Omeprazole, Omeprazole DR
Omeprazole (oh MEP ra zole) oral capsule is prescribed for certain ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions. It’s a generic medication and isn’t available in a brand-name version. Omeprazole belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
Medically reviewed by Brittany A. Duke, PharmD, RPh on April 17, 2023
Written by Alex Brewer, PharmD, MBA
Specifically, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved omeprazole oral capsule to:
- treat ulcers in the stomach or small intestine
- treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms, such as heartburn, for up to 4 weeks
- treat conditions related to high levels of stomach acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
- treat and heal erosive esophagitis caused by GERD
- treat Helicobacter pylori infection (often called H. pylori), with other medications
Omeprazole oral capsule is a delayed-release medication. This means the capsule releases the drug in your body a certain amount of time after you take it.
This article describes omeprazole oral capsule’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Below you’ll find coupon options for omeprazole.
Note: Omeprazole oral capsule was previously available as the brand-name drug Prilosec, but Prilosec is no longer available. (Prilosec OTC is available, which comes in different forms that don’t include an oral capsule.)
Side effects of omeprazole
Omeprazole may cause mild or serious side effects. More common mild side effects of omeprazole oral capsule and possible serious side effects are listed below. This article doesn’t include all possible side effects of the drug. Side effects can vary based on your age and overall health and any other medications you take.
To learn more about omeprazole oral capsule’s side effects, see this article or ask your doctor or pharmacist. You can also read the prescribing information for omeprazole oral capsule.
Mild side effects
More common mild side effects reported with omeprazole oral capsule are listed below.
With many drugs, mild side effects may go away within a few days or a couple of weeks. If the side effects are bothersome, tell your doctor or pharmacist. They may be able to suggest ways to manage them.
Omeprazole oral capsule’s mild side effects include:
- belly pain
- nausea and vomiting
- heartburn that’s new or worsening
- upper respiratory infection, such as the common cold
- mild allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Warnings for omeprazole” section below.
Serious side effects
Serious side effects of omeprazole oral capsule are listed below. With many drugs, serious side effects are possible but not common.
If you have serious side effects from this drug, call your doctor right away. If you’re having severe symptoms or a medical emergency, call 911 or a local emergency number.
Omeprazole oral capsule’s serious side effects include:
- a kidney problem called sudden tubulointerstitial nephritis
- bone fractures, with long-term use
- Clostridioides difficile infection (a bacterial infection often called C. diff) and severe diarrhea
- lupus (a condition related to overactivity of the immune system)
- low blood magnesium level
- low vitamin B12 level, with long-term use
- severe allergic reaction*
* For details about this side effect, see the “Warnings for omeprazole” section below.
Uses of omeprazole
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approves prescription drugs such as omeprazole for certain conditions. Approved uses for omeprazole oral capsule are described below.
Use for certain ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions
Doctors may prescribe omeprazole oral capsule for treating certain ulcers and other gastrointestinal conditions.
Specifically, omeprazole is prescribed to:
- treat ulcers in the stomach or small intestine in adults
- treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) symptoms for up to 4 weeks, in adults and children ages 2 years and older
- treat conditions related to high levels of stomach acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison (ZE) syndrome, in adults
- treat and heal erosive esophagitis caused by GERD, in adults and children ages 2 years and older
- treat Helicobacter pylori infection (often called H. pylori) in adults, along with other medications
Omeprazole is usually prescribed as a short-term treatment. But it’s also prescribed long term for some conditions, such as ZE syndrome.
The conditions and symptoms omeprazole treats are usually related to excess stomach acid. Too much stomach acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This can result in ulcers, which are painful sores in your stomach and intestinal lining. Excess stomach acid can also cause heartburn.
Omeprazole is prescribed together with certain antibiotics, including amoxicillin and clarithromycin (Cipro) for treating H. pylori infection. H. pylori refers to a bacterial infection that damages your stomach’s protective lining.
Common questions about omeprazole
Below you’ll find answers to a few commonly asked questions about omeprazole oral capsule.
How does omeprazole compare with other similar drugs, such as pantoprazole or esomeprazole?
Omeprazole, pantoprazole (Protonix), esomeprazole (Nexium), and lansoprazole (Prevacid) are all proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drugs. These drugs work the same way, and are used to treat some of the same conditions.
Omeprazole, lansoprazole, and esomeprazole are available over-the-counter (OTC), as well as with a prescription. But pantoprazole is only available with a prescription.
Other drugs that are similar to omeprazole include famotidine (Pepcid AC) and ranitidine. These drugs are available with or without a prescription.
Talk with your pharmacist or doctor if you’d like to learn more about how omeprazole compares with other drugs that may treat your condition.
When should I take my omeprazole dose? Is there a best time of day?
There’s no best time of day to take omeprazole oral capsule. However, it’s best to take omeprazole right before a meal. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions.
If you miss an omeprazole dose, take it as soon as you remember. But if it’s nearly time for your next dose, skip the missed dose. Take your next dose at the regular time. Do not take more than one dose of omeprazole at once.
Does omeprazole cause long-term side effects?
Yes, in some cases, omeprazole oral capsule may cause long-term side effects. These can occur if you take the drug for a long time, or may last for a while after you’ve stopped taking the drug.
Examples of long-term side effects include:
- a kidney problem called sudden tubulointerstitial nephritis
- bone fractures
- low blood magnesium level
- low vitamin B12 level
Talk with your doctor to learn more about these side effects and how to best manage them. You can also ask them how long these side effects of omeprazole may last.
Is weight gain or cancer a possible side effect of omeprazole?
No, neither weight gain nor cancer was reported in omeprazole’s studies.
However, there have been reports of weight gain in people taking omeprazole since the drug was approved for use. These reports happened outside of clinical studies. So, it’s not known for certain whether omeprazole or other factors caused weight gain. Changes in body weight are often a result of more than one factor.
There have also been reports of stomach or intestinal tumors in people using omeprazole long term to treat Zollinger-Ellison (ZE) syndrome. However, stomach and intestinal tumors are known to occur with ZE syndrome. So, it’s thought that the condition caused the tumors, not omeprazole.
Talk with your doctor or pharmacist if you have concerns about weight gain or cancer, and whether any of your medications could cause either side effect.
How does omeprazole work? And how long does it take to start working?
Omeprazole belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). It works by reducing the amount of acid your stomach makes.
Omeprazole often begins working within 1 to 4 days to treat symptoms such as heartburn. But it may take several weeks to relieve your symptoms.
Talk with your doctor or a pharmacist if you’d like to learn more about how omeprazole works, including how long it takes to work for your condition.
Can omeprazole capsules be crushed, split, or chewed?
No, you should not crush, split, or chew omeprazole capsules. Omeprazole capsules should be swallowed whole.
You can open omeprazole capsules and sprinkle the pellets (the capsule’s contents) onto one tablespoon of applesauce. The pellets should be mixed into the applesauce and consumed right away, followed by a full glass of water. Do not chew the pellet mixture.
If you’re struggling to swallow omeprazole capsules, talk with your pharmacist or doctor. They may suggest using another form of omeprazole that may be easier to take, such as omeprazole disintegrating tablets. (Omeprazole disintegrating tablets dissolve in your mouth without water.)
Dosage of omeprazole
The dosage of omeprazole oral capsule your doctor prescribes may vary based on your condition and certain other factors. Talk with your doctor about the dosage you should take and how to take it.
Omeprazole oral capsule is taken by mouth.
Your doctor will talk with you about how to take omeprazole oral capsule. They’ll explain how much to take and how often. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation.
Omeprazole oral capsule should be taken with food, just before a meal.
See the “Common questions about omeprazole” section for information on missed doses and the best time to take this drug.
Overdose of omeprazole
You should not take more omeprazole than your doctor prescribes. For some drugs, doing so may lead to serious side effects or overdose.
If you think you’ve taken too much omeprazole, call your doctor or pharmacist right away. Or you could call 800-222-1222 to speak with someone at America’s Poison Centers. You can also use its online resource. If you have concerning symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number immediately. You can also go to the closest emergency room.
Pregnancy or breastfeeding and omeprazole
Information about omeprazole and pregnancy and breastfeeding is described below.
Omeprazole and pregnancy
It’s not known whether omeprazole oral capsule should be taken during pregnancy. If you’re planning a pregnancy or can become pregnant, talk with your doctor before using this medication.
Omeprazole and breastfeeding
It’s not known whether omeprazole oral capsule should be taken while breastfeeding. If you’re currently breastfeeding or planning to do so, talk with your doctor before using this medication.
Interactions of omeprazole
For some medications, certain things may affect how the drug works. These include getting vaccines, consuming alcohol or certain foods, or taking the drug with other medications. This effect is called a drug interaction.
Before you take omeprazole, ask your doctor to check for possible interactions. They can check for interactions these items may cause with omeprazole. Be sure to tell them about any of the following you take or use:
- prescription medications
- over-the-counter medications
- vitamins, herbs, or supplements
To learn about drug-condition interactions, see the “Warnings for omeprazole” section below.
Warnings for omeprazole
Omeprazole should not be taken or should be taken cautiously by certain people. Precautions for taking this drug are described below.
Omeprazole could cause harm to people with certain health conditions. This effect is called a drug-condition interaction. Other factors can also affect whether omeprazole oral capsule is a safe option for you.
Tell your doctor about your overall health and any past health conditions before you use omeprazole oral capsules. Health conditions and other factors you and your doctor should discuss include:
- liver condition, such as alcohol-related fatty liver disease
- low blood calcium, magnesium, or potassium level
- low vitamin B12 level
Omeprazole can cause an allergic reaction in some people. Severe allergic reactions are rare but possible.
If you’ve had an allergic reaction to omeprazole or any of its ingredients, your doctor will likely not prescribe omeprazole. They can tell you about medications that are safer options for you.
A mild allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
A severe allergic reaction may cause the following symptoms:
- swelling under your skin, usually in your hands, feet, eyelids, or lips
- swelling of your mouth, throat, or tongue, which can cause breathing problems
If you have an allergic reaction to omeprazole, call your doctor right away. If you have severe symptoms, call 911 or a local emergency number.
You may be able to save money on your prescription for omeprazole oral capsule by using our Perks discount coupons. These can be found at the end of this article.
If you have questions about how to pay for omeprazole, talk with your doctor or pharmacist. You can also learn more about the cost of omeprazole in this article.
Note: Optum Perks coupons cannot be used with insurance copays or benefits.
What to ask your doctor
This article describes omeprazole oral capsule’s uses and dosage, ways to save on cost, and more. Let your doctor know if you have questions about omeprazole or would like more details about it.
Here’s a list of some possible questions you may want to ask your doctor:
- Can omeprazole be used for gastritis?
- How does omeprazole compare to other drugs that can be used for my condition?
- Am I at a higher risk of side effects from omeprazole based on my health history?
- Should I make dietary changes while taking omeprazole?
- If I’m still having heartburn symptoms after taking omeprazole for several weeks, what are my treatment options?
- Food and Drug Administration. (2023). Orange Book: Approved drug products with therapeutic equivalence evaluations. https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cder/ob/index.cfm
- Omeprazole- omeprazole capsule, delayed release. (2023). https://nctr-crs.fda.gov/fdalabel/services/spl/set-ids/5bda70ae-c3f6-450b-892f-6814795dd6ca/spl-doc
Disclaimer: Optum Perks has made every effort to make certain that all information is factually correct, comprehensive, and up to date. However, this article should not be used as a substitute for the knowledge and expertise of a licensed healthcare professional. You should always consult your doctor or another healthcare professional before taking any medication. The drug information contained herein is subject to change and is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. The absence of warnings or other information for a given drug does not indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective, or appropriate for all patients or all specific uses.
- Capsule Delayed Release
- 5 Capsules
Omeprazole Delayed-Release Capsules
(oh MEP ra zole)
Brand Names: US
What is this drug used for?
It is used to treat or prevent GI (gastrointestinal) ulcers caused by infection. It is used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD; acid reflux). It is used to treat heartburn. It is used to treat syndromes caused by lots of stomach acid. It is used to treat or prevent ulcers of the swallowing tube (esophagus). It may be given to you for other reasons. Talk with the doctor.
What do I need to tell my doctor BEFORE I take this drug?
If you have an allergy to omeprazole or any other part of this drug. If you are allergic to this drug; any part of this drug; or any other drugs, foods, or substances. Tell your doctor about the allergy and what signs you had. If you have any of these health problems: Black or bloody stools; heartburn with light-headedness, sweating, or dizziness; chest pain; shoulder pain with shortness of breath; pain that spreads to the arms, neck, or shoulders; light-headedness; sweating a lot; throwing up blood; or trouble or pain swallowing food. If you are taking any of these drugs: Atazanavir, clopidogrel, nelfinavir, rifampin, rilpivirine, or St. John's wort. This is not a list of all drugs or health problems that interact with this drug. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about all of your drugs (prescription or OTC, natural products, vitamins) and health problems. You must check to make sure that it is safe for you to take this drug with all of your drugs and health problems. Do not start, stop, or change the dose of any drug without checking with your doctor.
What are some things I need to know or do while I take this drug?
Tell all of your health care providers that you take this drug. This includes your doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and dentists. This drug may affect certain lab tests. Tell all of your health care providers and lab workers that you take this drug. This drug may raise the chance of hip, spine, and wrist fractures in people with weak bones (osteoporosis). The chance may be higher if you take this drug in high doses or for longer than a year, or if you are older than 50 years old. Use care if you have risks for soft, brittle bones (osteoporosis). Some of these risks include drinking alcohol, smoking, taking steroids, taking drugs to treat seizures, or having family members with osteoporosis. Talk with your doctor about your risks of osteoporosis. Rarely, low magnesium levels have happened in people taking drugs like this one for at least 3 months. Most of the time, this happened after 1 year of treatment. You will need to have blood work if you take this drug for a long time or with certain other drugs. Rarely, long-term treatment (for instance longer than 3 years) with drugs like this one has caused low vitamin B-12 levels. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of low vitamin B-12 levels like shortness of breath, dizziness, abnormal heartbeat, muscle weakness, pale skin, tiredness, mood changes, or numbness or tingling in the arms or legs. Do not take this drug for longer than you were told by your doctor. Lupus has happened with this drug, as well as lupus that has gotten worse in people who already have it. Tell your doctor if you have lupus. Call your doctor right away if you have signs of lupus like a rash on the cheeks or other body parts, sunburn easy, muscle or joint pain, chest pain or shortness of breath, or swelling in the arms or legs. Very bad pancreas, liver, and white blood cell problems have happened in people who were taking this drug. Rarely, these have been fatal. Talk with the doctor if you have questions. If you are of Asian descent, use this drug with care. You could have more side effects. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant, plan on getting pregnant, or are breast-feeding. You will need to talk about the benefits and risks to you and the baby.
What are some side effects that I need to call my doctor about right away?
WARNING/CAUTION: Even though it may be rare, some people may have very bad and sometimes deadly side effects when taking a drug. Tell your doctor or get medical help right away if you have any of the following signs or symptoms that may be related to a very bad side effect: Signs of an allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Signs of low magnesium levels like mood changes, muscle pain or weakness, muscle cramps or spasms, seizures, shakiness, not hungry, very bad upset stomach or throwing up, or a heartbeat that does not feel normal. Signs of kidney problems like unable to pass urine, change in how much urine is passed, blood in the urine, or a big weight gain. Signs of infection like fever, chills, very bad sore throat, ear or sinus pain, cough, more sputum or change in color of sputum, pain with passing urine, mouth sores, or wound that will not heal. Signs of liver problems like dark urine, feeling tired, not hungry, upset stomach or stomach pain, light-colored stools, throwing up, or yellow skin or eyes. Signs of a pancreas problem (pancreatitis) like very bad stomach pain, very bad back pain, or very bad upset stomach or throwing up. Very bad dizziness or passing out. Bone pain. A big weight loss. Feeling very tired or weak. This drug may raise the chance of a severe form of diarrhea called C diff-associated diarrhea (CDAD). Call your doctor right away if you have stomach pain or cramps, very loose or watery stools, or bloody stools. Do not try to treat diarrhea without first checking with your doctor. A very bad skin reaction (Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis) may happen. It can cause very bad health problems that may not go away, and sometimes death. Get medical help right away if you have signs like red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin (with or without fever); red or irritated eyes; or sores in your mouth, throat, nose, or eyes.
What are some other side effects of this drug?
All drugs may cause side effects. However, many people have no side effects or only have minor side effects. Call your doctor or get medical help if any of these side effects or any other side effects bother you or do not go away: Headache. Upset stomach or throwing up. Stomach pain or diarrhea. Gas. These are not all of the side effects that may occur. If you have questions about side effects, call your doctor. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-332-1088. You may also report side effects at https://www.fda.gov/medwatch.
How is this drug best taken?
Use this drug as ordered by your doctor. Read all information given to you. Follow all instructions closely. Take this drug before meals. Keep taking this drug as you have been told by your doctor or other health care provider, even if you feel well. Swallow whole. Do not chew or crush. You may sprinkle contents of capsule on applesauce. Do not chew. Swallow right away and follow with cool water. After mixing, take your dose right away. Do not store for future use.
What do I do if I miss a dose?
Take a missed dose as soon as you think about it. If it is close to the time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your normal time. Do not take 2 doses at the same time or extra doses.
How do I store and/or throw out this drug?
Store at room temperature in a dry place. Do not store in a bathroom. Protect from light. Keep all drugs in a safe place. Keep all drugs out of the reach of children and pets. Throw away unused or expired drugs. Do not flush down a toilet or pour down a drain unless you are told to do so. Check with your pharmacist if you have questions about the best way to throw out drugs. There may be drug take-back programs in your area.
General drug facts
If your symptoms or health problems do not get better or if they become worse, call your doctor. Do not share your drugs with others and do not take anyone else's drugs. This drug comes with an extra patient fact sheet called a Medication Guide. Read it with care. Read it again each time this drug is refilled. If you have any questions about this drug, please talk with the doctor, pharmacist, or other health care provider. If you think there has been an overdose, call your poison control center or get medical care right away. Be ready to tell or show what was taken, how much, and when it happened.
Consumer Information Use and Disclaimer
This information should not be used to decide whether or not to take this medicine or any other medicine. Only the healthcare provider has the knowledge and training to decide which medicines are right for a specific patient. This information does not endorse any medicine as safe, effective, or approved for treating any patient or health condition. This is only a brief summary of general information about this medicine. It does NOT include all information about the possible uses, directions, warnings, precautions, interactions, adverse effects, or risks that may apply to this medicine. This information is not specific medical advice and does not replace information you receive from the healthcare provider. You must talk with the healthcare provider for complete information about the risks and benefits of using this medicine.