What is omeprazole?

Omeprazoleis an antacid drug called a proton pump inhibitor. It is known as gastric protector, but its real function isto reduce the production of acids in the stomach.

Similarly, it is specially manufactured to treat gastric acid diseases. It is also used as a preventive medicine against stomach diseases caused by other drugs.

Important: A study carried out by the University of theBasque Country (UPV/EHU) in Spain, showed that omeprazoleis the most consumed proton pump inhibitor, being prescribed 70% more than other drugs in its class. (1)


Omeprazoleconsists mainly of one active substance. It has in each dose of 20 mg neutral microgranules that are sucrose and corn starch, sodium lauryl sulfate, mannitol, disodium dioxide, and titanium dioxide

Also, the omeprazole gel capsules have additional within its composition: water, gelatin and quinoline yellow.


Omeprazole is a drug sold worldwide. It is marketed by different pharmaceutical chainsand can be found in different presentations. Omeprazole can usually be found omeprazole orally and intravenously.

Note: Omeprazole tablets can be found in gel or hard capsules. Normally 1 capsule has 20 gm. In the case of injectable form, it can be supplied in 40 gm ampoules with diluents.


Omeprazolecan be given in different doses. The amount required by the patient will depend on the pathology he suffers, age and some physical conditions. It is recommended that this drug be consumed in the mornings.

Some patients with advanced ulcers require high doses (80 mg/day or more) and several times a week. While those suffering from less risky diseases can consume the drugin small amounts (20 mg / day).

Tip: Patients who have difficulty swallowing may dilute omeprazole capsules using water, juice, milk, or yogurt. Chewing or crushing the drug should be avoided.

What is omeprazole used for?

Omeprazoleis used in health centers for gastric diseases, stomach diseases and fight bacteria such ashelicobacter pylori. Here are some of its most common and effective uses:

Gastroesophageal reflux

This is asymptomatic disease, where20 mg of omeprazole per day is recommended. The dosage is customized according to the patient’s condition. People who suffer from gastric reflux have complete healing after four weeks of continuous treatment.

Important: Some patients withsevere refluxshould increase the dose to 40 mg daily and treatment usually lasts up to eight weeks. In case of not receiving relief in this average time, you should go again for medical evaluation.

Duodenal, gastric and peptic ulcer

Duodenal ulceris recommended to be treated with 20 mg of omeprazole per day. Symptoms usually disappear within two weeks of starting treatment. If there are no improvements in the recommended time, its consumption should be extended.

Gastric ulcersreceive a dose of 20 mg of omeprazole daily. This treatment usually lasts for four weeks. Some patients do not have a good response to the drug, these cases need a new medical reevaluation.

Fun fact: Many gastric ulcers are caused by bacteria such ashelicobacter pylori.

In the case ofpeptic ulcer, treatmentusually lasts up to three weeks. This is due to the severity of this pathology. Doctorsusually recommend 20 mgof omeprazole daily to see improvement.

Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

This isa disease that is characterized by the stomach’s overproductionof gastric acids. Omeprazole is one ofthe most recommended proton pump inhibitors for this pathology.

To start,60 mg of omeprazole daily is recommended. This dose is adjusted to the lifestyle and medical conditions of the patient.

Tip: If higher doses of 80 mg/day are needed, it should be taken every 12 hours.


Omeprazolecan be found over-the-counter in some pharmacies, only to treat less serious illnesses. In the case of heartburn, it is recommended to consume omeprazole 1 or 2 times a week, which will help decrease stomach acids and control symptoms. This is a drug that is recommended to consume only by medical request.

To highlight: A recent study conducted in Brazil, states that patients who have the treatment of omeprazole under pharmaceutical care, are safer and with better results. (2)

Contraindications of omeprazole

Every prescribed medication has contraindications and omeprazole is no exception. In some casesomeprazole may cause unpleasant discomfort for the patient. Here are the counterproductive effects of this drug:

Allergy to components

Many patients have hadhypersensitivity to the components of omeprazole formul. In case of seeing side effects, you should stop the treatmentand go to a specialist doctor.

Important: In Portugal, a study was presented from theDistrict Hospital of Santarém, where a patient with chest pain, memory lossand heart problems, after administering omeprazole, which showed an allergy to the drug. For this reason, it is recommended to discontinue this drug before any reaction. (3)

Malignant gastric ulcer

Malignant gastric ulcers usually occur in the terminal phase of cancer or in the development of metastases. Treating these pathologies withomeprazole usually relieves the discomfort and symptomsthat occur throughout the disease.

Important: Omeprazole mayretain and delay the risk of tumor ulcers; But there is a risk that it will cause symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, dysphagia, hematemesis, and emotional changes.

Pregnancy and lactation

According to specialists, although omeprazoledoes not cause severe side effects, it is recommended to avoid the consumption of this drug during pregnancy and lactation. Doctors usually make exceptions only when the mother has pathologies that require treatment.

Note:This medicine enters breast milk in very low amounts and cannot cause effects in the infant. In case of taking omeprazole, only 20 mg per day is recommended.

Interaction with other drugs

It is very common for proton pump inhibitors to cause alterations in some medications. Omeprazole often affects the effectiveness of other drugs and may delay the absorption of ketoconazole, itraconazole, and posaconazole.

Omeprazole Side Effects

Omeprazole can cause serious side effects in some patients,which is why medical supervision is of the utmost importance. The symptoms and discomfort caused by this drug are:

Gastrointestinal upset

To highlight: Omeprazole can cause an imbalance in colon bacteria, resulting in acute diarrheatag. Also, some patients who have extended omeprazole treatment have developed anemia.

Headache and abdominal pain



One of the less common omeprazole side effects is drowsiness. This occurs when the patient has low levels of magnesiumin the body. It can also occur from consuming the drug for more than 3 months.

Key Findings

  • It is recommended to consume, only if you have a medical prescription.
  • It should not be taken on instinct. It is necessary to respect the doses and schedule of treatment.
  • It is recommended to take it in the morning and on an empty stomach. Only in case of gastroesophageal reflux should the medicine be taken before dinner.
  • If omeprazole treatment is prolonged for more than 3 months, it can cause serious side effects.
  • In case of side effects, the consumption of omeprazole should be stopped.
  • Pregnant women should take omeprazole only if prescribed by the doctor.

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