Available by prescription, Zegerid is a drug used for the treatment of various problems involving the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. It works by binding to certain places in the stomach to help reduce the production of stomach acid. This medication comes in the form of a capsule or a powder, and is taken once daily. Potential side effects of this medicine include diarrhea and headaches.
What Is Zegerid?
Zegerid® (omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate) is a prescription medication used to treat several conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. It belongs to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
A nonprescription version (Zegerid OCT™) is also available for treating heartburn.
Prescription Zegerid capsules are made by Norwich Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for Santarus, Inc. Prescription Zegerid powder is made by Patheon, Inc., for Santarus, Inc. Zegerid OTC capsules are made by Schering-Plough HealthCare Products, Inc.
How Does It Work?
Zegerid belongs to a group of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The stomach contains tiny pumps (called proton pumps) that produce acid. Zegerid works by binding to the proton pumps, stopping them from producing acid. PPIs are very effective at decreasing acid production, as they work directly at the acid pumps.
PPI medications can be destroyed by stomach acid before they have a chance to be absorbed by the body. Other PPIs get around this problem by coating the medication with special delayed-release enteric coatings (which protect the medication until it reaches the small intestine).
Zegerid is different; instead of having a delayed-release coating, the product contains sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) that acts as a buffer. This allows the medication to dissolve immediately without being destroyed by stomach acid.
It is important to note that the medication does not provide immediate benefit, as all PPIs (including Zegerid) can take a few days to start working.
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