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How do you take omeprazole tablets?

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Quick Answer

Omeprazole tablets are typically taken every morning, at least one hour before eating, for 14 days or as directed by a doctor, according to MedlinePlus. The tablets should be swallowed whole with a full glass of water, and they should not be crushed, split or chewed.

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Full Answer

Omeprazole is classified as a proton-pump inhibitor, which works by decreasing the amount of acid the stomach produces. The tablets are available without a prescription and are used to treat heartburn that happens at least twice a week, explains MedlinePlus. While omeprazole does not immediately relieve heartburn symptoms, the full benefits of this medication can be expected in one to four days. If symptoms do not improve after taking omeprazole for 14 days, contacting a doctor is advised. Using omeprazole for longer than 14 days is not recommended.

A 14-day course of omeprazole may be repeated every four months if necessary, notes MedlinePlus. It's best for patients to contact their doctor if heartburn symptoms return sooner than four months following a course of omeprazole. Side effects of omeprazole, including gas, constipation, nausea, vomiting and headache, should be reported to a doctor if they are severe or persistent. Serious side effects warrant immediate medical attention, including irregular or fast pulse, seizures, dizziness, hives, and difficulty breathing or swallowing.

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