Omeprazole magnesium is the generic for Prilosec; it is used to treat erosive esophagitis, duodenal and stomach ulcers, heartburn and other symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This medication is classified as a proton pump inhibitor, which functions to reduce the production of stomach acid, and typically is taken for two to four weeks. This drug can pass into breast milk; therefore, it should not be used by a mother who is breastfeeding. Some common side effects may occur with this medication.
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According to eMedTV.com, nearly 7 percent of individuals taking omeprazole during clinical trials experienced the frequently reported side effect of headaches. Headaches may be accompanied with some dizziness, and lying down periodically through the day may help to reduce these symptoms. These are not considered serious adverse reactions, and a pharmacist can recommend an over-the-counter analgesic such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help alleviate pain. However, contact your physician if the headaches persist or become worrisome.
Abdominal pain is another frequently reported side effect of taking this medication; excess gas or cramping may also occur with the pain. This medication should be taken exactly as instructed; for example, it is better on the stomach and more effective if you take it with a full glass of water, which may alleviate stomach discomfort and other digestive side effects. If stomach pain continues, then notify the physician so that adjustments can be made.
Nausea and Vomiting
According to PdrHealth.com, stomach upset in the form of nausea may occur with or without vomiting when you start this medication. This is not considered a serious side effect and should subside as your body adjusts to the medication. In addition to taking this medicine with water, taking it before meals may help reduce such gastrointestinal side effects. Consume lots of water to prevent dehydration. Notify your physician if these side effects persist or increase in severity.
Drugs.com states that Omeprazole may cause the side effect of diarrhea, which occurred in up to 3.7 percent of participants during clinical trials. This side effect may be associated with cramping and excess gas. Diarrhea can lead to dehydration; therefore, maintain your water intake if this side effect occurs. Contact the prescribing physician as soon as possible if the diarrhea persists or becomes worse. The dosage may need to be adjusted. On the other hand, taking this drug may lead to problems with having bowel movements. If constipation results, a stool softener may be helpful initially. Should this become a chronic problem, you should discuss it with your physician to reduce this effect.