Omeprazole (Risek, Omega, Ruling, Losec) is a drug that lowers the amount of acid produced in the stomach. Stomach acid aids in the digestion of proteins, but too much can create problems such as ulcers and heartburn.
Class of Medicine
Omeprazole belongs to the class of medicine called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Mode of Action
Let’s have a look at the causes of acid-related illnesses. As we all know, the stomach produces acidic fluid that helps with digestion, nutritional absorption, and sterilization of microorganisms found in our food.
While useful, the acidic fluid produced by our stomach can be harmful to the gastrointestinal system, which is why the human body has developed a number of defense mechanisms.
Excessive acid production, on the other hand, might overwhelm our defensive mechanisms, resulting in damage, unpleasant symptoms, and even disease.
PPIs, such as omeprazole, work by inhibiting the enzyme hydrogen-potassium ATPase, which elevates acid levels in the stomach. Omeprazole can help cure ulcers and heartburn by lowering the production of acid in the stomach.
How should this medicine be used?
The way you take omeprazole is determined by why you’re taking it. Omeprazole is usually taken once a day, in the morning, and can be taken with or without meals. In some cases, your doctor may advise you to take omeprazole twice daily, which you should do once in the morning and once at night.
Depending on the ailment being treated, different omeprazole dosages are recommended:
Common omeprazole dosages for dyspepsia are 10-20 mg per day.
Common omeprazole dosages for acid reflux and heartburn are 20-40 mg per day.
Common omeprazole dosages for stomach ulcers are 20-40 mg per day.
In some circumstances, your doctor may advise you to start taking omeprazole at a larger dose for a few weeks before gradually decreasing it. Alternatively, you could start taking omeprazole twice a day and gradually reduce to once a day after a few weeks.
Common Side Effects
Omeprazole use may cause common side effects like:
- Stomach pain
- Fever (in children)
- Respiratory system symptoms (in children)
Some of the negative effects may be serious but very rare.
Rashes, hives, itching, swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, ankles, or lower legs
Difficulty breathing or swallowing, hoarseness
Irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeat
Excessive tiredness, dizziness, lightheadedness, muscle spasms, cramps, or weakness
Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
Severe diarrhea with watery stools
Bone fracture of the hip, wrist or spine
Vitamin B-12 and magnesium deficiency
Available Brands (list can be updated in future)
Most common brands available in the market are as under