Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available



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Treats heartburn and stomach ulcers.

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Prescription or OTCLower-cost generic available

Our pharmacists’ bottom line

Prilosec (Omeprazole) gives you long-lasting heartburn relief. Choose the cheapest proton pump inhibitor because they all work equally well for heartburn.

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  • Most people can take Omeprazole without any noticeable day-to-day side effects.
  • Omeprazole lasts longer than other types of antacids (like Zantac, Pepcid, or Tums), and you only need to take it once or twice a day.
  • You can take it in combination with a quick-acting antacid (like Maalox or Tums) if you need relief right away.
  • In studies it was better than a placebo (sugar pill) and as good as other proton pump inhibitors at treating heartburn.
  • Available as both a generic and over-the-counter option, so it's pretty affordable.
  • Doesn't start working as fast as some other antacids like Tums, Rolaids, or Maalox.
  • Like with other proton pump inhibitors, long-term use can cause weak or broken bones.
  • Can cause low levels of magnesium in the blood. You might need to take a magnesium supplement if you use Omeprazole long-term.
  • Although the generic is affordable, other medications might still be cheaper than Omeprazole.
  • Can interact with other drugs so be sure your doctor knows all the medicine you're taking before starting Omeprazole.

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Side effects for Prilosec (Omeprazole)

From clinical trials of Omeprazole / Any condition  ( 3096)

  • Upper respiratory infectionUpper respiratory infection75% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • FeverFever33% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • Upper respiratory infectionUpper respiratory infection19% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • HeadacheHeadache7% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • Abdominal painAbdominal pain5% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • NauseaNausea4% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • DiarrheaDiarrhea4% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • Accidental injuriesAccidental injuries4% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • Passing gasPassing gas3% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo
  • VomitingVomiting3% for Omeprazole vs.0% for placebo

What to expect when you take Prilosec (Omeprazole) for Reduces stomach acid

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Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • Don't chew or crush capsules; swallow them whole.
  • If you have trouble swallowing you can carefully open the capsules and sprinkle the inside pellets onto applesauce. Swallow the applesauce without chewing or crushing the pellets.
  • When using Omeprazole long-term, take a calcium citrate with vitamin D supplement daily to prevent bone loss. Be sure it's calcium citrate because it works the best when using a proton pump inhibitor.
  • Get a blood test for your magnesium level once a year; you may need a magnesium supplement while using Omeprazole.
  • Avoid drug interactions by telling your doctor all of the other medications or herbal supplements you take before starting Omeprazole.

Risks and Warnings for Prilosec (Omeprazole)

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  • Heartburn and feelings of upset stomach can be warning signs of a more serious stomach problem or cancer. If you need to take Prilosec (Omeprazole) for 2 weeks or more go see a doctor. It's safest to get checked out to make sure you do not have a serious stomach condition.

Means that some groups have a high risk of experiencing this side effect

Tips from pharmacists and people taking Prilosec (Omeprazole)

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The FDA category for this medication is C. It is advised that you: Weigh risks vs. benefits
  • Tips from our pharmacists
  • Take 1 hour before a meal.
  • I take 10mg every morning at least an hour before I eat something. As long as I follow this rule every day, I never have heartburn. If I don't, I will get heartburn regularly over even the most mildest foods.
    Age: 33
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Heartburn
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • Was not aware of the side effects of long term use, every time I tried to stop use I would get such severe rebound I would end up taking it again. I was told about lemon juice and vinegar at a health food store, by trial and error, I started taking small amounts of vinegar and drinking lemon water when the re-flux flared up it has taken about a year, but my re-flux is better than with the omeprazole.
    Age: 73
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Stomach ulcer
  • Omeprazole has always worked well for me. Without it id always have really bad heartburn. Best if taken an hour or so before a meal I always take mine an hour before supper since supper is always my biggest meal of the day
    Age: 52
    Gender: Man
    Taken for: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
    Duration taken: Two years or more
  • It's more of a long term effective drug. Take a sleeping aid as well while using it.
    Age: 17
    Gender: Woman
    Taken for: Stomach ulcer