Omeprazole

Omeprazole capsules are a proton pump inhibitor, it works by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach makes.

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What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole belongs to a group of medicines known as “proton pump inhibitors”. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) work by reducing the amount of acid that is produced by cells in the stomach walls (reducing the overall amount of stomach acid).

Excess acid produced by the stomach can lead to a number of associated problems such as:

  • ‘Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). This is where acid from the stomach escapes (acid reflux) into the gullet (the tube which connects your throat to your stomach) causing pain, inflammation and heartburn
  • Ulcers in the upper part of the intestine or stomach (stomach ulcers, peptic ulcers)
  • Ulcers that are infected with bacteria called ‘Helicobacter pylori. (You may need to take a course of antibiotics alongside the omeprazole to treat the infection and allow the ulcer to heal)
  • Ulcers caused by medicines called NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs)

Beneficial Effects of Omeprazole:

Omeprazole capsules are licensed for use in adults with any of the conditions mentioned above.

How to use Omeprazole

For acid reflux and GORD: Take one 20mg Omeprazole capsule daily, an hour before food if possible.

Swallow the capsule whole with a glass of water (do not chew or crush). If you have trouble swallowing the capsule, you can choose to buy dispersible omeprazole tablets known as Losec MUPS instead. These can be either swallowed whole or dispersed into water or fruit juice. Just select Losec MUPS when ordering.

Alternatively, the capsules can be opened, and the content poured into a glass of water or non-fizzy drink, and taken within 30 minutes.

For dosages in other conditions such as Zollinger Ellison Syndrome and H.Pylori please consult your own doctor.

Side effects & precautions

You should seek medical attention if during treatment you start to experience any

  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Stomach pain or indigestion
  • Vomiting of food or blood
  • Frequent diarrhoea
  • Any blackened stools (this may indicate a bleed inside the stomach or the intestines)

Please tell the doctor if you have any history of liver problems, skin reactions to omeprazole, have osteoporosis or are taking any corticosteroids before taking omeprazole capsules.

Also let the doctor know if you are taking any regular medication for any other condition, including treatment for HIV/AIDS.

This information will allow the doctor to decide if Omeprazole is suitable for you or not.

Side effects can occur with all medications, and Omeprazole is no different.

Some common side effects include:

Headaches

  • Stomach issues such as diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation and wind (flatulence)
  • Feeling sick (nausea), or being sick (vomiting)

Uncommon side effects include:

  • Swelling of feet and ankles (oedema)
  • Sleep disturbances (insomnia)
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling feeling (pins & needles)
  • Skin rash and itchy skin
  • Low energy

Rare side effects include:

  • Severe allergic reactions affecting lips, tongue and throat
  • Fever
  • Feeling depressed
  • Blurred vision
  • Dry mouth
  • Wheezing & difficulty breathing
  • Fungal infections called thrush which can affect the gut and the genital areas
  • Liver & kidney problems
  • Hair loss (alopecia)

If you are concerned with any of these side effects, please inform your doctor.

Please ensure you read the Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) for all the listed side-effects and precautions.

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