Omeprazole is used for treating stomach ulcers and infections that are caused in the stomach. It is also used for healing the damage caused to the esophagus by stomach acids. Generally, it takes almost 6 to 8 weeks to treat stomach ulcers. This is something that most of us are not aware of, and so, we happen to use it for a longer period of time. Using this medication for a long time, has side effects, which we will list down in the following paragraphs.
Uses of Omeprazole
Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux acid diseases or other conditions that are caused due to excess production of stomach acid, is treated with omeprazole. The drug raises the production of gastrin which results in increased pH levels of the stomach. However, this occurs in people who are treated with a 20 to 40 mg dosage of omeprazole on a daily basis.
Side Effects of Omeprazole
The most common omeprazole side effects are diarrhea and vomiting. Also, the gastrointestinal system is affected the most by this. In rare cases, the drug affects the other systems of our body too. Very rarely, the cardiovascular system is affected and can lead to cardiovascular diseases. Let us take a look at some other side effects which affect other body systems.
On Digestive System
Side effects include problems that might damage the liver, gastrointestinal infections, nausea, stomach pain, metabolic problems, and flatulence, which is a condition of excess gas present in the alimentary canal and also causes jaundice erythema multiforme.
On Muscles and Joints
Regular consumption of this drug can also cause joint pain. It might cause muscle weakness that can lead to muscle pain and eventually to arthritis.
An overdose might irritate the skin and cause various skin conditions like itching, dermatitis, excessive sweating, skin rashes, and swelling of the extremities. Urticaria, which is a skin disorder where weals having pale interiors are formed and paraesthesia characterized by abnormal skin sensations like tingling and tickling of the skin, or burning and itching are some of the other omeprazole side effects.
Sometimes this medication can cause mood swings. Some of these changes are feeling agitated, aggressive behavior, feeling weak and irritated, etc.
Vision also gets damaged due to the prolonged use or over dosage of this medication. Blurred vision, strained and weak eyes, etc. are a few of these side effects. If you experience any of these symptoms, seek immediate medical attention as the eyes are a very fragile part of our body.
Putting on weight suddenly, is something abnormal. Though less than 1% of the people who use omeprazole have weight gain as a side effect, it can be a really serious and dangerous sign. If you are taking some amount of this drug and if you experience sudden weight gain, seek immediate medical attention. Swelling is not weight gain, though it might look like that. Taking the drug might lead to swelling and bloating mostly in the ankles, legs, and the face. Thus, the water that has been retained in the body and caused swelling, might look like weight gain. There can be other undesired effects such as constipation, hair loss, etc.
Other Side Effects
Over dosage can cause various ailments leading to headaches, dizziness, depression, fainting, general feeling of being unwell, lightheadedness, vertigo, and even hallucinations. Other side effects include impotence, inflammation of the mouth, difficulty in sleeping, or too much sleepiness, blood and bone marrow problems, hypersensitivity reactions such as taste changes, anaphylactic (related to hypersensitivity) shock, bronchospasm (which makes exhalation difficult), and fever.
An Important Advice
If you are taking prescribed omeprazole for treating ulcers or reflux diseases, DO NOT recommend it on your own to anyone else who might have these symptoms. Instead, ask them to consult a doctor, and to take the drug under prescription of a medical professional. Keep these medications away from children. DO NOT use it for any other health conditions.
These were some omeprazole side effects. If you notice any of them, I repeat, consult a doctor as soon as possible. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.