B Fruitfull

Acid Reflux causes and Treatment

OMEPRAZOLE (PRILOSEC): For Heartburn/What are the Side Effects?

Are you or somebody you love suffering from
heart burn? Have you been taking over the counter Prilosec
or the generic version omeprazole for a while but wonder if you should? Has your doctor recommended that you take
it but you are concerned about possible long term effects? If so, then this is the video for you. Keep watching to help you understand what
you need to know most about taking this medication Welcome to Family Med, I’m Dr. Richardson
and this is your home for practical and accurate information to help your family make healthy
decisions. This is the channel that focuses on bringing
better health to your home. On today’s episode we are going to be going
over one of the most common medications that is given for acid reflux named Prilosec or
even now more commonly known by its generic name omeprazole. Omeprazole is a medication that is used to
treat problems in the stomach related to too much production of acid. These are conditions such as acid reflux or
the technical term GERD or Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease. Most people just call it Heart burn. We also use it to treat stomach ulcers, a
certain kind of bacterial infection in the stomach and some rare conditions where there
is a significant amount of excessive acid produced in the stomach. But most people taking it are just looking
for a little relief from that persistent burning in their stomach and chest. Omeprazole belongs to the group of medications
called PPI’s or Proton Pump inhibitors. What these medications do is work on the little
acid producing pumps in the stomach to decrease or even stop acid production. Out of all the different acid type medications
that are out there, omeprazole and the other medications in this same class have the benefit
of lasting longer. For most people the effects of this medicine
will last about 24 hours. The most common condition that we treat with
this medication is your typical heat burn or what we call GERD. GERD is a condition where the acid contents
from the stomach will come back up into the esophagus past a protective muscle called
the sphincter. The esophagus doesn’t have the protective
coating that the stomach does so the acid will irritate and burn the esophagus causing
that all familiar pain that you are dealing with now. So how do you know you have heartburn? Well, most people with heartburn say that
it feels like a burning chest pain beginning behind the breastbone and moving upward to
the neck and throat. Many people say it feels like food is coming
back into the mouth leaving an acid or bitter taste. The burning, pressure, or pain of heartburn
can last as long as 2 hours and is often worse after eating, lying down or bending over. There are other symptoms that aren’t quite
as common like nausea or vomiting, tooth decay, bad breath and even a cough, but I don’t recommend
you self diagnose these symptoms. Talk to your doctor about what you are feeling
so you can get an accurate diagnosis because other things can cause this too. Once its determined that indeed you have acid
reflux there certainly are a lot of options that you have to treat it but discussing all
of those is out of the scope of what I’m covering here today. Just know that for a good percentage of people,
just making some simple diet changes, can make a big difference in controlling and even
eliminating your symptoms. Even with diet changes though we can’t always
control all of your symptoms. So let’s say you’ve talked to your doctor
and they are recommending that you take omeprazole to treat your heartburn. What should you expect? First of all, omeprazole usually comes in
a capsule of either 20 or 40 mg. The 40 mg dose is by prescription only whereas
the 20 mg you can get over-the-counter. This medication is designed to be taken on
a daily basis. It is not as fast acting as some of your other
medications like Tums or Zantac so if you are only having occasional symptoms you may
do better with one of those. Omeprazole tends to take a day or two to start
working to its full potential. If you are taking this medication on your
own and not under the direction of your doctor, it is recommended that you limit its use to
2 weeks. The reason for this is not that you can’t
take it for longer, but that you do not want to be taking it thinking that you are treating
acid reflux when something else more concerning is going on. So it is always a good idea, that if you are
having persistent abdominal symptoms that you feel might be acid reflux, you should
talk to your doctor about it to make sure you know what is really going on. One other really important thing to understand
about this medication. We have found that if you are on this for
a while and abruptly stop it you can actually get a rebound production of acid that can
make you feel like your symptoms have gotten worse. What I have found with my own patients is
that they will come into me feeling that they need to stay on this medication because every
time they try to stop it they get really bad acid reflux. The problem is not that they are producing
too much acid but that they stopped the medication too quickly. If you have been on it for more than a couple
weeks you should taper down off of the medication slowly to prevent this from happening. Okay, so now for the question that probably
brought you to this video. What kind of side effects can you expect? Well, the most common answer to this question
is really not many. Omeprazole is actually very well-tolerated
with not very many day to day side effects. But, as with any medication, if it can have
effect in your body, it can also have a side effect. Some of the more common side effects that
we notice from this medication would be things such as: Headaches, abdominal pain, nausea
or vomiting, and sometimes some excessive gas. There are also some rare side effects that
you should be aware of. These are not common but being aware of them
is valuable. First of all, just like any medication you
should watch for any kind of allergic reaction. Also, there is a possibility that it can cause
decreased kidney or liver function. It can cause something called pancreatitis
where your pancreas in your abdomen can get inflamed and make you sick as well as it can
increase your risk of having a certain kind of bacterial infection in the colon. There are also some newer concerns about these
medications that have come to our attention more recently, and we think it has something
to do with how these medications work. Remember, Proton Pump Inhibitors like omeprazole
decrease your body’s ability to produce acid. Well, one of the things that is needed to
absorb certain vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin B12, iron and magnesium is
acid. So when you decrease how much acid you have
you can possibly affect how much of these vitamins and minerals are absorbed. Were not exactly sure about the clinical significance
of this however it is something to be aware of. It’s possible that being on these medications
long term can put you at risk for low vitamin b and iron levels as well as increase your
risk for getting brittle bones and fractures. Again we aren’t totally sure about whether
this actually translates into problems in our own bodies but its important thing to
be aware of. One thing that we do know is that they can
affect on the bodies ability to absorb magnesium increasing your risk of developing a magnesium
deficiency. This can have an effect on many parts of your
body including your heart and nerves. Many now recommend checking magnesium levels
for those who are on these types of medications long-term. The last thing you need to be careful with
when taking omeprazole is that the way the body processes and breaks down this medication
is similar to a lot of other different medications. Why this matters is that when two medications
get processed through the same pathway in the body that creates interactions. Omeprazole out of all the antiacids tends
to have more interactions. Common medications out there that you need
to watch for are blood thinners like Plavix or clopidrogel, blood pressure medications
and some antidepressants. There are a lot more so I’m not going to go
through them all. Just remember that if you are taking medications
make sure you check with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure that they are safe to take together. So what to do with all of this information
and how do you decide what to do? The first thing you need to do is really look
at making some significant lifestyle changes. Look at your diet, exercise habits and work
on stopping smoking. Watch your portion sizes and when you eat
and pay attention to what foods may make things worse. It may not fix it for everybody, but many
times I have seen in my own patients that just by making some simple changes to your
diet, living a healthier lifestyle and losing some weight they were able to significantly
decrease or even stop the amount of medication they had to take. When that is not working, you really need
to be talking to your doctor if you feel omeprazole is something that you may need to be on long-term. Talk to them about the likelihood of these
long-term side effects and how that compares to the risk of not treating your acid reflux. Long-term untreated acid reflux not only leads
to a poor quality of life but it can also cause significant problems including changes
to your esophagus which can lead to a certain kind of cancer. So as you can see untreated acid reflux is
also dangerous. That’s why its important to not be on long
term treatment for this condition unless its under the direction of your doctor so they
can monitor for any side effects and help you decide the risks and benefits of each
decision. Acid reflux is one of the more common things
that we see in the doctor’s office. It certainly can make you miserable but luckily
when diet and lifestyle changes do not work there is a medication like omeprazole that
can make a significant difference in treating this condition. Well, I hope that after watching this you
are a little more informed about a great option for treating this bothersome condition. Omeprazole is one option that can help but
there are many different ones out there. I’d like to hear about what you have found
to be helpful in treating your acid reflux. So comment below so we can all learn. If you’ve found this information to be helpful
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content. So until next tine, this is FamilyMed with
Dr. Richardson and remember to take care of your body because it’s the only one you have.

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