Prilosec is a trade name for omeprazole, a drug that reduces the amount of gastric acid produced in the stomach.
Prilosec is mainly prescribed to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
The active ingredient in Prilosec, omeprazole, belongs to a group of drugs called Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs can block the hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase enzymes in the stomach that trigger gastric acid production. Gastric acid is vital for digesting and destroying many harmful microorganisms in the food we eat. However, some diseases can cause the stomach to produce excessive acid, or to push acid upwards to the esophagus causing injury.
Prilosec is prescribed to treat conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease, where gastric acid flows backwards to the esophagus and causes symptoms such as heartburn and flesh wounds on the walls of the esophagus, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, where gastric acid is produced excessively. Prilosec can also help to heal and alleviate the pain of stomach ulcers. Over-the-counter doses of Prilosec may also be used to treat heartburn not associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Prilosec is available as delayed-release capsules in 10 mg, 20 mg or 40 mg doses. Inactive ingredients in the capsules include lactose, sodium lauryl sulfate, cellulose, hypromellose, mannitol, hydroxypropyl cellulose, disodium hydrogen phosphate, gelatin, butyl alcohol, isopropanol, synthetic black iron oxide and titanium dioxide.
The dosage of prescription Prilosec will depend in doctor’s recommendation, type of condition being treated, the severity of the condition and response to treatment.
Prilosec can be obtained without a prescription to treat frequent heartburn. In the case of self-treatment, carefully read all instructions in the patient information leaflet provided with the over-the-counter product. Follow dosage directions exactly as printed. Do not take more Prilosec than recommended, as it could lead to an overdose or exacerbate side effects. Non-prescription Prilosec may not relieve heartburn right away and might require up to four days for effects to be noticeable.
Prilosec capsules should be swallowed whole with a glass of water once daily before meals. Do not cut, crush or chew the capsules.
Warnings and Precautions
Do not take Prilosec if allergic to omeprazole or similar drugs. For non-prescription Prilosec, read all the ingredients listed on the package to see if any may cause an allergy. Read the list of ingredients each time a new package is bought, as the manufacturer could change ingredients without notice.
Over-the-counter Prilosec may not be suitable for all heartburn patients. Using the wrong product could possibly lead to life-threatening situations. It’s always better to seek physician advice before taking nonprescription Prilosec.
Some drugs, such as certain antibiotics and anticoagulants, may cause adverse drug reactions with Prilosec. Ask a doctor if Prilosec is safe to take with other prescription drugs, nonprescription drugs or supplemental vitamin and herbal products.
Prilosec may not be safe for use with a history of liver disease or low levels of magnesium in the blood.
Prilosec and omeprazole may cause one or more of the following side effects:
Side effects are not limited to the above. Immediately seek medical care if side effects worsen or persist without fading away.