Doctors prescribe omeprazole to treat conditions such as acid reflux, erosive esophagitis, stomach ulcers, duodenum ulcers caused by infection with the H. pylori bacterium, and esophageal inflammation, notes WebMD. Doctors also prescribe omeprazole to treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and increased stomach acid caused by systemic mastocytosis. One common brand name of omeprazole is Prilosec OTC.
Other uses for omeprazole include treating the fatty bowel movements caused by cystic fibrosis and treating and preventing stress ulcers and ulcers caused by the use of drugs such as ibuprofen or aspirin, reports WebMD. Doctors also prescribe it to treat heartburn, persistent cough and difficulty swallowing caused by the overproduction of stomach acid.
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that works by reducing the amount of acid made by the stomach, advises WebMD. It also helps to heal the damage acid causes to the esophagus and stomach, and may also prevent esophageal cancer.
Omeprazole is typically taken once per day, with the dosage varying based on an individual's weight and the condition being treated, notes WebMD. The user takes the medication before a meal. For people self-treating with an over-the-counter omeprazole medication, WebMD recommends taking it for no longer than 14 days without approval by a physician.