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Heartburn/GERD and Omeprazole

Effect of Omeprazole on Heartburn/GERD

Omeprazole is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions caused by excess stomach acid. It is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis.

Omeprazole may also be given with antibiotics in treating gastric ulcers caused by helicobater pylori.

Read more details about Omeprazole.

How to Use Omeprazole

Omeprazole is not for immediate relief of heartburn. Omeprazole should be taken exactly as directed on the label, or as it was prescribed by your doctor. Omeprazole is usually taken before meals.

Omeprazole is available in delayed-release capsule, enteric coated tablet and powder form.

Do not crush, chew, or break an enteric-coated tablet. Swallow the tablet whole. The enteric-coated tablet has a special coating to protect your stomach. Crushing the tablet could damage this coating.

Dissolve the Omeprazole powder in a small amount of water. Add 1 teaspoon of water for the 2.5-mg packet, or 1 tablespoon of water for the 10-mg packet. Let the mixture stand for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir and drink right away.

Usual dose:

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease: The initial dose is 20 mg once a day before a meal for 4 to 8 weeks. This may be increased to 40 mg per day if needed. Gastric Ulcer: 40 mg, once a day before a meal for 4 to 8 weeks.

Erosive Esophagitis: 20 mg once a day before a meal. For this indication, the dosage may be increased to 40 mg daily based on desired clinical response and patient tolerance.

Dyspepsia: to prevent frequent heartburn: 20 mg orally once daily, before a meal, for 14 days.

What are the precautions when taking this medicine?

• If you have liver disease, talk with healthcare provider.

• Use caution if you have risk factors for osteoporosis (alcohol use, cigarette smoking, other family members with osteoporosis, taking medicines to treat seizures, taking steroids).

• Check medicines with healthcare provider. This medicine may not mix well with other medicines.

• Avoid alcohol (includes wine, beer, and liquor).

• Tell healthcare provider if you are pregnant or plan on getting pregnant.

• Tell healthcare provider if you are breast-feeding.

What are some possible side effects of this medicine?

• Headache.

• Nausea or vomiting. Small frequent meals, frequent mouth care, sucking hard, sugar-free candy, or chewing sugar-free gum may help.

• Diarrhea.

• Hip, spine, or wrist fractures may rarely occur.

Reasons to call healthcare provider immediately

• If you suspect an overdose, call your local poison control center or emergency department immediately.

• Signs of a life-threatening reaction. These include wheezing; chest tightness; fever; itching; bad cough; blue skin color; fits; or swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat.

• Severe dizziness or passing out.

• Severe belly pain.

• Severe diarrhea.

• Severe nausea or vomiting.

• Unusual bruising or bleeding.

• Severe bone pain.

• Any rash.

• No improvement in condition or feeling worse.


  1. Anthony, P.,Delmar's Pharmacy Technician Certification Exam Review. 2nd Edition. 2003. Delmar Cengage Learning.
  2. Rosenthal. M. 50 Ways to Relieve Heartburn, Reflux and Ulcers. 2001. McGraw-Hill

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