Prilosec OTC Frequently Asked Questions

Pantoprazole is marketed as being cheaper, and may be better for patients paying for their own medications. Millions of U.S. residents take proton pump inhibitors which are widely prescribed to treat heartburn, ulcers and other gastrointestinal problems. The drugs also are available over the counter under brand names that include Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.

It may take 1 to 4 days for you to feel the full benefit of the medication. Call your doctor if your symptoms get worse or do not improve after 14 days or if your symptoms return sooner than 4 months after you finish your treatment. Do not take nonprescription omeprazole for longer than 14 days or treat yourself with omeprazole more often than once every 4 months without talking to your doctor. A 2017 study found similar results. Researchers reviewed medical records from 1.6 million patients.

Some people mistake pain from gallstones or heart disease for heartburn. So before starting any heartburn drug, see a doctor to rule out other health issues. PPIs interact with some common prescription drugs. For example, some PPIs can reduce the blood-thinning effect of the drug Plavix (generic clopidogrel), according to the US Food and Drug Administration.

This is more likely if you are receiving this medicine for more than 1 year. Talk to your doctor if you have concerns. Omeprazole may cause a serious type of allergic reaction when used in patients with conditions treated with antibiotics.

Prescription omeprazoleis usually taken once a day before a meal but may be taken twice a day when used with other medications to eliminate H. pylori, or up to three times a day, before meals when used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid. The nonprescription delayed-release tablets are usually taken once a day in the morning at least 1 hour before eating for 14 days in a row. If needed, additional 14-day treatments may be repeated, not more often than once every 4 months.

Q: Does Prilosec OTC cause gas, bloating, and constipation?

Researchers reviewed 874,000 children’s medical records. They zeroed in on those children given PPIs before their first birthday. The researchers found those children had a 22 percent greater risk for fractures.

It reviewed eight population-based reviews. Women who took PPIs during pregnancy had children with a greater risk of asthma.

Stopping suddenly can cause other medical problems. People should work out a plan with their doctor to step-down slowly over several weeks. Prilosec may cause drug interactions with more than 160 different medicines. At least 29 of those drugs may result in serious reactions. A 2018 study reinforced a link between PPI use during pregnancy and asthma in children.

Prilosec and Prilosec OTC are different in indication and dose form. Prilosec OTC is indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn (heartburn that occurs two or more days per week). Prilosec is a prescription medication indicated for the treatment of many other acid-related conditions. However, the omeprazole active ingredient in Prilosec became available over-the-counter in 2003 in the form of Prilosec OTC. Omeprazole magnesium, the active ingredient in Prilosec OTC, is equivalent to the active ingredient in Prilosec to treat frequent heartburn.

Some people who take Prilosec for a long time also develop weakening of the stomach lining. Prilosec is the brand name of the drug omeprazole, which is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). People can also use over-the-counter (OTC) omeprazole to relieve heartburn or acid reflux. Omeprazole belongs to the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) class of medications.

Another commonly confused and highly searched term is acid reflux. This is the term used to describe the action of the stomach’s acidic contents being pushed up into the esophagus. Therefore, acid reflux is the action that causes the symptom. Heartburn refers to a burning discomfort that’s generally felt from the chest just behind the breast bone. This sensation results when harsh stomach acid comes in contact with and irritates the lining of the esophagus – the tube-like structure that connects the mouth to the stomach.

People who take proton pump inhibitors may also develop fundic gland polys (a type of growth on the stomach lining). These risks are highest in people who take high doses of one of these medications or take them for one year or longer. Talk to your doctor about the risk of taking omeprazole.

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