Omeprazole is a medication that is used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux ailments, laryngopharyngeal reflux, as well as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. This medication is one of the most commonly prescribed medications for these conditions, and in some countries you can purchase it as an over the counter medication.
When taking this medication patients are advised to take it on an empty stomach, with a full glass of water. It is also advised that you do not eat or drink anything else for at least half an hour after taking the medication. This allows the medicine time to become active in your system.
You can get Omeprazole in tablet form or in capsule form. It comes in strengths of 10mg, 20mg, 40mg, and some markets have an 80mg version. There is a powdered version that is made for people to take intravenously. The injectable version of this medication is available in Europe, but not available in the United States. The oral tablets are generally enteric-coated to prevent stomach acids from causing the tablet to degrade too quickly.
The tablets of Omeprazole are actually made up of a multi pellet system. This means that each tablet consists of tiny enteric-coated pellets of the medication. Once the tablet is immersed in the stomach, water will enter into it by the means of osmosis.
Once the water has entered the medicinal tablet, it begins to swell up, then the outer shell of each little pellet will burst and allow Omeprazole inside the shell to emerge. For patients with feeding tubes, and patients who have difficulty swallowing, Omeprazole can be dissolved in a glass of water.
While you may not recognize the name Omeprazole, you will probably recognize the name Prilosec. Before the year 1990 Omeprazole was named Losec. In 1990 the manufacturer asked the Food and Drug Administration to allow them to change the name. It seems that there was some confusion among people between Losec and the fluid retention medication Lasix. The name change was granted, and the drug was renamed Prilosec. This name is now sometimes being confused with the anti depressant drug Prosac. That is why you are suddenly getting the name of the main ingredient that is active in the tablets.
You will actually find that the manufacturer has several versions of the medication on the market under several different names. The company sells Omeprazole under the names Antra, Losec, Gastroloc, Mopral, Omepral, and under the familiar Prilosec name.
You will also find Omeprazole marketed as the drug named Zegerid. The manufacturer markets it under the name Prilosec OTC, while another supplier markets it as Zegrid OTC. There are other companies that market the medication under different names in other countries as well.
The medication is good at helping people who have painful conditions caused by an excess of stomach acids. The majority of people who take this medicine have no side effects, but as with any drug there is the possibility of some side effects. Even though Omeprazole can be purchased over the counter you should get your doctors advice before starting to take it.