Omeprazole is an acid reducer available in over-the-counter (OTC) medicines that treats frequent heartburn (symptoms occur two or more days a week). It may be written as omeprazole or omeprazole magnesium, but it is the same active ingredient. Omeprazole is part of a group of acid reducers called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs. It can be the only ingredient in heartburn medicines that provide long-lasting relief of symptoms, or it can be found in medicines that contain an additional active ingredient that helps with the absorption of omeprazole.
Omeprazole is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and is safe and effective when used according to label directions. OTC medicines containing omeprazole are not intended to provide immediate relief of heartburn symptoms. OTC omeprazole should be taken every day for 14 days. While some people experience relief of symptoms within 24 hours, it may take one to four days for the medicine to take full effect.
*Please read the OTC Drug Facts label carefully for active ingredient information for specific products.
- You should follow the recommended course of treatment for 14 days. You may repeat the 14-day course every four months, if necessary.
- You should never take more medicine or for a longer period of time than what the label says.
- You are allergic to omeprazole.
- You have trouble or pain swallowing food, vomiting with blood, or bloody or black stools.
- You are taking the blood-thinning drug, warfarin.
- You are using an antifungal or anti-yeast medicine.
- You are taking the anxiety medicine, diazepam.
- You are taking the heart medicine, digoxin.
- You are taking the immune system medicine, tacrolimus.
- You are taking the HIV infection medicine, atazanavir.
- You have had heartburn for over three months.
- Your heartburn is accompanied by lightheadedness, sweating, or dizziness.
- You are experiencing chest or shoulder pain with shortness of breath; sweating; pain spreading to your arms, neck, or shoulders; or lightheadedness.
- You have frequent chest pain, wheezing, unexplained weight loss, nausea or vomiting, or stomach pain.
- You are pregnant or breastfeeding.
- Your heartburn continues or gets worse.
- You need to take the product for more than 14 days.
- You need to take more than one course of treatment every four months.
- You take too much. Immediately contact a doctor or the poison control national helpline at 800.222.1222.
If you have questions about any of the medicines you are taking or if you have any unexpected side effects, talk to a healthcare professional. And of course, keep all medicines out of the reach and sight of children.
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