Treatment for gastroesophageal reflux disease and other conditions including gastric acid hypersecretion involves medications such as Omeprazole. Patients often experience pain in the stomach due to specific conditions and to relieve the pain, it is often necessary to use antacids for quick relief. One of the most common questions encountered by treating specialists is can you take an antacid with omeprazole? Following subsections offer a detailed explanation to this question, and is intended to help patients use the right medications without any confusion. The mechanisms of action of each medication are also explained, to help understand the logic behind the answer to the question.

Omeprazole indication and overview

Belonging to the category of proton pump inhibitors, Omeprazole is recommended for patients with GERD, and the symptoms linked to the condition. For instance, heartburn, and gastric acid hypersecretion are all possible indications of the condition. Additionally, Omeprazole is also used as part of treatments to help in the healing of damage to tissues, apart from the ulcers that break out due to infections and hypersecretion of gastric acid. In use for more than three decades since FDA approval, the drug is effective, and is also known to be well tolerated, making it a popular choice.  The conditions treated or managed with the medication are as listed below:

Mechanism of action of Omeprazole

The medication reduces the secretion of gastric acid, and this commences in one hour after intake of the tablet. The maximum effect on secretion of gastric acid is achieved in two hours of intake of the drug. The effect of the drug on the secretion increases with daily dosages. Omeprazole belongs to the category of antisecretory compounds that selectively inhibit specific enzymes and this in turn reduces gastric acid secretion. This effect is known to last for as much as 36 hours. The extent of reduction of gastric acid depends on the dosage of Omeprazole administered, and this extends to stimulated gastric acid secretion and basal secretion.

What is an antacid and how do they work?

Antacids are inorganic compounds, and are used for offering temporary relief from heartburn and acid indigestion. It is also used by individuals with an upset stomach, and is known to work by neutralizing the acid in the stomach. Antacids were essentially, the first line of treatment for peptic ulcer; and were later replaced by new formulations, including proton pump inhibitors. Antacids typically comprise combinations of different salts of calcium or magnesium or aluminum, and are used for one of the following conditions:

In addition to the above, antacids are also used for treating other conditions including constipation and osteoporosis.

Can you take an antacid with omeprazole?

With the basic information behind, it is time to answer the above question. One of the reasons for the intake of antacids after intake of omeprazole is for pain relief. Patients administered proton pump inhibitor medications for one of various conditions may continue to experience pain in the stomach despite the drug. The onset of action of the PPIs may sometimes take a little more time, and during this period, the patient is likely to suffer from pain due to the underlying condition.

Relative contraindications of omeprazole

In such circumstances, the use of antacids is recommended. There are no likely negative outcomes from use of antacids alongside Omeprazole. However, it is important to be aware of the possible relative contraindications of Omeprazole with other medications. The PPI is known to have an impact on the manner in which other medications work through effects on the binding, absorption and activation properties of other drugs.  PPIs have an impact on the absorption of calcium and magnesium, two compounds that are also present in antacids.

Relative contraindications of antacids

The drug interactions of antacids include changing of pH of the stomach, apart from the binding action to ions which results in adding of multivalent ions. For instance, antacids are known to bring about creation of insoluble chelate complexes due to binding actions, and this prevents absorption. To prevent this action, antacids and other medications are often administered with a gap of four hours.  This is because antacids are typically cleared from the stomach within four hours.

When to take antacids with omeprazole?

As outlined earlier, the desired outcomes from omeprazole may sometimes take more than the expected time, and this may make it necessary for patients to take antacids to relieve pain in the stomach. Indigestion also causes discomfort, and the use of antacids may become necessary in such circumstances. This will offer quick relief to the conditions, while permitting omeprazole to deliver its desired outcomes as a PPI.

However, in the event that extended use of omeprazole fails to deliver desired results, it is necessary to seek evaluation for a change in medications. Similarly, if the patient is frequently or regularly taking antacids despite being on omeprazole, it indicates that omeprazole is not working as desired. This may then make it necessary to seek medical assessment.

Side effects of omeprazole

There are distinct undesirable outcomes from omeprazole, and it is important to be aware of these effects. This will also prevent confusion or assumptions that the effects are not linked to the use of antacids and omeprazole together. For instance, headaches, pain in the stomach, constipation, and flatulence are all linked to omeprazole. Other effects include vomiting sensations, feelings of nausea, and possible diarrhea.

Side effects of antacids

Similarly, the possible undesirable outcomes of antacids include diarrhea, constipation, cramps in the stomach and flatulence. Individuals are also likely to experience vomiting sensations and a sick feeling at times when on antacids. It is important to be aware that these effects are recognized and not confused as effects due to the combination of antacids with omeprazole. Most of these effects are known to resolve with discontinuation and will not typically require additional medical attention, unless serious or intense in nature.

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