Omeprazole is the generic name for the brand drug Prilosec. The medication is prescribed to treat conditions that have to do with the oesophagus, stomach and intestines. This includes gastro-oseophageal reflux disease (GERD), H. pylori infections and particular ulcers. Omeprazole works to reduce the amount of acid in a person's stomach resulting in heartburn. Prilosec capsules are available by prescription and taken up to two times daily. There is also Prilosec OTC (over-the-counter), which is available without a prescription. Such as the case with most medications, there are a number of possible side effects that Omeprazole may cause.
The common side effects of Omeprazole include: headaches, stomach upset or pain, dizziness, back aches and diarrhoea or constipation.
Serious side effects of Omeprazole are unlikely but include: depression, anxiety, anger, delusions and states of confusion.
An outbreak of the skin such as a rash, hives, itching and swelling can be symptoms of an allergic reaction to the drug.
Uncommon side effects of Omeprazole consist of: changes in appetite, weight fluctuation, hair loss, sleeping problems, disturbances in vision, anaemia, vertigo, ringing in the ears, change in taste and the onset of unexplained urinary tract infections.
Individuals who have particular drug allergies and certain pre-existing medical conditions (like liver disease) are not advised to take the medication.
Even though Prilosec OTC is available without a script from the doctor, people experiencing chronic heartburn, having trouble swallowing, recurrent chest pain, nausea or vomiting, dramatic weight loss and blood or discoloured stools, should seek the help of a doctor prior to using Prilosec OTC.