeling the benefits of omeprazole within 2-3 days, and most people find that their symptoms have significantly subsided by 4 weeks. However, if you feel that you are still struggling, speak to your doctor who may be able to look at an alternative dosage or a completely different treatment entirely.
It's important to take Omeprazole regularly in order for it to be most effective. You should take Omeprazole at the same time every day. If you often forget when to take your medication, set a reminder on your phone or store your medicine somewhere which will remind you to take it.
There are a number of different ways you can take omeprazole, depending on the condition is it being used to treat. If you are using over-the-counter omeprazole, here is what you need to know:
Your doctor will decide on the safest dosage of omeprazole for you. However, the following guidelines have been taken from the NHS:
Remember that this is a guideline published by the NHS, and should not be taken as a recommendation. It is important that you never alter your dosage without seeking professional advice from your doctor first.
If you feel your current dosage of omeprazole is not effective at relieving your symptoms, speak to your doctor. You should never increase or change any medication without first seeking medical advice.