Omeprazol: When and How Should We Take It?


Omeprazole is a drug used as an antacid. It is usually used to treat different pathologies associated with gastric acid such as ulcers (peptic or duodenal), gastroesophageal reflux, functional dyspepsia, etc. It is also effective in preventing gastropathy from some drugs, as is the case for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen) in patients with risk factors.

This is one of the indispensable medicines we find in any home, along with ibuprofen and paracetamol. It’s the most prescribed drug after the latter. Despite everything, many people are unaware of their role and do not use it properly, which can lead to certain health risks. Here’s your question about when and how to take Omeprazole.

The Most Common Mistakes When Taking Omeprazole

Many people take omeprazole, but they don’t do it properly and we can find many common mistakes that can be avoided. For example, some patients consume it after copious meals or use it to avoid the burning of alcohol. Others do it as soon as they get up, accompanied by a glass of milk.

Some forget to take the dose and wait the next day to do so or, once they remember, take it by making it practically match the next one. In the case of patients who are already well, some of them decide to leave the medication without more.

It should be made clear that omeprazole does not serve to combat the burning of the stomach after abundant meals or after consuming alcohol. It is true that it slows down the formation of acid but does not neutralize the originator with meals. For this need, other options include taking some kind of soothing infusions such as tea or chamomile, or ingesting antacids such as Gaviscon or Almax.

Indeed, omeprazole is an antacid, but that doesn’t mean we should abuse it. Without going further, its indiscriminate use is one of the mistakes we usually make more commonly. It wasn’t designed to relieve heavy digestion or to protect against the intake of different pills, with our doctor solely responsible for determining when, how, and for how long we should take it.

In such cases, what is most effective is precisely to avoid excess meals. Try to control the consumption of certain foods such as chocolate, coffee, spices, gas soft drinks, and citrus fruits, and your stomach will thank you.

The ideal way to take it is to ingest the entire capsule in the morning, without chewing or crushing, with the help of a glass of water or juice, and preferably fasting, at least half an hour or an hour before breakfast.

In this sense, it is not appropriate to use soft drinks or milk, nor should it be eaten with food. The reason is very simple, the absorption of the medicine is slower and therefore will be less effective.

Tips for Taking Omeprazole

If the person shows difficulty swallowing the capsule, the contents of the drink (water or juice) can be opened and poured, but should not be chewed, broken, or crushed. If we forget to take the dose, we must do so as soon as possible. Only if the time has come to take the next one will it be preferable to skip it.

Treatment should not be suspended on its initiative until the doctor says otherwise. If the symptoms go away and the patient feels better, stopping taking it could cause symptoms to return.

This is a fairly safe medicine, although it is not perfect and has some side effects, curiously long term. Thus, if precautions are not taken and abused, it is possible to encounter adverse symptoms in the form of vitamin B12 deficiency and iron, osteoporotic fractures, chronic kidney disease, or enteric infections.

In addition, the doctor may prohibit it in cases of hypersensitivity to some of the components of omeprazole or in patients who take antiretroviral nelfinavir when it decreases its effectiveness.

One thing we usually do wrong is to go to the drugs we have at home as soon as we feel bad. This is the case with omeprazole, although it is often necessary to wait a little until the symptom is sent on its own.

The administration of omeprazole is not contraindicated in patients who consume moderate alcohol. However, in cases of chronic alcoholism in which a vitamin B12 deficiency occurs, the patient should be placed under the supervision of his doctor. The professional may counteract the effects of the medicine by prescribing certain vitamin B12 supplements.

Whenever you can, it is better to consult your doctor or pharmacist to avoid adverse reactions. Some patients are unaware of how to take omeprazole with other medications and it is convenient to be well-informed before taking risks.

In the case, for example, of medicines such as levothyroxine, used by patients with thyroid problems, the most successful thing is to first take this fasting drug, at least an hour before breakfast, and wait about 20 minutes to take omeprazole.