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Omeprazole Side Effects: Don't Use It Until You Watch This ☕

Hey guys my name is Dr. Sam.

Now, in today's video I'm going to share with

you everything you need to know about

Omeprazole or Prilosec.

How to take it,

what are the short and long-term side effects

and my top tips.

So, let's get started!

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What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole is a type of medication called

a proton pump inhibitor.

The generic name is called

omeprazole, but it is most commonly

known by its brand name which is

Prilosec in the states

and Losec in the United Kingdom.

What is Omeprazole used for?

Acid is produced naturally in the stomach to

help you digest food and to kill bacteria.

But the acid as an irritant so

the body produces a natural mucus

barrier, which helps protect the lining

of your stomach.

In some people this barrier can actually break down

allowing the acid to cause damage to the stomach.

This can cause ulcers, inflammation and

other conditions.

Omeprazole is used to treat some conditions,

especially stomach ulcers, intestinal ulcers,

acid reflux - which is also known as GERD or

gastroesophageal reflux disease.

This is where the muscular band at the top of

the stomach allows some stomach acid to

escape, irritating the gullet and causing

heartburn.

Omeprazole can also be given

as one part of a triple therapy

treatment to get rid of a bacteria

called Helicobacter pylori.

This bug get into the stomach and cause

stomach ulcers.

Sometimes Omeprazole is also

used to protect the stomach,

from long term medications.

Particularly, anti-inflammatory drugs

or blood thinner medicines.

How does omeprazole work?

Proton Pumps are located along the inner

lining of the stomach and these are

responsible for the acid production into the

stomach. So thereby proton pump inhibitors,

like Omeprazole actually

reduce the amount of acid that's

produced in the stomach,

thereby reducing the acidity and pH.

Pmeprazole takes about one hour

for it to start working

and it's maximally effective after

two hours, after having taken the drug.

The action of Omeprazole can last

in the body for up to three days!

Mind you, these work differently to other medicines

like antacids, which actually neutralize the

acid in the stomach.

This is different from Omeprazole in that

omeprazole reduces the amount of acid

that's produced in the first place.

How do you take it?

Omeprazole comes in different dosages:

10, 20 and 40 milligrams

in either a capsule or a tablet.

The amount that you'll be prescribed will differ

depending on the condition that you have.

So please follow the instructions from your

health care provider, as they know you best!

Usually, doctors like to start with the lowest

dose to give you the biggest benefit

with the least amount of side effects.

Commonly for GERD: 20 milligrams once daily

is given for four weeks.

For stomach or intestinal ulcers,

20 to 40 milligrams once daily is used for 4-8 weeks.

To protect the stomach from other medications,

20 to 40 milligrams once a day is used.

For H. pylori treatment, Omeprazole 20

milligrams is given twice a day along

with two antibiotics -

usually clarithromycin and amoxicillin.

A little tip from me is that the

omeprazole tablets and capsules contain

these small little pellets inside them.

And these are specially coated to allow

your body to absorb the medicine

correctly. So never, ever chew the tablets

of capsules otherwise it will ruin those

little, little pellets.

My other little tip is to try and take the medicine

30 to 60 minutes before food,

so if you can, because then it will be maximally

effective when you take it.

Another little trick that I learned,

that not everybody knows about is that you can

take prilosec or omeprazole as required,

rather than everyday.

So if you've used it successfully in the past

for reflux-type symptoms and

then you develop some more again -

you can restart it's at say Prilosec 20 milligrams

once a day and just take it for as long as you

have symptoms and then stop.

And that's completely fine!

And it's similar to the way

you take panadol for a headache.

Can I take Omeprazole if I am taking other

medications at the same time?

Omeprazole is generally safe although

there are a few interactions that you

should look out for.

Omeprazole can potentially interact with a blood

thinner called warfarin, where it

increases your risk of bleeding.

So if you are taking warfarin,

it's important to monitor your INR blood level.

Also the opposite is true for another blood

thinner called clopidogrel,

where omeprazole reduces the effect of

clopidogrel so puts you at risk of blood clots.

You should also speak with your

healthcare provider if you're taking

medicines like phenytoin, methotrexate

or digoxin, which all interact with omeprazole.

What are the short-term side effects?

Omeprazole is a very commonly prescribed medication

and is usually well tolerated.

In the short-term,

it can cause nausea and an upset stomach.

If so stick to simple meals,

avoid rich or spicy foods.

If symptoms are severe or do not go away

please see your doctor.

Diarrhea.

If so drink plenty of water and let your

doctor know if it continues or becomes severe.

Constipation.

Try to eat a well-balanced diet

and drink several glasses of water each day.

Headache.

Drink plenty of water and ask your pharmacist

to recommend a suitable painkiller.

If the headaches continue, let your doctor know.

What are the long-term side effects?

Millions of people take Omeprazole

safely every day, but there are some

long-term warnings that you should be

aware of.

In more recent studies

long-term use of Omeprazole has been

linked with an increased risk of chronic

kidney disease.

This is particularly in women, who are

over the age of 60 and who have used the

medicine for more than 10 years

consecutively.

And who are also taking another long

term pain relief medicine like nexium.

If you fit into this category I'd recommend

that you see your doctor for a

kidney function blood test.

It's very uncommon and rare, but some people can

develop another kidney condition called

interstitial nephritis when first taking

Omeprazole.

This presents with symptoms

like a rash, joint aches and pains,

a fever and weight loss.

It's quite difficult to diagnose,

but is easily reversible once you stop taking

Omeprazole.

As Omeprazole changes the pH

in your stomach, it can affect the way

that some nutrients are absorbed

into the body, particularly b12 and magnesium

so there is the potential risk of becoming

deficient in those nutrients.

If so, I would just keep a close eye on them.

Some studies have shown that taking

Omeprazolel may increase the risk of

bone fractures.

This is why you should

only use the lowest effective dose

and try to use it for the shortest possible time.

Also another important thing to know

is that Omeprazole has been linked

to an increased rate of (C.Diff)

Clostridium difficile diarrhea infections.

This is a serious bacterial infection that can

lead people to become hospitalized and

become very sick.

Doctors don't understand exactly why this happens but

there are some theories that omeprazole

changes the natural flora inside the gut

by changing the pH and this leads to a

weaker immune system,

so that C. Diff can come and colonize the gut

and cause problems.

How do you stop taking Omeprazole?

Another common thing that I see with patients,

but obviously people don't know about this

is that you cannot stop Omeprazole cold turkey.

Because it will make you feel awful!

Often, when people do they get a rebound in acid

production, which is even worse than when

they first started the drug.

So please do not stop Omeprazole just like that.

What I would suggest though is to halve

the dose that you're on for at least two weeks

and then after that halve it again

if you can or if not take it every other day,

every third day

alternating over another two to four weeks.

Until you can finally stop the medicine.

What can happen is if you stop it too quickly,

you'll get a rebound of acid

and you'll need to go back on it again.

Just slowly try and taper the

medicine down so that you're not

shocking your system - into a freak out

from not having the omeprazole.

The other trick that some people do is they

switch over to another type or class of antacids.

So using a what they call an h2 antagonist or

Ranitidine medicine can be quite useful,

when you are really try to get off Omeprazole.

What about taking Omeprazole during pregnancy?

Existing research has shown that omeprazole is

safe to take during pregnancy.

Studies from Sweden and Denmark showed that the

chance of birth defects in women using

Omeprazole was similar to the usual

birth defect rate in the population.

As always let me know in the comment

section what you enjoyed about this

video or what you'd like to learn more about.

You can also check out some of my

other health videos on gut health

and infections.

Thanks for stopping by :)