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What is Prilosec?

There are many drugs that belong to the group of proton pump inhibitors. Prilosec is one of the best examples of this medication. Prilosec (omeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach. This is used to treat the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or what is known as GERD or other conditions that can cause the stomach to produce excess acid. It is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis or also known as the damage that the stomach acid caused in the esophagus.

what is prilosec - prilosec side effects - prilosec dosage
Prilosec is also given together with antibiotics to treat gastric ulcer caused by infection with H. pylori or helicobacter pylori. Though Prilosec is used to treat the symptoms of GERD, take note that it is not used to be used as an immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.   

Prilosec may sometimes be taken with or combined with an antibiotic however; you should never take Prilosec if you are allergic to omeprazole or other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza) or menbendazole (Vermox). Severe allergic reactions may be life threatening.

Do follow your doctor’s prescription as provided with each medication. Keep in mind that you should not switch or change your medication schedule without consulting your doctor first. Also, ask your physician if it safe to take Prilosec if you have heart disease, liver disease or low levels of magnesium in your blood. 

Over the counter or OTC Prilosec should be taken 24 hours for 14 days. The full effect of this drug may take up to 4 days so do not take more than one tablet every 24 hours. Allow at least 4 months to pass before you decide to start another 14 day treatment with an over the counter Prilosec. Consult your physician if you have more symptoms and need treatment before the 4 months has passed.  

Prilosec Dosage

Prilosec works by reducing the production of stomach acid. This proton pump inhibitor is used to treat acid-related stomach as well as burning throat problems by decreasing excess stomach acid and helps relieve acid reflux symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing, heartburn, persistent cough and trouble sleeping.

This drug can also help prevent severe acid damage to your digestive system. This medication usually comes in tablet form by mouth. Usually once daily before meals or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not crush, chew or break the medication. If you can, swallow it as whole. If you are having a hard time swallowing, you can also open the contents and sprinkle it on soft food such as apple sauce.

However, be aware that there is no need to chew the food/medication since this may destroy the drug potency and may increase side effects. A glass of water should be taken afterwards to ensure the complete swallowing of the medication.

You can also take antacids with this medication if it is needed. The dosage and effectiveness of this drug may differ and is based on your condition and response to the therapy. For best results, take this medication as the same time each day. Remember that this drug is not to be used as an immediate relief from heartburn. If symptoms persist or gets worse, consult your physician right away. 

Prilosec Side Effects

The drug Prilosec has been studied thoroughly in clinical trials in order to find out what are the most common side effects it has on users. In these studies, the most common side effect of Prilosec is headache, abdominal pain, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, dizziness, constipation and back pain. However, there are other side effects which are not common but also a result of using Prilosec.

These side effects are as listed: 

  • Vomiting, nausea, flatulence, feeling of fainting, light headedness, paresthesia, itching, skin rashes, drowsiness, urticaria, vertigo, dermatitis, aggressive behavior, hair loss, blurred vision, skin problems, depression, dry mouth, hallucinations, impotence, sweating, confusion, muscle weakness, muscle pain or tenderness, photosensitivity, swelling of the extremities, inflammation of the mouth, blood and bone marrow problems, GI infections, jaundice, Stevens-Johnson syndrome, erythema multiform, taste changes, toxic epidermal necrolysis, metabolic problems, gynecomastia, joint pain, arthritis and liver problems. 

There are other side effects which can result in using Prilosec, these are only a few of the common side effects of this drug. For other unusual side effects, seek medical attention as soon as possible. As the saying goes, prevention is better than a cure. So be aware of the side effects while taking this type of medication.