How Does It Work?
Omeprazole is part of a group of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). The stomach contains tiny pumps (called proton pumps) that produce acid. The medication works by binding to these proton pumps, stopping the production of acid. It is very effective at decreasing acid production.
Effects of Omeprazole
There have been several studies looking at how well this drug treats several conditions.
In one study of omeprazole for duodenal ulcers (upper intestinal ulcers), ulcers were healed in 75 percent of people who took the drug after four weeks of treatment. Only 27 percent of people who were not taking omeprazole had their duodenal ulcer heal within four weeks. Studies have also shown that this medication can prevent duodenal ulcers from returning.
In a studies looking at omeprazole for gastric ulcer (stomach ulcer) treatment, the drug healed the stomach ulcers in up to 82.7 percent of the people within eight weeks; ulcers healed in 48.1 percent of people who were not taking it.
Studies have also shown that taking omeprazole (in combination with certain antibiotics) helps to eliminate H. pylori bacteria and to heal ulcers due to H. pylori.
GERD and Esophagitis
Studies have looked at using this drug for gastroesophageal reflux disease
). These studies have shown that up to 56 percent of people had complete relief from their GERD symptoms, compared to 14 percent of people not taking it. These studies also showed that omeprazole helped to heal esophagitis (damage to the esophagus) due to GERD and helped keep erosive esophagitis from returning.
Pathological Hypersecretory Conditions
Omeprazole has been studied in the treatment of several pathological hypersecretory conditions (where too much stomach acid is produced), such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. These studies showed that it is effective at decreasing the production of stomach acid and relieving symptoms.