What is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole belongs to a group of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPI), which are licensed for the treatment of acid reflux. The branded version of this medication is called Losec, which is manufactured by AstraZeneca.
How does Omeprazole work?
Omeprazole works to control symptoms of acid reflux by reducing acid production in the stomach directly. It does this by blocking an enzyme called a ‘proton pump’, which is involved in the final step of stomach acid formation. Omeprazole works rapidly to control acidity and is effective for up to 24 hours. In some cases it may take up to 4 days to exert its full effect.
How do I take Omeprazole?
Omeprazole 20mg capsules should be taken in the morning at least one hour before food for best absorption. The capsules are enteric coated to ensure they do not break down in the stomach before the medication can produce its desired effect, for this reason Omeprazole capsules should be swallowed whole with water and they should not be crushed or chewed. For those individuals who have difficulty swallowing medication, the omeprazole capsules can be split open and the contents mixed with water or juice before drinking immediately. If there is no improvement in symptoms after 14 days of taking this medication or symptoms are still present after 28 days of treatment, you should see your GP to discuss alternate options.