Thursday, 3rd October, 2019
What is omeprazole used for?
Omeprazole is a medicine that helps to lower excess stomach acid.
Indigestion and acid reflux
Too much stomach acid can irritate the lining of the stomach leading to indigestion symptoms. If the contents of the stomach bubble back up towards your throat and mouth (something called acid reflux) then the acid irritation can cause heartburn. Omeprazole can reduce the amount of stomach acid that would be able to cause any irritation in these situations.
Prolonged irritation by stomach acid may increase the chance of stomach ulcers developing. And continued exposure to stomach acid can stop the ulcers from healing and may even make them worse. Omeprazole allows ulcers to heal by reducing exposure to acid and can also play a part in preventing ulcers from forming if there is a risk of this happening.
Omeprazole and alcohol/food
It’s OK to drink alcohol in moderation when you’re taking omeprazole. Alcohol can increase the amount of stomach acid your body makes, so too much alcohol can irritate your stomach and lead to your symptoms getting worse.
Food that’s rich and very oily or spicy can lead to your symptoms getting worse so try to avoid meals like this. Eating smaller, more frequent meals can also help.
Omeprazole and pregnancy
Omeprazole is usually safe for most women to use during pregnancy, although it’s always best to first try and control symptoms with changes to your lifestyle. Discuss with your doctor if you’re already taking omeprazole when you find out you’re pregnant. It’s common for women who are pregnant to experience indigestion and acid reflux during their pregnancy and the doctor will often try alternative treatments like low-sodium antacids before opting for omeprazole.
Omeprazole common side effects
Most people who take omeprazole won’t have any side effects. If you are affected by the following side effects, here are some ideas about how to cope:
If you'd like to learn more about omeprazole, the NHS has a wealth of information that you can read here or check out our Never Miss a Does YouTube series!