Omeprazole is a drug classified as a protein pump inhibitor, or PPI. PPIs are commonly used to treat a variety of conditions affecting the upper part of your digestive tract including your esophagus, stomach and first part of your small intestine. If you are taking omeprazole, talk to your doctor about the proper dosage and possible side effects associated with the drug.
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Omeprazole, along with most other PPIs, can cause a severe magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium levels can cause muscle spasms, irregular heartbeats and seizures. To prevent these effects, omeprazole is sometimes combined with magnesium. The new compound, omeprazole magnesium, is still capable of treating digestive disorders, but is less likely to negatively affect magnesium levels.
One possible use for omeprazole magnesium is to treat heartburn. If you suffer from frequent heartburn, which is characterized by two or more episodes of heartburn per week, then you should talk to your doctor about omeprazole magnesium. Reflux of acid from the stomach or a damaged esophagus can cause heartburn. A 14-day study published in the April 2005 issue of the “Journal of Clinical Pharmacy and Therapeutics" indicates that taking one 20 mg tablet of omeprazole magnesium can prevent heartburn for at least 24 hours.
Increased Stomach Secretions
In some cases, your stomach overproduces acidic secretions. If you suffer from conditions such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome or multiple endocrine adenomas, your stomach is producing excess secretions that can lead to multiple gastric ulcers or damage to the stomach lining. You can use omeprazole magnesium to help lessen the production of gastric acid, Drugs.com explains. The required dose of omeprazole magnesium starts off at 60 mg once per day. The dosage can be increased if symptoms do not respond. The highest possible dose is 120 mg three times a day. However, you should talk to your doctor before administering such a high dose of omeprazole magnesium.
Omeprazole magnesium is used to treat peptic ulcer, which are ulcers of the digestive tract. Commonly, peptic ulcers arise in the stomach or duodenum, which is the first part of your small intestine. Often, ulcers of the digestive system are caused by bacteria called Helicobacter pylori. Treatment of these ulcers often requires the addition of an antibiotic to eradicate the bacterial infection. Duodenal ulcers require at least 20 mg per day, Drugs.com notes. If the ulcer does not resolve, then you may increase the dosage to 40 mg one per day. Gastric, or stomach, ulcers require 40 mg of omeprazole magnesium once a day for 4 to 8 weeks. Omeprazole magnesium is especially effective in treating ulcers that have proven resistant against other medications. If you have an ulcer associated with an H. pylori infection, you require a slightly more complex treatment regimen. Treatment lasts for approximately 28 days. The first 14 days, you need to take 40 mg of omeprazole magnesium per day along with three daily doses of 500 mg of clarithromycin, an antibiotic. For days 15 to 28, take only 20 mg of omeprazole magnesium daily just before eating breakfast. Always discuss your dosage with your health care provider.