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Abdominal conditions like gastroesophageal reflux disease (in short, GERD), acid reflux, formation of ulcers, heartburn, etc. are often due to imbalance of acids in your gastric system. Once acid level rise up, you tend to experience partly-digested foods getting back into the food pipe. It is important to take timely treatment for such gastric discomforts. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly administered for treating imbalance of gastric acids. Omeprazole is a widely used med among PPIs. But how long to take omeprazole before eating? Additional inputs on this can help know more.

Incidence of gastric conditions like GERD is often marked by heartburn or difficulties while swallowing food. You may also experience acute pains in your chest as well as an altered sense of taste. Studies done on acid reflux / GERD show that loss of muscular tightness of a valve at the lower end of the food pipe as one of the common reasons. This valve – known as the lower esophageal sphincter works as an obstacle, not letting foods from your stomach from getting into the food pipe.

This valve blocks off top portion of your stomach and thus keeps away semi-digested food particles from entering back into the esophagus. When this valve ceases to function well, foods from your stomach tend to travel backwards. This action leads to heartburn. Drugs like esomeprazole, omeprazole, etc. are commonly prescribed for treating these gastric problems.

What is omeprazole?

Meds such as omeprazole are labelled as proton pump inhibitors. Such meds are taken to treat symptoms of GERD or heartburn. In essence, omeprazole reduces the quantum of acids in the gastric tract. This action helps heal conditions like GERD / acid reflux.

Omeprazole is also prescribed to treat swelling of the food pipe. Inflammation may occur when acids come in touch with its soft, inner membranes. This PPI can also treat ulcers in your gastric tract, especially those on the linings of intestines.

How long to take omeprazole before eating?

Doctors suggest that the best timeslot to have a dose of omeprazole is 60 minutes prior to a meal. This is because when this drug is taken along with a meal, it dilutes the drug’s ability to get into your blood. Such precaution is needed as omeprazole chiefly works to reduce the quantum of acids your gastric system produces.

Hence, PPIs such as omeprazole come with a clear dosage instruction: the need to take them at least an hour prior to your meal. In case of a few orally-administered liquid versions of PPIs, feeding needs to be stopped for at least 2 – 3 hours before administering the syrup.

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Safety measures associated with the intake of omeprazole

There are many options within the genre of PPIs. Hence, it takes a certified caregiver to understand which med suits your condition best. It is a safe practice to consult with your doctor about the symptoms. This helps your caregiving team to choose a proton pump inhibitor that works fine for your condition.

Beware of a few undesired side effects the intake of omeprazole may trigger. Commonly observed side effects of omeprazole include discharge of loose stool, headaches, abdominal conditions such as stomach pain, vomiting and nausea. Most of these side effects may go off on their own. Also, those listed above are not serious side effects.

However, in some one-off cases, users of omeprazole have developed a few severe side effects. Such effects include spells of excessive sweating, palpitations, erratic and faster heartbeats, rapid pulse rates, mood swings and a few other mental problems like anxieties, depression, etc.

Upon sensing one or more of these severe side effects, report to 911 if you stay in the US. If you are in Canada, reach out to Health Canada or call emergency medical help without further delay.


Information provided here are only of supplementary nature. Information shared here does not substitute a qualified doctor’s advice. This website is not suggesting intake of this drug as safe or appropriate. Hence it is advised to talk to your doctor before consuming this med or any other drug.

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