Omeprazole is primarily used as a treatment for GERD and other conditions caused by the overproduction of stomach acid, according to Drugs.com. It is commonly used in combination with antibiotics to treat stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori and is also used when treating erosive esophagitis.
Omeprazole is also known by brand names Prilosec and Zegerid. This drug works as a proton pump inhibitor and reduces the amount of acid produced by glands in the stomach. Thus, the symptoms associated with GERD and heartburn are reduced when omeprazole is used, explains Drugs.com. However, omeprazole does not provide immediate relief from heartburn.
Omeprazole can be useful in healing erosive esophagitis, as it reduces the amount of corrosive acid the esophagus is exposed to. When used in combination with antibiotics, omeprazole is effective in reducing stomach ulcers caused by Helicobacter pylori, reports Drugs.com.
Omeprazole should not be used by those allergic to the benzimidazole class of medications. In addition, those with low magnesium levels or heart and liver disease should consult a health professional before taking omeprazole, according to Drugs.com. Omeprazole can increase the risk of bone fractures, so those with low bone density should use it with caution. Omeprazole should be used for the entire duration prescribed, even though symptoms may improve within the first days of use. Over-the-counter Prilosec should not be used for longer than 14 days in a row.