Will Prilosec Really Help Me With My Heartburn?


When you ate something that just didn't agree with you and need occasional relief, Prilosec is not your medication. When you feel the inklings of heartburn but don't struggle with it on a regular basis, Prilosec will not be the best choice for you. However, if you a frequent heartburn sufferer at least twice a week - and/or struggle with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), which causes the contents of your tummy to back up into the esophagus and irritate it (yuck), then Prilosec just may be the over the counter medication for you.

Originally available as a prescription, Prilosec, aka Omezaprole, is a powerful, long-term medication that must be taken once per day for fourteen days, or as directed by your doctor. Priloec works by blocking acid production in the stomach. Known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), Prilosec can be taken alone or in conjunction with antacids.

A few other things to remember about taking Prilosec include:

  • Don't crush, break or chew the medication. Swallow it whole. If you can't, the capsule form can be broken and mixed into cool applesauce. (Don't prepare ahead of time, however.)
  • Drink a glass of water at least 8 oz after each dose to ensure that the medication has been swallowed.
  • Take your dosage of Prilosec at the same time each day (or night).
  • Use the medication regularly and as prescribed by your doctor (if prescribed). If not, take it according to the package's instructions.
  • Continue to take the medication for the duration of your prescription even if you feel better.
  • Contact your doctor if your condition persists or gets worse!

Although a basically mild medication, there are some side effects you may want to watch out for with Prilosec. These include:

  • constipation
  • cough
  • dizziness
  • and back pain.

More serious problems such as signs of Vitamin B-12 deficiency such as sore tongue, numbness and/or tingling of hands/feet should give you pause and cause you to contact your doctor. Some people do report allergic reactions to Omezaprole. Symptoms of an allergic reaction range from rash, itching, swelling, severe dizziness and trouble breathing. If these happen to you, seek emergency assistance.

As is common when prescribed a medication whether it's over the counter or not, it's wise to let your doctor know what other medications you are taking. This includes herbal and dietary supplements. In some cases, negative reactions and interactions can occur. If you are using medications to suppress the immune systems, your doctor will need to know about these as well. Certain medications can be weakened while you are taking Prilosec because they require the stomach acid to be effective. These include ampicillin, azole antifungals and iron supplements.

If you miss a dose of this Omezaprole, take it as soon as you remember. Don't double up. If it's within a few hours of your next dosage, just take the proper dosage you were prescribed. There is no need to 'play catch up.' Even though Prilosec is an over the counter medication, it's not suggested that you share this medication with others. If you suspect an overdose of Prilosec, please call the National Poison Control Center (US) at 1-800-222-1222. Symptoms of a possible overdose include:

  • confusion,
  • unusual (and profuse) sweating,
  • blurry vision,
  • and inexplicably rapid heartbeat.
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