Wednesday , March 29 2023
Prilosec uses , side effects

Prilosec: Uses, Side Effects, and Treatments

According to recent studies, an estimated 7.6% to 30% of India’s population suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD happens when the acid contained inside your stomach flows back into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. To treat GERD, proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec are often prescribed by physicians to patients. 

This drug is designed to reduce acid inside the stomach and relieve discomfort. While it’s mostly been an effective remedy for those suffering from GERD, Prilosec has been linked to serious side effects over the years.

Short-term use of the drug may cause mild side effects such as headaches, stomach pain, and nausea. Meanwhile, long-term use can lead to much more severe conditions such as bone fractures and kidney damage. 

To ensure everyone’s safety, let’s explore deeper into Prilosec’s side effects and what you can do to reverse them.

What are the side effects linked with using Prilosec?

While Prilosec has been approved by the FDA for use and distribution, it’s not exempted from causing a couple of side effects here and there. 

Below is a list of common side effects that patients may feel from taking Prilosec over a short period:

  • rash
  • cough
  • headache
  • abdominal pain
  • upper respiratory infection
  • acid reflux
  • diarrhea
  • dizziness
  • constipation
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • gas (flatulence)

If a patient has been taking Prilosec for a longer period, they may experience less common symptoms such as: 

  • taste changes
  • abnormal dreams
  • loss of appetite
  • gastric polyps
  • chronic inflammation of the stomach
  • destruction of skeletal muscle
  • bone fracture (osteoporosis-related)
  • deficiency of granulocytes in the blood
  • hip fracture
  • hair loss

Other rare side effects may also include live damage, pancreatitis, kidney inflammation, and dermatologic disorder. 

Note: The above list is not a complete representation of the possible side effects patients may face when using Prilosec. For further information, consult your physician. 

Does Prilosec interact with other drugs? 

Prilosec can interact with other drugs. In fact, Prilosec may have severe reactions to rilpivirine, erlotinib, and nelfinavir. 

Other drugs that Prilosec may interact with are: 

  • capecitabine
  • aminophylline or theophylline
  • cefuroxime
  • clopidogrel
  • clozapine
  • amphetamine
  • digoxin
  • diuretics
  • sucralfate
  • tacrolimus

To avoid possible drug interactions, make it a habit of always informing your doctor about your prescription. Keep a list of all your medications to show your physician. Show this to your doctor during your checkup, so they can adjust your prescription to fit your condition. 

How to properly (and safely) take Prilosec

There are proper ways of taking Prilosec that help patients avoid harmful, life-threatening side effects. Generally, you want to take the drug only as directed by your physician or doctor. Altering your prescription or dosage in any way could affect the way you respond to the medication. This may lead to dangerous side effects and even permanent illness. 

Apart from what we just mentioned above, the following tips should also be able to help you prevent or relieve Prilosec side effects: 

  • Prilosec is best taken one hour before a meal, on an empty stomach. You may take it with your meal, but only if your physician specifically asks you to in your prescription. }
  • Prilosec is to be taken once a day unless you’ve been prescribed more than 80mg/day. In that case, you’ll have to split the dosage to avoid harmful side effects. Your doctor will help you with this process.
  • Be careful not to crush or chew the capsules. Always swallow them whole so your body doesn’t metabolize the drug too fast.
  • If you can’t swallow the capsules whole, you can open them up and mix them with a tablespoon of applesauce. Take it with a glass of cool water and swallow without showing.
  • If you’ve previously had allergic reactions to other proton pump inhibitors, it might not be the best idea to take Prilosec. Consult your doctor about possible alternatives for you to take.
  • Pregnant and lactating patients are advised to use this drug with caution. Prilosec has been found to distribute into breastmilk and can cause adverse side effects in breastfeeding infants.
    Inform your doctor if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding, or intending to become pregnant while taking Prilosec. They may prescribe you something less dangerous or adjust your dosage to something more suitable for your situation.

What to do about missed doses

Missing a dose is not uncommon among patients. If you miss a dose of Prilosec, take it as soon as you realize you missed it. However, if it’s almost time for your next dose, disregard the missed dose and just follow your regular dosing schedule from there. 

How to properly store Prilosec at home

Like all medicine, Prilosec comes with its own set of proper storage instructions. 

Keep Prilosec in a closed container and at room temperature. Make sure that it sits away from heat and moisture. However, avoid putting them in the fridge. 

If you live with children, make sure your medication is hidden away where they can’t find or reach them. 

Always check your medication for its expiry date. If it’s gone over its life expectancy, practice proper disposal e.g., taking it back to your pharmacy for disposal or mixing your medication with soil before tossing it in the bin. 


While Prilosec is undeniably a helpful drug, it doesn’t come without its own flaws and faults. Above we mentioned some of the possible side effects of taking Prilosec, both short-term and long-term. To avoid said side effects, take time to practice the tips we provided in the article.

Disclaimer: The statements, opinions, and data contained in these publications are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of Credihealth and the editor(s). 

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