Dyspepsia is a relatively common health issue affecting people all over the world. It actually represents a problem digesting food. It is characterized by repeated pain in the epigastrium, fullness in the upper portion of the abdomen and feeling full after consuming small amounts of food. The condition is associated with several others such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and stomach/duodenal ulcers. Fortunately, with several medications as well as dietary changes patients suffering from dyspepsia may have their condition brought under control.
Treatment of Dyspepsia with Omeprazole
Omeprazole is a member of so called proton pump inhibitors. These medications are highly efficient against excess of stomach acid i.e. their provide with long-lasting reduction of gastric acid production. As such they are indicated in treatment of dyspepsia, gastroesophageal reflux disease, laryngopharyngeal reflux as well as Zollinger-Ellisons syndrome. As a matter of fact proton pump inhibitors may be prescribed to all people suffering from conditions associated with excess of stomach acid. It is estimated that Omeprazole represents one of the most commonly prescribed drugs. It is also available over-the-counter but people are not recommended to use the drug on their own before consulting their health care providers.
Apart from being an excellent drug of choice in battle against hyperacidity, Omeprazole is used in the combination with certain antibiotics in patients suffering from Helicobacter pylori. The treatment necessary for bacterial eradication lasts between 7 and 14 days.
One needs to realize that in case of heartburn this is not a drug that should be used. There are other available medications that provide with instant relief. Also, those who choose to buy the drug over-the-counter thinking they might be suffering from dyspepsia or other condition associated with hyperstimulation of the stomach acid production, should think twice before doing so. Namely, Omeprazole is not supposed be used in people suffering from stomach cancer. The explanation is simple, Omeprazole may successfully bring symptoms of stomach cancer under control since these resemble symptoms of hyperacidity. Now, by taking the drug patients only deal with symptoms of the cancer allowing it to grow and spread further. So, it is best to seek medical attention if there are some issues regarding stomach such as indigestion, heartburn, pain in the epigastrium etc. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, doctors recommend the best possible treatment and patients then might continue taking the prescribed drug.
Furthermore, some people may be allergic to Omeprazole. Any sign of allergic reaction should be evaluated and the drug discontinued immediately. Also, allergic patients should not receive any of other benzimidazole drugs (e.g. albendazole and mebendazole). People who are suffering from heart or liver disease should report their condition. They might not be suitable candidates for the drug. The medications is not recommended for individuals with low level of magnesium in the blood as well.
The drug is supposed to be taken regularly and for the full prescribed length of time. The symptoms of dyspepsia and other conditions soon improve but the desirable effects are achieved only once the treatment is finished.
And finally, Omeprazole should never be used in case one has difficulty swallowing, bloody or tarry stool, has frequent chest/stomach pain, has suddenly lost a lot of weight or vomits blood or content resembling coffee grounds. These health issues must be first evaluated and their underlying causes identified and only then doctors should opt for Omeprazole or some other drugs.
Omeprazole Side Effects
In the majority of cases Omeprazole may precipitate headaches, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Nausea, dizziness and sleep deprivation are a few more common side effects. In rare instances patients who have been taking Omeprazole for some time might end up with iron or vitamin B12 deficiency.
Many studies have confirmed that proton pump inhibitors in general are associated with higher risk of fractures. The most commonly affected bones are the hip bone, spine and wrist bones. Fractures seem to affect more people over the age of 50, those who take the drug for a long period of time as well as individuals prescribed with higher doses. In case one is already confirmed with osteopenia or osteoporosis, he/she might not be a suitable candidate for Omeprazole and instead receive other medication.
Omeprazole is additionally connected with diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile. Patients who are hospitalized and remain in intensive care units frequently receive Omeprazole prophylactically against peptic ulcers. Now, they are prone to pneumonia more compared to patients who do not receive the drug.
In extremely rare cases proton pump inhibitors, including Omeprazole, may trigger tubulointerstitial nephritis, specific inflammation of the kidneys. Also, the intake of the drug carries the risk of fundic gland polyposis.
As far as pregnancy is concerned, according to FDA the drug is classified as pregnancy category C. This means that scientists actually do not know whether it can cause any damage to the fetus. On the other hand, it is known for sure that Omeprazole easily passes into the mother's milk, therefore, should be avoided during breastfeeding.
In the end, a patient should inform his/her doctor about current drugs he/she is taking because Omeprazole may interact with some drugs precipitating serious health issues. This particularly refers to medications whose metabolism is associated with the enzymes CYP2C19 and CYP2C9 such as diazepam, warfarin and escitalopram.