Prilosec

Generic Name: Omeprazole

  • What is this medication and its most common uses?

    Prilosec is a medicine known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that is used to treat stomach and duodenal ulcers (ulcers in the upper intestine), heartburn and symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to treat and maintain healing of erosive esophagitis (inflammation and ulceration of the esophagus [the tube that connects your mouth and stomach]). It is also used for long-term treatment of conditions where your stomach makes too much acid (such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome). It is also used with other medicines to eliminate the bacteria that often cause ulcers (known as Helicobacter pylori). Prilosec is available as capsules and as an oral suspension.

  • What should I know when beginning and continuing on this medication?

    How does this medication work?

    Prilosec is a delayed-release medicine (releases medicine into your body at a later time from when you take it). Prilosec works by reducing the acid in your stomach.

    What are the beneficial effects of this medication and when should I begin to have results?

    What:

    Duodenal Ulcers: Prilosec may help heal and reduce the frequency and severity of pain associated with duodenal ulcers, and may help reduce the amount of antacids you take.

    Erosive Esophagitis: Prilosec may help heal acid-related damage to the lining of your esophagus and relieve symptoms such as heartburn.

    GERD: By reducing stomach acid, Prilosec may help relieve heartburn and other symptoms associated with GERD.

    H. pylori Infection: When used in combination with other medicines, Prilosec may cure this infection and reduce your risk of having another ulcer.

    Stomach Ulcers: Prilosec may help heal stomach ulcers.

    Conditions Causing Increased Stomach Acid Production: Prilosec may reduce the acid produced in the stomach, thereby relieving symptoms associated with this condition.

    When:

    Duodenal Ulcer: Prilosec may start healing your duodenal ulcer within 4 weeks of therapy.

    Erosive Esophagitis: Prilosec may help heal erosive esophagitis after 4 weeks of therapy.

    GERD: Prilosec may start relieving your symptoms of heartburn and works throughout the day. Studies show that Prilosec can reduce the frequency of heartburn and other symptoms after 4 weeks of therapy.

    H. pylori Infection: When used in combination with other medicines, Prilosec may keep you infection-free and prevent you from having another ulcer from this infection for at least 6 months after therapy.

    Stomach Ulcer: Prilosec may start healing your ulcer after 4 weeks of therapy.

    Conditions Causing Increased Stomach Acid Production: Everyone responds differently to treatment, so try to be patient and follow your healthcare provider's directions. It is important that you take Prilosec exactly as your healthcare provider has prescribed.

    How do I know it is working?

    You may start to notice a reduction in the severity or frequency of your heartburn. This is a good indicator that your medication is working. Your healthcare provider will ask you questions from time to time to assess how well your heartburn and/or pain is controlled and to check for improvement of your condition.

  • What are the possible side effects of this medication?

    The following is not a full list of side effects. Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, tell your healthcare provider as soon as possible. Only your healthcare provider can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking this medication.

    Adults

    More common side effects may include: headache, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, gas.

    Children and Adolescents 1-16 years

    More common side effects may include: breathing problems, fever.

    Less common side effects of Prilosec may include:

    Diarrhea that does not go away.

    Fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine if you take multiple doses a day for long periods.

    Low blood magnesium levels with symptoms such as seizures, dizziness, abnormal or fast heartbeat, jitteriness, jerking movements or shaking, muscle weakness, spasms of your hands and feet, cramps or muscle aches, or spasm of your voice box.

  • Who should not take this medication?

    Do not take Prilosec if you are allergic to it or any of its ingredients.

  • What should I tell my healthcare provider before I take the first dose of this medication?

    Tell your healthcare provider about all prescription, over-the-counter, and herbal medications you are taking before beginning treatment with Prilosec. Also, talk to your healthcare provider about your complete medical history, especially if you have low blood magnesium levels, allergies, liver problems, or if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What is the usual dosage?

    The information below is based on the dosage guidelines your healthcare provider uses. Depending on your condition and medical history, your healthcare provider may prescribe a different regimen. Do not change the dosage or stop taking your medication without your healthcare provider's approval.

    Treatment of Duodenal Ulcer

    Adults: The recommended dose is 20 milligrams (mg) once a day.

    Prevention of Duodenal Ulcer Due to H. pylori Infection

    Adults: This treatment involves taking two or three different medications. The usual dose for the dual therapy is: Prilosec 40 mg once a day for 14 days and clarithromycin 500 mg three times a day for 14 days. The usual dose for the triple therapy is: Prilosec 20 mg twice a day for 10 days, amoxicillin 1000 mg twice a day for 10 days, and clarithromycin 500 mg twice a day for 10 days.

    Treatment of GERD

    Adults: The recommended dose is 20 mg once a day for 4 to 8 weeks.

    Treatment of Stomach Ulcer

    Adults: The recommended dose is 40 mg once a day for 4 to 8 weeks. Children and adolescents 1-16 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

    Treatment of Erosive Esophagitis

    Adults: The recommended dose is 20 mg once a day for 4-8 weeks.

    Maintenance of Healing Erosive Esophagitis

    Adults: The recommended dose is 20 mg once a day.

    Children and adolescents 1-16 years: Your healthcare provider will prescribe the appropriate dose for your child, based on his/her weight.

    Conditions Causing Increased Stomach Acid Production (Such as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome)

    Adults: The recommended starting dose is 60 mg once a day.

  • How should I take this medication?

    Take Prilosec exactly as prescribed by your healthcare provider.

    Take Prilosec at least one hour before food. Swallow capsules whole. Do not chew or crush the capsules.

    If you cannot swallow capsules, place 1 tablespoon of applesauce into a clean bowl, carefully open the Prilosec capsule, and empty its contents onto the applesauce. Mix the pellets with the applesauce and swallow the mixture right away with a glass of cool water. Do not chew or crush the pellets. Do not store the applesauce and pellet mixture for later use.

    Please review the instructions that came with your prescription on how to properly prepare and take Prilosec oral suspension.

  • What should I avoid while taking this medication?

    Do not change your dose or stop taking Prilosec without first talking to your healthcare provider.

  • What are the possible food and drug interactions associated with this medication?

    If Prilosec is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your healthcare provider before combining Prilosec with the following: ampicillin, atazanavir, cilostazol, clopidogrel, cyclosporine, digoxin, disulfiram, erlotinib, iron-containing products, ketoconazole, methotrexate, nelfinavir, phenytoin, rifampin, saquinavir, sedative-hypnotics (such as alprazolam or diazepam), St. John's wort, tacrolimus, voriconazole, or warfarin.

  • May I receive this medication if I am pregnant or breastfeeding?

    The effects of Prilosec during pregnancy are unknown. Prilosec can be found in your breast milk if you take it while breastfeeding. Tell your healthcare provider immediately if you are pregnant, plan to become pregnant, or are breastfeeding.

  • What should I do if I miss a dose of this medication?

    If you miss a dose of Prilosec, take it as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and return to your regular dosing schedule. Do not take two doses at once.

  • How should I store this medication?

    Store at room temperature. Protect Prilosec capsules from light and moisture.

Starting a GERD or Ulcer Drug?

Our nine-week newsletter series, written by a pharmacist, will help you learn about your medication.
Sign Up

Prilosec Related Drugs