As you age it seems that everything in your body decides to give you a hard time. That, unfortunately, includes your digestive system.
I have terrible heartburn from time to time. While Prilosec generally works several days for me, the truth is the drug is expensive. It prices out at roughly $11 for just 14 pills. That’s too close to a $1 a pill for my taste.
For that reason, I sometimes switch over to the generic brand by Equate. It is called Omeprazole Delayed Release Tablets. But does it work?
Equate claims that Omeprazole treats frequent heartburn that occurs two or more days a week. That is roughly the same claim made by Prilosec.
Both medications do work on heartburn. However, for some reason Prilosec seems to last a bit longer.
The company goes on to say that Omeprazole isn’t recommended for extended use. It should not be repeated for more than a 14-day course every four months.
That isn’t the end of the warnings that come with this drug. There are several others to which people should take heed.
Omeprazole should not be taken by individuals who experience pain when swallowing food; those that are vomiting blood or those having black or bloody stools. It should also be avoided if your heartburn continues or worsens while taking the drug.
Furthermore, it isn’t recommended for women are pregnant or breastfeeding. It also isn’t advised for use in children under the age of 18.
A physician should be contacted if heartburns continues for more than three months untreated. There are also symptoms to watch out for and report to a physicians. These include, but aren’t necessarily limited to the following:
Nausea or vomiting;
Numbness or tingling in the extremities;
Shortness of breath;
Unexplained weight loss and
Omeprazole Delayed Release Tablets should not be taken in conjunction with certain other drugs. These include anti-fungal and anti-yeast prescriptions, atazanavir, diazepam, digoxin, tacrolimus and warfarin.
Omeprazole, like Prilosec, operates uniquely from other similar heartburn medications. It actually stops acid production rather than trying to ease it. However, such a process is acceptable for only short periods of time; hence the 14-day limited use recommendation.
Omeprazole takes anywhere from 24 to 96 hours to take effect. Therefore, they are not recommended for relief of already existing heartburn pain. Neither are they meant as a prophylactic medication for those who don’t experience heartburn on a regular basis.
To take Omeprazole, swallow one pill with a full glass of water before you partake in a morning meal. Continue taking a single pill a day for the full course of 14 days.
Do not take more than one pill a day. Do not crush Omeprazole and put it into liquid or food. Do not chew the tablet. Do not continue a course of the medication beyond 14 days without the pre-approval of your physician.
Store Omeprazole at room temperature between 44 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the medication away from any type of heat source and do not allow the tablets to become moist.
If you suspect an overdose has occurred, contact your local poison control center right away. If you experience any of the above noted warnings, report immediately to a physician, clinic, or ER facility.
Ingredients in Omeprazole include ferric oxide red and yellow, carnauba wax, hypromellose and hypromellose acetate succinate, lactose monohydrate, monoethanolamine, propylene glycol, sodium lauryl sulfate, sodium starch glycolate, sodium stearate, sodium steryl fumarate, talc, titanium dioxide and triethyl citrate.
I find that Omeprazole Delayed Release Tablets work for me. They are an acceptable substitute for Prilosec. Here is my summary review:
Effectiveness: 4 stars. I do think Prilosec works a bit better than Omeprazole, but not much.
Ease of use: 4 stars. It is important to pay attention to all of the warnings concerning how this tablet can and cannot be used. Failure to do so could negate the pill’s effectiveness or cause harmful side effects.
Packaging: 3 stars. The pills themselves are blister packed in foil and paper. Unfortunately, they aren’t very easy to remove. There are two blister packs of 7 inside each box.
The packaging is done in Equate’s standard purple and white color combination. Written information is done in navy and red. A touch of green is added to emphasize the quality guarantee.
Those who are familiar with Equate products will recognize the packaging quickly. However, there is nothing memorable about it. It won’t likely draw in new customers easily.
Reputation: 4 stars. Equate products tend to just about as good as the corresponding name brand.
Green value: 4 stars. The packaging is biodegradable.
Ease of storage: 5 stars. The box is small at 4.5 inches in length by 3.5 inches in width and one-half inch in height. The blister packs are even smaller. Either one or both should fit easily almost anywhere you wish to store it, including a handbag or pocket.
Availability: 4 stars. Equate products are found only at Wal-Mart. However, these days there is a Wal-Mart almost anywhere you look.
Price: 4 stars. Omeprazole Delayed Release Tablets cost almost as much as the original. They retail for around $9, while Prilosec retails around $10.
Product purchase probability: 3 stars. I prefer using Prilosec and will opt for it over Omeprazole whenever I can afford it.
Final rating: 3.9 stars.
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