What is omeprazole?

Omeprazole (also known as Losec®, Losec MUPS®) reduces the amount of acid in the stomach, which reduces the symptoms of GORD as it is the acid coming back up the food pipe that causes pain & discomfort.

What is omeprazole available as?

  • Tablets: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg; these contain lactose
  • Dispersible tablets: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg; these contain sugar
  • Capsules: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg; these contain lactose
  • Liquid medicine can be specially ordered from your pharmacist

When should I give omeprazole?

  • Omeprazole is usually given once each day. This is usually in the morning.
  • Your doctor may have told you to give it twice a day. Give one dose in the morning and one in the evening. Ideally, these times are 10–12 hours apart.
  • Give the medicine at about the same time(s) each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.

How much should I give?

Your doctor will work out the amount of omeprazole (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.

What are the side effects of omeprazole?

The evidence to date suggests that omeprazole behaves similarly in children compared to adults. The following list is some of the known side effects in adults. A complete list and full details about this drug can be found by clicking the “Summary of product characteristics”.

Common side effects

(may affect up to 1 in 10 people)

  • Headache.
  • Effects on your stomach or gut: diarrhoea, stomach pain, constipation, wind (flatulence).
  • Feeling sick (nausea) or being sick (vomiting).
  • Benign polyps in the stomach.

Uncommon side effects

(may affect up to 1 in 100 people)

  • Swelling of the feet and ankles.
  • Disturbed sleep (insomnia).
  • Dizziness, tingling feelings such as “pins and needles”, feeling sleepy.
  • Spinning feeling (vertigo).
  • Changes in blood tests that check how the liver is working.
  • Skin rash, lumpy rash (hives) and itchy skin.
  • Generally feeling unwell and lacking energy.
  • Fractures of the hip, wrist or spine

Rare side effects

(may affect up to 1 in 1,000 people)

  • Blood problems such as a reduced number of white cells or platelets. This can cause weakness, bruising or make infections more likely.
  • Allergic reactions, sometimes very severe, including swelling of the lips, tongue and throat, fever, wheezing.
  • Low levels of sodium in the blood. This may cause weakness, being sick (vomiting) and cramps.
  • Feeling agitated, confused or depressed.
  • Taste changes.
  • Eyesight problems such as blurred vision.
  • Suddenly feeling wheezy or short of breath (bronchospasm).
  • Dry mouth
  • An inflammation of the inside of the mouth
  • An infection called “thrush” which can affect the gut and is caused by a fungus.
  • Liver problems, including jaundice which can cause yellow skin, dark urine, and tiredness.
  • Hair loss (alopecia)
  • Skin rash on exposure to sunshine
  • Joint pains (arthralgia) or muscle pains (myalgia)
  • Severe kidney problems (interstitial nephritis)
  • Increased sweating

Authored by: Dr Tim Ubhi

Published: 8th March 2019

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