Omeprazole OTC is a medicine approved for treating heartburn that occurs at least twice a week. It is available over the counter and comes in tablet and capsule form. The drug is not intended for rapid heartburn relief; instead, it is taken once a day to help prevent heartburn. Some of the side effects that may occur with this drug include abdominal pain, headaches, and upper respiratory infections.
What Is Omeprazole OTC?
Omeprazole OTC (omeprazole magnesium or Prilosec OTC®) is an over-the-counter medication used to treat frequent heartburn (occurring at least twice a week) in adults.
(Click What Is Omeprazole Used For? for more information, including possible off-label uses and uses for prescription-strength omeprazole.)
Who Makes It?
Omeprazole OTC is made by several different manufacturers.
How Does Omeprazole OTC Work?
Omeprazole OTC is part of a group of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The stomach contains tiny pumps (called proton pumps) that produce acid. Omeprazole OTC works by binding to these proton pumps, stopping the production of acid. It is very effective at decreasing acid production.
When and How to Take It
Some general considerations for when and how to take omeprazole OTC include the following:
- The medication comes in tablet or capsule form. It is usually taken by mouth once a day.
- Omeprazole OTC is not intended for rapid heartburn relief, as it can take one to four days to start working.
- Omeprazole OTC has a special coating that prevents stomach acid from destroying the medication. Do not break, crush, or chew the tablets.
- For the medication to work properly, it must be taken as prescribed. Omeprazole OTC will not work if you stop taking it.