GERD Home > Prilosec OTC

Prilosec OTC is commonly used to treat recurring heartburn. Belonging to a class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors, the medication reduces the amount of acid in the stomach by blocking certain acid production sites. It comes in tablet form and is usually taken once a day. Some of the more common side effects of Prilosec OTC include upper respiratory infections, abdominal pain, and headaches.

What Is Prilosec OTC?

Prilosec OTC® (omeprazole magnesium) is an over-the-counter medication used to treat frequent heartburn (occurring at least twice a week) in adults.

Who Makes It?

Prilosec OTC is made by Procter and Gamble.
(Click Prilosec Uses for more information, including possible off-label uses and uses for prescription-strength Prilosec.)

How Does Prilosec OTC Work?

Prilosec OTC is part of a group of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The stomach contains tiny pumps (called proton pumps) that produce acid. Prilosec OTC works by binding to these proton pumps, stopping the production of acid. It is very effective at decreasing acid production.

When and How to Take It

Some general considerations for when and how to take Prilosec OTC include the following:
  • The medication comes in tablet form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
  • Prilosec OTC is not intended for rapid heartburn relief, as it can take one to four days to start working.
  • Prilosec OTC has a special coating that prevents stomach acid from destroying the medication. Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets.
  • For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Prilosec OTC will not work if you stop taking it.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Kristi Monson, PharmD;
Last updated/reviewed:
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