Omeprazole capsules are a reliable treatment for stomach problems including heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. They ease these recurrent symptoms by suppressing the production of acid in the stomach for a period of up to 72 hours. These capsules are taken daily, and will take effect within one hour.
Stomach acids are necessary for the digestive process. They break down food before it reaches the intestines. Normally, the oesophagus is protected from these acids by a group of muscles called the oesophageal sphincter. These muscles are meant to form a one-way barrier: food can enter the stomach but acids and other substances remain down. However, sometimes, this sphincter weakens under excess pressure. As a result, stomach acid passes this barrier and enters the oesophagus. This is acid reflux. Heartburn is the name for the painful sensation of acid irritating, or burning, the tissues of the oesophagus. It has nothing to do with the heart – it gets its name because the pain is felt at the base of the chest.
Many will experience occasional heartburn. However, some people suffer from these symptoms very frequently – this may be due to gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD). Omeprazole is a prescription medicine for GORD and other similar stomach conditions. It works by suppressing the activity of proton pumps, the proteins which produce acids in the stomach. This decreases the amount of acid in the stomach, relieving the symptoms of acid reflux. This effect can last for a period of up to 72 hours; your acid levels will return to their previous level three to five days after you stop taking the medication.
GORD is fairly common – it is thought to affect 20% of people. Anyone can suffer from GORD, though it is most common in men over 40. Along with the pain of heartburn, acid reflux can leave a very unpleasant taste if acid reaches the mouth. These symptoms are likely to be much worse if you are lying down horizontally. Consider sleeping on an incline, and avoid lying down after eating.
Obesity is the primary cause of GORD. This is because excess stomach fat puts pressure on organs such as the stomach. This forces stomach acids past the oesophagal sphincter and into the oesophagus. Large meals that fill the stomach have the same effect, so consider eating smaller meals. Along with fatty foods, try to avoid foods that are acidic themselves or spicy. Onions, chocolate, and gluten, as well as carbonated or caffeinated drinks, can also lead to heartburn.
Studies have shown that both alcohol and nicotine can weaken the muscles of the oesophagal sphincter, leading to acid reflux. There are also several medications that interfere with digestion or the oesophagus in a way that might increase your risk of GORD. Talk to your GP about whether your medication might be causing your acid reflux, and if other treatments are available.
Why choose The Independent Pharmacy?
- Fast - order before 4pm and receive your treatment as quickly as the next day
- Free online consultation service with one of our registered GMC doctors
- Discreet packaging & confidential service - we don't include any branding or pharmacy logo on our packaging meaning you can get your treatment delivered anywhere
- UK based and GMC UK registered Doctors
- Only proven prescription medication available
- Approved by the National Pharmacy Association and Care Quality Commission.
Omeprazole comes in 20mg capsules, which you will take once daily. Swallow the capsule whole with a sip of water. It is important that you do not crush or chew the capsule. You can take it with or without food – many people prefer to take Omeprazole one hour before eating, such that they will not have heartburn during or after that meal.
To treat GORD, take one capsule per day for four to eight weeks. In severe cases, you may be prescribed two capsules per day. If your acid reflux is severe, your doctor may advise other treatments to deal with the causes of your acid reflux more directly.
If, for any reason, you forget to take a capsule, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is nearly time for your next capsule, skip the dose that you missed. Never double your dose to compensate for a dose that you have missed.
Not everyone will experience side effects when they take Omeprazole capsules, however, if you do they can include:
Digestion problems (including stomach pain, constipation, diarrhoea, and wind), headache, nausea.
If you are concerned about these effects, or if the product affects you in any other way, stop using it and talk to your doctor or pharmacist.
Reading the following warnings carefully will help to ensure you are selecting an appropriate product.
Omeprazole capsules are unsuitable for you if you are allergic to any of its ingredients, or are allergic to any other proton pump inhibiting medicines (including lansoprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole or rabeprazole).
Do not take Omeprazole if you are also taking any HIV medicines, which contain nelfinavir.
Inform your doctor if you plan on taking Omeprazole while taking any of the following medicines:
- Antifungal medicines (e.g. ketoconazole, voriconazole, itraconazole)
- Epilepsy medication (e.g. diazepam, phenytoin)
- Vitamin K blockers (e.g. warfarin)
- HIV medicines (e.g. atazanavir, saquinavir)
- St John's wort
Omeprazole may cause complications with other diseases. See your doctor immediately if you:
- Suddenly lose weight
- Have trouble swallowing
- Have liver problems
- Develop indigestion or stomach pain
- Notice blood in vomit or stools.
Please read all packaging and the Patient Information Leaflet before taking any new medicine, and inform your doctor of medicines you are taking or intend to take.
The active ingredient contained in Omeprazole capsules is:
Omeprazole capsules also contain the following inactive ingredients to make up the complete product:
Sugar spheres, sodium lauryl sulphate, disodium phosphate, mannitol, hypromellose, polyethylene glycol 6000, talc, polysorbate 80, titanium dioxide, eudragit L30-D55 (poly(methacrylic acid, ethyl acrylate)), gelatin, quinolone yellow (E104), titanium dioxide (E171)