What is Omeprazole and What Does It Treat?

Omeprazole is a medicine that helps lower stomach acid. It is used for different digestive problems where there is too much acid. These problems include stomach ulcers, heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion.

How Omeprazole Works

Omeprazole works by blocking special enzymes made inside the stomach wall. These enzymes make acid. When they are turned off, the stomach makes less acid.

Forms of Omeprazole

Omeprazole comes as:

  • Powder to mix into liquid
  • Tablets to swallow whole
  • Capsules that dissolve in the small intestines
  • Packets of powder to mix into water

The most common strengths used are 20 mg and 40 mg taken one time per day.

Side Effects To Know About

Some people may have mild side effects from omeprazole like:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Dizziness

Rarely, omeprazole for a long time can lead to low magnesium, vitamin B12, or increased bone fractures. See your doctor if side effects concern you.

Over-the-Counter or Prescription

Lower 20 mg omeprazole tablets are sold without a prescription for frequent heartburn. Higher 40 mg doses require a prescription for treating ulcers and erosions from acid reflux.

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