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What Are the Uses of Omeprazole and Lansoprazole?

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  • Written By: Jay Leone
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
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Doctors prescribe drugs such as omeprazole and lansoprazole to patients who are dealing with certain stomach acid problems. Omeprazole and lansoprazole are used to treat conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In some countries, these medications are available only by prescription. Consumers should take these medications only as directed by their physicians.

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a class of drugs engineered to block acid production in a person's stomach. Both omeprazole and lansoprazole are in this class of medications. Not only are they designed to treat GERD, they can treat ulcers, erosive esophagitis and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome in certain patients. Pairing medications such as omeprazole with antibiotics can help eradicate Helicobacter pylori stomach infections. All of these conditions are caused by improper stomach acid production.

Omeprazole and lansoprazole block the enzymes in a person's stomach wall, where acid is produced. The constant flooding of stomach acids into the stomach does not allow time for damaged tissue to heal. When acid production within the stomach of a person who is suffering from ulcers or GERD decreases, the stomach and esophagus can begin to heal themselves.

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Although omeprazole and lansoprazole are oral medications that are used to treat essentially the same conditions, they can be ingested in different ways. For example, omeprazole tablets are not designed to be chewed; they should be swallowed whole with a glass of water. Lansoprazole capsules, on the other hand, can be opened, and their contents can be mixed with foods such as pudding, cottage cheese or applesauce.

Omeprazole and lansoprazole can be taken with most other medications. They are well tolerated and are unlikely to negatively interact with other medications. Lansoprazole is even less likely than omeprazole to cause side effects when taken with other medications. Possible side effects from taking either of these medications include nausea, muscle pain, headache, vomiting and dizziness. In cases of overdose, consumers should call an emergency help line or immediately head to the nearest hospital.

Neither of these medications is designed for long-term use. Taking high doses of omeprazole regularly for more than a year can increase the risk of wrist, spine or hip osteoporosis-related fractures. Consumers should use only the lowest doses of these medications for the shortest duration recommended by their physicians.

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