Most major drugstores, such as Walgreens, offer generic omeprazole under their house labels. Classed as an over-the-counter medication, it is available for purchase both in-store and online. Omeprazole is the generic name for the drug marketed as Prilosec by AstraZenica, explains MedicineNet.
The FDA first approved generic omeprazole in 2002, after the expiration of AstraZenica's patent, according to MedicineNet. Omeprozole is a proton pump inhibitor that blocks the production of stomach acid. It treats ulcers, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease and other conditions in which excess acid causes discomfort.
OTC packaging for the drug is in 20-milligram capsules, considered the typical dose for treating heartburn. Other conditions may require higher doses; follow your doctor's orders in these situations. When treating heartburn, you should not take omeprazole for longer than two weeks unless directed by your doctor. Ingest omeprazole tablets before meals, and swallow them whole; do not crush or chew them, advises RxList.
While humans generally tolerate omeprazole well, there are possible side effects, including headache, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and flatulence. Additional side effects occurred in less than 2 percent of users, notes RxList. If you experience dizziness, an uneven heart rate or bloody diarrhea, you should call your doctor immediately. There are also risks linked to long-term use and possible interactions with other drugs. You should inform your doctor about any medications or supplements you take before starting a course of omeprazole.