Prilosec® Over the Counter
Prilosec® (omeprazole), a drug to treat persistent heartburn, comes in over-the-counter as well as prescription forms. It is meant to be used to treat heartburn occurring twice a week or more often, and is not for immediate heartburn relief. The content of the over-the-counter medication is different from that in the prescription medication.
Prilosec® OTC is a delayed-release tablet which:
- Should be taken once daily before eating in the morning
- Should be taken for 14 days in a row, and no longer
- Can be used for more 14-day treatments every four months if necessary
- Should not be taken more often than every four months without talking to the doctor
- Should not be crushed, split open, or chewed, but should be taken whole
It is important to take omeprazole just as directed by your doctor or on the package. Neither more nor less should be taken and it should not be used for longer than the package label states.
Nonprescription or over-the-counter omeprazole should not be used for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms. If your symptoms do not abate after 14 days, or if you need to repeat the treatments sooner than every four months, you should call your doctor. It is important not to take this medication for longer or more often than is stated on the package label.
Prescription Vs OTC Forms of Prilosec®
Both forms of Prilosec® are in a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Their purpose is to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. They do this by inhibiting the activity of the stomach's acid-producing cells, called proton pumps.
The contents, the form of delivery, and the treatment purposes of the two kinds of medication are different. While nonprescription Prilosec® comes in tablet form, and is used to treat frequent heartburn (occurring at least two days a week), prescription Prilosec® may be contained in:
- Powder form to be mixed with water
- Delayed release capsules
Prescription Prilosec® also:
- Contains sodium bicarbonate, which decreases the amount of acid in the stomach and helps the active ingredient to work faster
- May be prescribed for 10 to 14 days to eliminate H. pylori (the bacteria responsible for most ulcers) or for four to eight weeks or longer for treating other illnesses.
- Might require you to reduce the amount of milk and other foods and liquids containing a lot of calcium
Contact a Prilosec® Attorney
Prilosec® taken in high doses or for prolonged periods of time has been associated with an increased risk of fractures of the spine, hip and wrist.
If you have had such fractures and have taken Prilosec®, you should contact a Prilosec® attorney. An experienced lawyer may be able to help you recover financial compensation for your injuries and loss. For more information or to schedule an evaluation of a potential case, contact our Prilosec® lawyers today.
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