Something profound about the medicines we use every day is that they all have some kind of side effects. Some of these side effects are more harmful than others. Something even more interesting is that although all of these drugs have harmful side effects, not all human beings will experience the horrible symptoms. The same thing applies to the Omeprazole side effects. Omeprazole, known most commonly as sodium bicarbonate, is normally prescribed to treat ulcers and/or stomach infections. It normally takes about four to eight weeks to treat the ulcers and ten to twenty-eight days to cure infected pylori of the stomach. Therefore, the side effects seen in patients from the use of Omeprazole arise from its long term use.
The most common Omeprazole side effects, which are seen in about one in every five patients, are diarrhea and/or vomiting. There are, however, rare cases in which there will be more adverse or simply more quantitatively manifesting symptoms. The form of the medicine, whether it be powder, capsule, tablet, or suspension, does not in any way influence the Omeprazole side effects that the patient is vulnerable to.
In rare cases, the side effects of Omeprazole can be much more than diarrhea and vomiting and may persist. In these cases some body systems will be affected. One of the most rarely affected of these systems would be the cardiovascular system. Should the cardiovascular system be affected, however, the Omeprazole side effects would be angina and varied cardiac arrhythmia.
The most commonly affected body system is the gastrointestinal system. Omeprazole has been known to change the pH in the stomach by raising the amount of gastrin that is produced. One in ten patients using 20-40 mg daily may have to deal with further side effects due to this rise in the amount of gastrin. This would include the formation of stomach polyps. Stomach polyps are a benign growth that protrudes out over the stomach mucosa. Most of these cases of stomach polyps will even go undetected for a very long time due to the fact that their effects seem like a simple stomach upset. In very rare cases, being one in a million, these stomach polyps can become cancerous.
Omeprazole can also affect the endocrine system. Although not very common, when it does affect the endocrine system, it can lead to breast tenderness and enlargement. In very severe cases, it can even lead to gynecomastia, which is the abnormal enlargement of a male’s breast glands. It is important to note that this is a very rare occurrence.
If the hepatic system is affected by Omeprazole, then it can be very fatal. Patients have been known to die from fatal fulminate hepatic failure due to the elevations in serum transaminases and bilirubin. This rarely occurs, but when it does it must be countered as soon as possible to avoid the loss of life.
The rest of the Omeprazole effects that can occur are even rarer and doctors can go their whole careers without ever seeing them occur in their patients during treatment with this drug. For example, the side effects of Omeprazole on the blood system would be hemolytic anemia and thrombocytopenia. If the psychological system would be affected, it could lead to depression, nervousness, and even hallucinations. Some patients may even experience insomnia and dream disturbance caused by their anxiety.
Omeprazole is a drug that is also difficult to stop taking. This is because it can cause horrible Omeprazole withdrawal symptoms. The most common being rebound hyperacidity. In this case, the symptoms the patient was trying to relieve may seem much worse than they were. Other withdrawal symptoms seen in some patients are heartburn, acid regurgitation, and dyspepsia.
It is important that a patient trying to stop taking Omeprazole do so slowly. In other words, they should gradually lower their dose until they can safely stop taking the medication altogether. Another way to stop the medication would be to take other medicines such as Tums or Maalox to help reduce symptoms.
There are also concerns about how long Omeprazole will remain in the patient’s body after it is stopped. After long term use, you may be concerned about how to get Omeprazole out of you. When a patient stops using Omeprazole, the medication will remain in their body for a few hours to even a few days until it is completely out of their system. There are no proven remedies or treatment that will help the body get rid of Omeprazole.
The use of Omeprazole is usually recommended short-term to avoid any damaging effects in a patient’s body. The use of the medication should not be avoided if it can help relieve some of the terrible symptoms a patient is experiencing. All medications can have side effects, and again, not all patients will experience these side effects.