What is Omeprazole and what is it used for?
Medication used to treat the symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn often characterised by a pain in the chest. It contains the active ingredient omeprazole, a drug that belongs to a group of medications called ‘proton pump inhibitors’.
What is Acid Reflux (GORD)?
Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) is when acid from the stomach escapes into the oesophagus (the tube connecting your stomach and throat) and causing heartburn, pain and inflammation. Normally, there is a barrier between the stomach and the oesophagus that prevents the acid from escaping. In acid reflux, this barrier is impaired.
How does it work?
Omeprazole works by reducing the amount of acid that your stomach produces and so helps to reduce the symptoms associated with acid reflux.
How should I take Omeprazole?
Adults should take one 20mg capsule once a day for 4 weeks and continue for another 4-8 weeks if not fully healed. It is best to swallow the capsules whole with water in the morning. It is important to not chew or break these capsules or they will not work properly.
How to treat Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux and heartburn are symptoms of gastro-oesophageal reflux (GORD), a common condition which causes a burning sensation in the chest. This condition can be very uncomfortable for sufferers, so luckily there are a few small changes which can be made to lifestyle which can go a long way in reducing symptoms. These include quitting smoking, identifying and avoiding triggers, maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding tight restrictive clothing, raising the bedhead, and most importantly, making small changes to the quantity, frequency and types of food you’re eating. Read more here.
How can I help prevent Acid Reflux?
The human gut contains billions of bacteria, most of which are beneficial to our digestive and immune systems. They help us to digest our food, absorb nutrients, metabolise drugs, prevent inflammation, and provide a barrier to disease-causing pathogens into the body. These ‘good’ bacteria balance out the more toxic and damaging bacteria which are also present in the gut. Sometimes (such as after a course of antibiotics) this balance may be lost, causing a range of symptoms. Knowing your gut type, taking probiotics, and making dietary changes are steps you can taking to maintain a healthy gut bacteria balance. Read more here.
Like most medication, Omeprazole can have some side effects, although not everyone will experience them. The most common side effects include:
- stomach pain
Always read the patient information leaflet before commencing treatment.