Statistics paint a clear picture about certain conditions and prevalence rates. More than 30% of the adult population in America grapples with excessive secretion of gastric acid or stomach acid as it is commonly known. This causes various health complications and chronic conditions that require treatment over a long term. GERD, peptic ulcer, heartburn and other related conditions result in severe discomfort due to gastric acid reflux. Various medications are presently used in the treatment of excessive stomach acid secretion, including omeprazole. Here is a detailed look at the medication including possible omeprazole 40 mg side effects, for greater awareness among patients with the condition.
Overview of omeprazole and category of medication
Belonging to the category of proton pump inhibitor, the medication is used to manage the conditions arising from gastric acid hypersecretion. Properties of the medication include tissue healing abilities, and it is also part of treatment for H.pylori infections. It is known to have relatively good tolerance levels, in addition to delivering desired outcomes. It is a preferred choice due to its better tolerance that makes it a safe choice even for children.
Benefits of omeprazole
The medication is known to deliver multiple benefits for conditions that are all linked to stomach acid hypersecretion. For instance, omeprazole is effective in treating:
- Duodenal ulcer
- Benign gastric ulcer
- pylori infection
- Erosive esophagitis
- Pathologic hypersecretion
The medication helps in preventing re-occurrence of duodenal ulcers. It is also prescribed as a maintenance dose for the above conditions. It can be safely used by patients above one year of age, testifying to the safety and relatively good tolerance levels.
Mechanism of action of Omeprazole
As mentioned above, this article focuses on all aspects of the medication including possible omeprazole 40 mg side effects. A quick look at the mechanism of action will help understand the underlying reasons for possible undesirable effects and will also help individuals handle the effects better. Stomach acid, or gastric acid is chemically hydrochloric acid, and the secretion is regulated by the parietal cells. In other words, secretion of the stomach acid is attributed to enzymes on the parietal cells in the stomach. The medication works by inhibiting, or preventing this secretion, and this is the reason for its classification as a proton pump inhibitor. The medication works by selectively inhibiting the enzymes with antisecretory. This is achieved through a binding action that prevents gastric acid secretion. One of the highlights of the medication is the duration of action, that could sometimes extend for as much as one and a half day, depending on the dosage and the actual condition of the patient.
Standout reasons for omeprazole’s popularity
Various medications are presently available for tackling hypersecretion. However, omeprazole is one among various medications that are effective in handling different secretion types. To explain further, stomach acid secretion occurs either through basal secretion, wherein stomach acid is secreted at specific intervals, and without any particular stimuli to trigger the release. Another type of secretion is known as stimulated secretion that occurs when food enters the body, triggering a natural response. Omeprazole is popular and preferred for various reasons, including this this ability of the proton pump inhibitor.
Omeprazole 40 mg side effects reported frequently
Undesirable effects of medications are common occurrences and should not be a cause for concern. There could be mild, moderate or adverse effects, depending on the actual medication, the dosage, and various other factors. Omeprazole 40 mg side effects that may affect certain users, with variations in the effects among the affected. For instance, the intensity of the effects and its duration may differ, and a section of users are unlikely to experience any effects whatsoever.
Effects that may be frequently or more commonly experienced include pain in the stomach pain and the formation of gas/flatulence. Effects also include nausea and vomiting sensations when the users initially take the medication. These effects are more likely to resolve naturally without the need for any medications or treatment. Headache is another possible undesirable outcome that may be experienced by users, apart from diarrhea.
The same undesirable effects are likely to be experienced by children, in addition to fever. These undesirable effects are most to resolve naturally, after a few days, including the fever. It may be necessary to seek treatment only in a few cases, wherein the effects are either intense or last for a longer duration.
Adverse effects of the proton pump inhibitor
The possibility of adverse or serious effects being experienced by patients are relatively rare in occurrence. This is because of the proven and high tolerance of the medication. Certain tell-tale symptoms clearly indicate the onset of undesirable effects that are adverse in nature. This can be effectively used to identify and extend suitable remedial measures to arrest the effects. Depending on the condition, it may be necessary to treat the patient urgently before the condition aggravates.
Reduced levels of magnesium
One of the possible effects arising out of long-term use of the proton pump inhibitor is reduced magnesium levels. This could in turn trigger certain effects such as tremors, seizures and the patient is most likely to experience a jittery sensation. Other outcomes of this condition include overall muscle weakness and dizzy feelings. Heart beat rates are likely to spike abnormally, and this is a cause for concern, meriting urgent intervention.
Irregular heart beat rates could end up with other effects in patients; for instance, the individuals is likely to have difficulty in speaking clearly. Spasms may be experienced in the hands and the feet, apart from fatigue or overall weakness in the muscles. This may sometimes cause cramps, in addition to the pain from the weakness and fatigue.
Reduction in vitamin B-12 levels
Another possibility is a similar reduction in vitamin B-12 levels as a result of long-term use of the proton pump inhibitor. The ability of the body to efficiently absorb vitamin B-12 may be affected, and this reduction may be preceded through symptoms that clearly point to the condition. Commonly occurring symptoms include nervous feelings, inflammation of the nerves (also known as neuritis) apart from a distinct tingling sensation. Reduced vitamin B012 also impacts women in a different manner by altering the menstruation cycle. Vitamin B012 is important for multiple functions and a reduction in the levels have an impact on various functions, including movement and coordination.
Clostridium difficile infection
Infection in the intestines is a possibility in a small section of users, and clostridium difficile infection is known to end up causing acute diarrhea. Tell-tale symptoms of the condition include pain in the stomach, stools that are loose in consistency and possible fever.
Damage to kidneys in patients with existing kidney conditions
Omeprazole is likely to cause damage in a limited number of patients diagnosed with existing kidney diseases. It is therefore necessary for such patients to be evaluated before taking the proton pump inhibitor. This may also apply to other medications as patients with renal ailments may end up with conditions due to the inability of the kidneys to process medication. Certain symptoms help identify the condition, giving some kind of advance information about underlying causes or actions. For instance, when the color of urine changes, it is a possible indication of complications; similarly, if there is pain on the flanks of the lower spine, that points to possible kidney ailments.
In addition to the above, there is also the possibility of individuals experiencing inflammation of the stomach lining. This condition is typically preceded with symptoms such as pain in the stomach, feelings of nausea, and possible weight loss. Additionally, patients may also experience vomiting, while some are known to become susceptible to frequent fractures. Most of these effects are linked to long term use of the medication; additionally, patients with poor bone health are also prone to the possibility of suffering fractures easily. Another condition that could be experienced by patients includes cutaneous lupus erythematosus, with symptoms such as outbreak of purple/red rashes on the skin of the nose.
Precautions/warnings for certain categories of patients
It is important for individuals of certain categories to either avoid omeprazole completely or to seek medical attention prior to its use. This is because of the possibility of adverse effects, and the lack of adequate information about possible effects on certain users. For instance, the effects of omeprazole have not been analyzed or documented on pregnant women or women planning pregnancy. Similarly, the medication may have an impact on suckling infants, as the possibility of the medication entering breastmilk cannot be ruled out.
Elderly patients are more likely to have age related poor renal health and this may impact the ability of the kidneys to properly process the medication. It is advisable to be evaluated before commencing a course of treatment.
Race dependent effects
Studies on the effects of the medication have revealed a unique type of outcome – effects on patients from specific geographies or race. Natives of Asia, may be exposed to the risk of heavy effects, and this warrants a decrease in dosage strengths, as assessed. By altering the dosage, it is possible to mitigate any possible undesirable and strong effects. The proton pump inhibitor is considered overall safe, with good tolerance; however, it is important to strictly follow medical advice regarding dosage and schedule, especially when used by children. This is essential considering wrong perceptions about OTC formulations that are generally taken with lesser precautions, when compared with prescription medications or drugs. Users are advised to treat OTC formulations with adequate care as the mechanism of action of certain medications could cause harm, in specific circumstances.