Prilosec® is manufactured by Proctor and Gamble. It is a proton pump inhibitor and its generic name is Omeprazole. Prilosec® is sold as a prescription-only drug in the form of 10, 20, and 40 mg tablets. However, its most commonly sold as an over the counter version of the same drug (called Prilosec OTC®) that comes only in a 20 mg tablet. While the prescription drug and the over the counter version contain exactly the same active ingredient, the two drugs are indicated for different uses.
Prescription Prilosec® is used to treat chronic conditions such as:
- Acid reflux (sometimes called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease)
- Ulcers of the stomach or duodenum
- As part of a course of treatment for H. Pylori infection (bacteria that can cause ulcers)
- Chronic conditions which involved excess stomach acid production (such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome)
Over the counter Prilosec® is designated for the relief of frequent heartburn only. However, many doctors often instruct their patients to take Prilosec OTC® as an alternative to the prescription-only drug as a cost-saving measure. (Procter and Gamble claim that Prilosec OTC® costs consumers roughly half as much as other similar drugs.)
What is Prilosec® (Omeprazole)?
The primary ingredient of Prilosec® is a drug called Omeprazole. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that shuts down the "acid factories" within the stomach, thereby decreasing the overall amount of acid.
Omeprazole is sold in many different forms including brand name drugs like Prilosec® and many generic forms. The drug most commonly comes in tablets but patients who have trouble swallowing tablets can consult their doctor about a powdered form that can be mixed with water and ingested orally.
Prilosec® as a Heartburn Medication
Prilosec® is primarily used as a heartburn medication to treat frequently occurring heartburn as caused by excess stomach acid. It is not designed to remedy heartburn immediately and should not be taken as an "after thought." Keep in mind, excess stomach acid may not be the only cause of heartburn.
When Prilosec® was authorized for sale as an over the counter medication by the FDA in the form of Prilosec® OTC, it quickly became one of the most popular medications in America. After the trademark Proctor and Gamble placed on the drug ran out, other companies began manufacturing similar drugs using the same amount of Omeprazole. Prilosec®, its generic forms, and other drugs containing Omeprazole were at one time the most popular drugs in American and continue to be the leading heartburn medications.
Side Effects of Prilosec®
Prilosec® side effects are generally mild and include:
- Stomach and digestive discomfort (diarrhea/constipation/gas/nausea)
- Mild to moderate fever
However, the more dangerous side effects of Prilosec® include:
- Painful or itchy rash or hives
- Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, or extremities
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing
- Fractures to the spine, wrist and hip
These symptoms could indicate an allergic reaction and immediate medical attention should be sought.
In addition, The FDA is studying the effects of Prilosec® in relation to certain heart-related issues including arrhythmic heartbeat, heart attack, and stroke. The medication may also be linked to an increased risk of bone fractures.
If you wish to seek legal action for side effects suffered while taking this drug, contact one of our experienced Prilosec lawyers for a free case evalulation.