Frequently asked questions for Omeprazole
Q. Can I take Omeprazole with domperidone?Omeprazole can be safely taken with domperidone as no harmful effects have been reported clinically. A fixed-dose combination of these two medicines is also available. Domperidone works by increasing the gut motility and Omeprazole decreases the acid production in the stomach. So, this combination is very effective in the treatment of reflux esophagitis associated with acidity, heartburn, intestinal and stomach ulcers.
Q. What should I know before taking Omeprazole?You should not take it if you are taking a medicine containing nelfinavir (used for HIV infection). Let your doctor know if you are suffering from any liver problems, persistent diarrhea or vomiting, black stools (blood-stained stools), unusual weight loss, trouble swallowing, stomach pain or indigestion. Tell your doctor about all the other medicines you are taking because they may affect, or be affected by, this medicine. Inform your doctor if you have or ever had an allergic skin reaction with Omeprazole. This medicine should not be given to children who are less than 1 year of age or whose body weight is less than 10 kgs. Pregnant and breastfeeding mothers should consult their doctor before taking Omeprazole to avoid harmful effects on the baby.
Q. Can Omeprazole cause weight gain?Weight gain is reported in less than 1% of the patients taking Omeprazole but the exact cause is unknown. One possible explanation is higher food intake once the reflux symptoms are relieved. Lifestyle modifications such as proper diet and exercise can help to prevent weight gain.
Q. Can Omeprazole cause diarrhea?Yes, Omeprazole may cause diarrhea as a side effect in some people. This is usually not bothersome, but if you experience persistent watery stools that do not go away, along with stomach cramps and fever, get medical help immediately. These symptoms are most likely because of the overgrowth of harmful bacteria called C. difficile and the diarrhea is known as Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD). Use of Omeprazole lowers the natural stomach acid which normally helps to kill bacteria and this can cause this uncontrollable diarrhea associated with stomach cramps and fever.
Q. For how long can Omeprazole be taken?Take Omeprazole for as long as advised by your doctor. The duration of taking Omeprazole would vary depending on your condition. Do not stop taking this medicine without talking to your doctor.
Q. Can Omeprazole cause calcium deficiency and osteoporosis?Omeprazole can cause osteoporosis (thinning of bones) as it decreases the calcium absorption leading to calcium deficiency. This leads to an increased risk of bone fractures on long-term use, like hip, wrist or spine fractures. Inform your doctor if you have osteoporosis or if you are taking corticosteroids (these can increase the risk of osteoporosis) before starting your therapy. Consult your doctor on ways to prevent this. Your doctor may advise you calcium or vitamin D supplements to reduce the risk.
Q. What are the long term side effects of Omeprazole?If Omeprazole is used for more than 3 months, certain long term side effects may be seen. The most important of these is low magnesium levels in your blood which may make you feel tired, confused, dizzy, shaky or dizzy. You may also have muscle twitches or irregular heartbeat. If the use is further prolonged for more than a year, you may have an increased risk of bone fractures (due to decreased calcium levels in the blood), especially hip, wrist or spine, stomach infections and vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency can make you anemic, as a result of which you may feel more tired, weak, or pale. Additionally you may also have palpitations, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, indigestion, loss of appetite, flatulence (gas) or nerve problems such as numbness, tingling and problem in walking.
Q. Does Omeprazole cause vitamin deficiencies?Omeprazole may cause vitamin B12 and vitamin C deficiency. When taken orally, vitamin B12 requires an acidic environment for its absorption from the stomach while Omeprazole causes a decrease in the gastric acid secretion. You may need to take vitamin B12 supplements along with it. The clinical significance of the decrease in vitamin C levels is not known, so vitamin C supplementation is not recommended.
Q. Can I take antacids along with Omeprazole?Yes, you can take antacids along with Omeprazole. Take it 2 hours before or after you take Omeprazole.
Q. Can Omeprazole be used in cardiac patients?Patients with cardiac disease can take Omeprazole as prescribed by the doctor. However, Omeprazole can interact with certain drugs (e.g clopidogrel, digoxin) which might be used by a patient with an underlying cardiac disease. Patients taking Omeprazole and digoxin may need to be monitored for digoxin toxicity. Omeprazole decreases the activation of clopidogrel, thus reducing its effects. Patients taking these medicines together need to be monitored closely by a doctor.
Q. Is Omeprazole safe to use?Yes, Omeprazole is relatively safe to use. Most of the people who take Omeprazole do not get a side effect. It is advised to be taken as directed by the doctor for maximum benefit.
Q. Can I take alcohol with Omeprazole?No, alcohol intake is not advised with Omeprazole. Alcohol itself does not affect the working of Omeprazole, but it can increase the acid production. This may further cause worsening of your symptoms.