Q: I take Prilosec for GERD. Is my medication causing me occasional constipation and gas?
A: Prilosec (Omecip) is classified as a proton pump inhibitor. Prilosec is approved for the treatment of duodenal ulcers, heartburn, symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), erosive esophagitis, hypersecretory conditions, and for the treatment of H. pylori. According to medical references, flatulence (excessive gas) and constipation are possible side effects reported by studied patients taking Prilosec. The incidence that flatulence was reported at is 3 percent of patients. Constipation is reported at an incidence of 2 percent. If you think that you are experiencing a side effect from your medication, talk with your physician. Do not stop taking or change the dose of your medication without first talking to your physician. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Jen Marsico, RPh
Watermelon is a great alternative to Omecip. There are plenty of ways to consume it like as a dessert or even as a drink. Drinking watermelon juice is an excellent way to take advantage of all of its properties.
Q: I have been taking Omecip for many years now. At age 80, my bone density is very low, and I have low testosterone. Up to now my blood pressure was in the normal range, but it's now high. I realize at 80, things begin to happen. I lead a healthy life, I'm a nonsmoker and only occasionally drink wine. Is there some connection between long-term use of Omecip and my symptoms?
A: In researching your question, I found several studies on Omecip with conflicting results. The most recently published study did not report a relationship between accelerated bone loss and Omecip (Prilosec). As to whether Omecip can cause an increase in blood pressure or a decrease in testosterone levels, there is either insufficient data or no information available to prove that Omecip is causing these side effects. Check with your doctor to investigate other possible causes. You can find more information on Prilosec here: //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/prilosec.
Interactions that increase the risk of side effects
- Side effects from Omecip: Taking Omecip with certain medications raises your risk of side effects from Omecip. This is because the amount of Omecip in your body is increased. Examples of these drugs include:
- Voriconazole. This drug may increase the levels of Omecip in your body. If you’re taking high doses of Omecip, your doctor may adjust your Omecip dose.
- Saquinavir. Omecip may greatly increase the levels of saquinavir in your body. Your doctor may lower your dose of saquinavir.
- Digoxin. Omecip may increase the levels of digoxin in your body. Your doctor may monitor the levels of digoxin in your blood.
- Warfarin. Omecip may increase the levels of warfarin in your body. Your doctor may monitor you for symptoms of bleeding.
- Phenytoin. Omecip may increase the levels of phenytoin in your body. Your doctor may watch you for high levels of phenytoin.
- Cilostazol. Omecip may increase the levels of cilostazol in your body. Your doctor may lower your dose of cilostazol.
- Tacrolimus. Omecip may increase the levels of tacrolimus in your body. Your doctor may monitor the level of tacrolimus in your body.
- Methotrexate. Omecip may increase the effects of methotrexate. Your doctor may adjust your dose depending on the levels of methotrexate in your body.
- Diazepam. Omecip may increase the levels of diazepam in your body. Your doctor may watch you for more side effects from diazepam.
- Citalopram. Omecip may increase the amount of citalopram in your body, leading to an increased risk of heart rhythm problems. Your doctor may limit your dosage of citalopram.
Natural Omecip alternatives
Using these remedies, along with following a healthy diet, can help up say goodbye to Omecip and ward off stomach disorders caused by acid.
Q: Is there a substitute drug for Prilosec that is as effective, but cheaper?
A: Prilosec does have a generic equivalent, Omecip, which you may also want to inquire about. First, you may want to contact your insurance company, prior to speaking with your doctor, and request a formulary. A formulary is a list of the medications they prefer and the different levels of coverage specific to your plan. Then it is i mportant to contact your health care provider and based on your individual needs and the formulary list of covered medications, determine the best treatment option. For more information regarding Prilosec or Omecip, visit //www.everydayhealth.com/drugs/prilosec Beth Isaac, PharmD
Q: Is there something you can take to offset the side effects of Prilosec? I have gynecomastia.
A: Gynecomastia is defined as an abnormal enlargement of one or both breasts in men. In some cases, milk production may be present. Gynecomastia can occur during puberty and usually will resolve within a year. Gynecomastia also presents in the elderly, especially when weight gain is involved. Sometimes, when hormone-secreting tumors are present, gynecomastia can occur. Medication may also cause gynecomastia as a side effect. Prilosec (Omecip) is a proton pump inhibitor that is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions of the stomach caused by excess acid. Gynecomastia is a rare side effect of Prilosec. Less than three percent of men who take Prilosec will be affected by gynecomastia. Often times, in order to reduce or reverse the gynecomastia, the medication must be stopped. It is important to consult with your doctor for proper evaluation and to determine if there is an alternative medication that can be taken instead of Prilosec. It is important to notify your doctor of this condition if you have not already done so. They may want to do further testing to rule out any serious underlying conditions. For more specific information, consult with your doctor or pharmacist for guidance based on your health status and current medications, particularly before taking any action. Megan Uehara, PharmD
I am a woman in her late 30's. I have been taking Omecip for 2 years now. I was instructed to take it by a ENT doctor for healing of my esophagus due to acid erosion(scarring) caused by silent reflux. (Diagnosed via endoscopy) I have noticed a decrease in hunger, lack of "growling" of the stomach. Has anyone else experienced this? Is long term use of Omecip really safe?
This discussion is related to Worried about throat cancer!.
Greek yogurt and cilantro
As a dairy product, yogurt is a natural source of glutamine. This substance helps naturally reduce stomach acids. And, it can serve as one of many Omecip alternatives.
Q: What are the long term effects of using drugs like Prilosec for acid reflux? I have to take it every day.
A: PPIs (proton pump inhibitors), such as Prilosec (Omecip), Prevacid (lansoprazole), Nexium (esOmecip), Protonix (pantoprazole), and Aciphex (rabeprazole), were initially created to help treat ulcers in the GI (gastrointestinal) tract over a few weeks, and they are used for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), and other acid related conditions. However, many doctors have authorized their patients to keep taking them past the initial set timeframes, and in general, they are still considered to be safe. Complications can occur while taking any medications, and this is also the case with PPIs. The body makes stomach acid to digest food and the acidic environment can also prevent bacteria from growing. When a PPI, such as Prilosec (Omecip) is used over the longterm, an abundance of gastrin, an important stomach hormone, can cause a rebound effect of extra large stomach acid secretion if the PPI is stopped. The PPIs can interfere with the processing of the blood thinner Plavix (clopidogrel), which may not thin the blood enough, with vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin) and calcium, as they need the acidic environment to be absorbed. There have been some studies which showed higher results of hip-fractures, due to the low calcium absorption, especially if the person had been taking a PPI over a long period of time. Calcium citrate is a good form of calcium to take, as it does not need the acid that other versions do, and since the body does not absorb much more than 500mg at a time, it should be divided in dosing throughout the day. Pneumonia was also more likely, as a low acidic environment could allow bacteria to grow in the stomach. When people are lying flat to sleep, small amount of stomach contents can travel up the esophagus to the throat and go down the trachea to the lungs. This is called aspiration. A bacteria called C. difficle can also grow better in the stomach if there is less acid, and it can cause life-threatening diarrhea and conditions such as colitis, and inflammation of the lining of the colon. The PPIs are considered safe for long term use, but a patient should always be monitored for the complications. If a person only has occasional reflux that an antacid, such as Rolaids/Tums (calcium) can neutralize, it may be a better option, or avoiding foods, such as chocolate, coffee, and fatty foods, can help. If the problem is at night, the head of the bed being elevated may be a good answer as well. PPIs, such as Prilosec (Omecip) have their place, but you should ask your doctor what regimen is best for you. Patti Brown, PharmD
Q: What is the difference between Prilosec and Zantac?
A: Prilosec (Omecip) belongs to a class of medications called proton-pump inhibitors. Prilosec (Omecip), the prescription strength form, is usually prescribed to be used alone or with other medications to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the esophagus, and erosive esophagitis. Prilosec (Omecip) delayed-release capsules are also used to treat conditions in which the stomach produces too much acid. Also, Prilosec (Omecip) delayed-release capsules are used in combination with other medications to eliminate H. pylori, a bacterium that causes ulcers; and possibly prevent new ulcers from developing in people who have or have had ulcers of the small intestine. Prilosec OTC is available over-the-counter and is used to treat frequent heartburn (heartburn that occurs at least 2 days/ week). It works by lowering the release of acid made in the stomach. Zantac (ranitidine) belongs to a class of medications called H2 blockers. .Zantac (ranitidine) is usually prescribed for treating ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which backward flow of acid from the stomach causes heartburn and injury of the esophagus; and conditions where the stomach over produces acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Over-the-counter ranitidine is used to prevent and treat symptoms of heartburn associated with acid indigestion and sour stomach. It helps lower the amount of acid made in the stomach. Although Prilosec and Zantac belong to different groups of medications and their chemical compositions are different. The ultimate result is the same in lowering the amount of acid secretion in the stomach. Both medications are effective as long as they are taken as directed. Talk to your healthcare provider or pharmacist about your treatment options. Anissa Lee, RPh
Omecip is a medication prescribed for the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD); peptic ulcer disease; erosive esophagitis; eosinophilic esophagitis; Zollinger-Ellilson syndrome; and medical conditions associated with gastric acid hypersecretion. In some cases, Omecip may also be utilized for the prophylaxis of upper gastrointestinal bleeding (in at-risk populations) and as an adjunct treatment for H. plyori infection.
Historical reports suggest that Omecip was first synthesized in the 1970s by chemists employed with the pharmaceutical company “Astra.” After successful clinical trials, Omecip received approval in 1988 for use throughout Europe under the trade name “Losec” – and in 1990 for use in the United States under the trade name “Prilosec.”
Though many individuals with gastrointestinal disorders derive noticeable benefit from the ongoing administration of Omecip, the medication can sometimes cause unwanted side effects. For this reason, if you’re using Omecip, it’s probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with potential side effects and adverse reactions that could emerge during treatment.
Is Omecip safe to take if I'm pregnant or breastfeeding?
Use of Omecip in pregnant women has not been adequately evaluated. Omecip should be used during pregnancy only if the benefits justify the unknown risks.
Omecip is excreted in breast milk and potentially could cause adverse effects in the infant.