Omeprazole: side effects and effects

Omeprazole is an active substance used for inflammation and ulcers in the gastrointestinal area. Omeprazole can be used for both therapy and prevention. The goal is in both cases: to reduce the production of stomach acid by taking omeprazole. Omeprazole is primarily used to help alleviate and prevent pain in inflammation and ulcers in the esophagus, stomach or intestines by inhibiting gastric acid production. As a proton pump inhibitor, this substance suppresses the release of gastric acid into the stomach. Thus, the attacked gastric mucosa is spared by the acid and can recover. Often, omeprazole is also co-administered with antibiotics to combat the bacterium Helicobacter pylori. This is often responsible for ulcers in the mucous membrane.

Side effects of omeprazole

Often, side effects occur shortly after the start of omeprazole and then gradually subside. The following side effects may be caused by omeprazole:

  • Abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting (common)
  • Tiredness, dizziness, sleep disorders, headache (common)
  • Increased photosensitivity of the skin (occasionally)
  • Redness, rash, itching, wheals (uncommon)
  • Increased sweating, altered taste, hair loss (occasionally)

However, it is always advisable to study the leaflet of the respective drug before taking it.

Omeprazole: Dosage and Interactions

The dosage of omeprazole should be discussed in advance with the attending physician. Normally, an enteric-coated tablet containing 20 mg omeprazole is taken daily. Over-the-counter preparations should not be taken for more than 14 days at a time. If the symptoms have not disappeared then, a doctor should be consulted. Pregnant and nursing mothers should not take omeprazole if possible, unless the doctor sees no other treatment option.

The proton pump inhibitor omeprazole reduces ph in the intestine. Therefore, on the one hand, it can affect the effect of drugs that are dependent on pH. These drugs include ketoconazole and itraconazole against fungal diseases. On the other hand, there are also agents that limit the effects of omeprazole, such as St. John's wort or CYP3A4 inducers. In addition, omeprazole should not be taken concomitantly with diazepam, triazolam or flurazepam, or with the blood thinner warfarin and the epilepsy drug phenytoin, as this may increase the effects of these drugs.

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