A healthcare provider may prescribe Prilosec® (omeprazole) to treat several conditions related to the esophagus, stomach, and intestines. Specifically, Prilosec can help treat conditions such as duodenal ulcers, H. pylori infections, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). There is also an over-the-counter Prilosec OTC® (omeprazole magnesium) available for treating heartburn.
Prilosec is part of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). It works by decreasing the amount of acid in your stomach by blocking the acid production sites.
Prilosec comes in capsule form or as packets used to mix an oral suspension (liquid). It is taken by mouth once or twice a day. The over-the-counter (OTC) version is available in tablet and capsule form. Prescription Prilosec is available in the following strengths:
The over-the-counter version is available in one strength -- Prilosec OTC 20 mg tablets.
Although most people tolerate this medication well, it is not suitable for everyone. Before starting treatment with Prilosec capsules or tablets, make sure to talk to your healthcare provider about any other medical conditions you may have or any other medications you are taking (including vitamins and herbal supplements). Some of the common side effects include headaches, abdominal pain (stomach pain), and upper respiratory infections.
(Click Prilosec for a more in-depth look at how Prilosec works, potential side effects, general dosing guidelines, and information on what to tell your healthcare provider before using this medication.)