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Acid Reflux causes and Treatment

Omeprazole Side Effects: Don’t Use It Until You Watch This

Omeprazole Side Effects: Don’t Use It Until You Watch This


Hey guys my name is Dr. Sam. Now, in today’s video I’m going to share with you everything you need to know about Omeprazole or Prilosec. How to take it, what are the short and long-term side effects and my top tips. So, let’s get started! Welcome to my channel Dr. Sam Bailey. If you have a question that you’d like me to do a video on, please post it in the comment section below. Also if you enjoy my videos, please remember to subscribe and you can also hit the little notification bell, next to the subscribe button, so that you don’t miss out on any of our latest videos. What is Omeprazole? Omeprazole is a type of medication called a proton pump inhibitor. The generic name is called omeprazole, but it is most commonly known by its brand name which is Prilosec in the states and Losec in the United Kingdom. What is Omeprazole used for? Acid is produced naturally in the stomach to help you digest food and to kill bacteria. But the acid as an irritant so the body produces a natural mucus barrier, which helps protect the lining of your stomach. In some people this barrier can actually break down allowing the acid to cause damage to the stomach. This can cause ulcers, inflammation and other conditions. Omeprazole is used to treat some conditions, especially stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers, acid reflux – which is also known as GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. This is where the muscular band at the top of the stomach allows some stomach acid to escape, irritating the gullet and causing heartburn. Omeprazole can also be given as one part of a triple therapy treatment to get rid of a bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. This bug get into the stomach and cause stomach ulcers. Sometimes Omeprazole is also used to protect the stomach, from long term medications. Particularly, anti-inflammatory drugs or blood thinner medicines. How does omeprazole work? Proton Pumps are located along the inner lining of the stomach and these are responsible for the acid production into the stomach. So thereby proton pump inhibitors, like Omeprazole actually reduce the amount of acid that’s produced in the stomach, thereby reducing the acidity and pH. Pmeprazole takes about one hour for it to start working and it’s maximally effective after two hours, after having taken the drug. The action of Omeprazole can last in the body for up to three days! Mind you, these work differently to other medicines like antacids, which actually neutralize the acid in the stomach. This is different from Omeprazole in that omeprazole reduces the amount of acid that’s produced in the first place. How do you take it? Omeprazole comes in different dosages: 10, 20 and 40 milligrams in either a capsule or a tablet. The amount that you’ll be prescribed will differ depending on the condition that you have. So please follow the instructions from your health care provider, as they know you best! Usually, doctors like to start with the lowest dose to give you the biggest benefit with the least amount of side effects. Commonly for GERD: 20 milligrams once daily is given for four weeks. For stomach or intestinal ulcers, 20 to 40 milligrams once daily is used for 4-8 weeks. To protect the stomach from other medications, 20 to 40 milligrams once a day is used. For H. pylori treatment, Omeprazole 20 milligrams is given twice a day along with two antibiotics – usually clarithromycin and amoxicillin. A little tip from me is that the omeprazole tablets and capsules contain these small little pellets inside them. And these are specially coated to allow your body to absorb the medicine correctly. So never, ever chew the tablets of capsules otherwise it will ruin those little, little pellets. My other little tip is to try and take the medicine 30 to 60 minutes before food, so if you can, because then it will be maximally effective when you take it. Another little trick that I learned, that not everybody knows about is that you can take prilosec or omeprazole as required, rather than everyday. So if you’ve used it successfully in the past for reflux-type symptoms and then you develop some more again – you can restart it’s at say Prilosec 20 milligrams once a day and just take it for as long as you have symptoms and then stop. And that’s completely fine! And it’s similar to the way you take panadol for a headache. Can I take Omeprazole if I am taking other medications at the same time? Omeprazole is generally safe although there are a few interactions that you should look out for. Omeprazole can potentially interact with a blood thinner called warfarin, where it increases your risk of bleeding. So if you are taking warfarin, it’s important to monitor your INR blood level. Also the opposite is true for another blood thinner called clopidogrel, where omeprazole reduces the effect of clopidogrel so puts you at risk of blood clots. You should also speak with your healthcare provider if you’re taking medicines like phenytoin, methotrexate or digoxin, which all interact with omeprazole. What are the short-term side effects? Omeprazole is a very commonly prescribed medication and is usually well tolerated. In the short-term, it can cause nausea and an upset stomach. If so stick to simple meals, avoid rich or spicy foods. If symptoms are severe or do not go away please see your doctor. Diarrhea. If so drink plenty of water and let your doctor know if it continues or becomes severe. Constipation. Try to eat a well-balanced diet and drink several glasses of water each day. Headache. Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist to recommend a suitable painkiller. If the headaches continue, let your doctor know. What are the long-term side effects? Millions of people take Omeprazole safely every day, but there are some long-term warnings that you should be aware of. In more recent studies long-term use of Omeprazole has been linked with an increased risk of chronic kidney disease. This is particularly in women, who are over the age of 60 and who have used the medicine for more than 10 years consecutively. And who are also taking another long term pain relief medicine like nexium. If you fit into this category I’d recommend that you see your doctor for a kidney function blood test. It’s very uncommon and rare, but some people can develop another kidney condition called interstitial nephritis when first taking Omeprazole. This presents with symptoms like a rash, joint aches and pains, a fever and weight loss. It’s quite difficult to diagnose, but is easily reversible once you stop taking Omeprazole. As Omeprazole changes the pH in your stomach, it can affect the way that some nutrients are absorbed into the body, particularly b12 and magnesium so there is the potential risk of becoming deficient in those nutrients. If so, I would just keep a close eye on them. Some studies have shown that taking Omeprazolel may increase the risk of bone fractures. This is why you should only use the lowest effective dose and try to use it for the shortest possible time. Also another important thing to know is that Omeprazole has been linked to an increased rate of (C.Diff) Clostridium difficile diarrhea infections. This is a serious bacterial infection that can lead people to become hospitalized and become very sick. Doctors don’t understand exactly why this happens but there are some theories that omeprazole changes the natural flora inside the gut by changing the pH and this leads to a weaker immune system, so that C. Diff can come and colonize the gut and cause problems. How do you stop taking Omeprazole? Another common thing that I see with patients, but obviously people don’t know about this is that you cannot stop Omeprazole cold turkey. Because it will make you feel awful! Often, when people do they get a rebound in acid production, which is even worse than when they first started the drug. So please do not stop Omeprazole just like that. What I would suggest though is to halve the dose that you’re on for at least two weeks and then after that halve it again if you can or if not take it every other day, every third day alternating over another two to four weeks. Until you can finally stop the medicine. What can happen is if you stop it too quickly, you’ll get a rebound of acid and you’ll need to go back on it again. Just slowly try and taper the medicine down so that you’re not shocking your system – into a freak out from not having the omeprazole. The other trick that some people do is they switch over to another type or class of
antacids. So using a what they call an h2 antagonist or Ranitidine medicine can be quite useful, when you are really try to get off Omeprazole. What about taking Omeprazole during pregnancy? Existing research has shown that omeprazole is safe to take during pregnancy. Studies from Sweden and Denmark showed that the chance of birth defects in women using Omeprazole was similar to the usual birth defect rate in the population. As always let me know in the comment section what you enjoyed about this video or what you’d like to learn more about. You can also check out some of my other health videos on gut health and infections. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

10 Replies to “Omeprazole Side Effects: Don’t Use It Until You Watch This”

  • Bone fractures were very interesting, who knew. 🤔 My friend started omeprisole not too long ago and will heading for the ski slopes for 4 weeks. I’m sending him this.

  • Very interesting. Is omeprazole something you can take continuously (as in for years)? Also, would be nice to watch a similar video on H2 blockers.

  • I’m 41 and been dealing with H-pylori for years and haven’t been able to get rid of it, omeprazole is something I get prescribed very frequently without any help do you know of any meds I can take for this matter? I also started taking live and active cultures yogurt during the morning what’s your opinion

  • I was prescribed 20 mg of omeprazole with 0.25 mg of alprazolam and I'm scared to death about taking both from the horror stories online. My heartburn isnt severe and I haven't taken antacids for it, just chamomile and some low acidic foods. The heartburn started after I took an NSAID without food (around 3 hours). Am I freaking out for no reason? Thank you for the video.

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