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Prilosec OTC: a Heartburn Buster
Burning and discomfort in the stomach are the sensations frequently occurring in millions of people. These feelings are commonly called “heartburn”, although they have nothing to do with heart. Heartburn is not a disease, doctors confirm, it is rather a symptom of developing or already existing health condition medicinally called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
In fact, heartburn is such a common disorder that the majority of us have already developed a habit, a kind of routine action, to reach for the spoonful of baking soda, which is known to be quite an effective method of heartburn relief.
Soda is now out of fashion, knowledgeable people state. Taking a pill of Prilosec OTC is a modern way to eliminate heartburn. Statistics confirm that this medication is #1 selling over-the-counter drug for this disorder.  
It is said that a single pill of Prilosec OTC can ensure heartburn relief for 24 hours; thus it seems to be quite an effective and comfortable treatment option.
The main working ingredient of Prilosec OTC is omeprazole – a proton-pump inhibitor, which works well for the diseases associated with the excessive production of stomach acids (e.g. stomach and duodenal ulcers, erosive esophagitis, and GERD). This proton-pump inhibitor is the first one available without prescription.
Prilosec OTC stops the production of stomach acid by shutting down the proton pumps in the mucous lining of the stomach. Although many pumps get blocked, however, not all of them; thus, enough acid is released in order to ensure normal digestion of the consumed food. The effectiveness of the pill may be seen in about 4 days after the beginning of the treatment.
Prilosec OTC is generally well-tolerated. It causes few side effects; the most common ones take place in the gastrointestinal tract: abdominal pain, gas, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. Others include headache and dry mouth. Less common adverse reactions are dizziness, skin rash, sore throat, fever, back and muscle pain.
Difficulty breathing, swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat may be the signs of an allergic reaction to the medication. They require urgent medical help.
This OTC medication was designed to be of help for people suffering from frequent signs of heartburn (two days a week or more). The drug should be used as a short-term therapy lasting not more than 14 days. In case if the second course is needed, be sure 4 months have passed since the first one.
Prilosec OTC should be taken in the morning before breakfast, or according to the recommendations of your doctor. A daily dose should not exceed one tablet.
People with the history of liver or cardiovascular disorders may need the dose adjustment, so they should consult a doctor before taking Prilosec OTC. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid this medication, as it is said to be harmful to an unborn baby or to the infant.
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This medication should be avoided by people who have frequent chest pain, nausea and vomiting, bloody or black stools, unexplained weight loss, and heartburn lasting for more than three months.
A number of drugs may interact with Prilosec OTC either reducing or increasing its effectiveness. Such interactions may be dangerous and thus should be avoided. Here belong: blood thinners, antibiotics and antifungals, iron, insomnia or anxiety medicines, immunosuppressants and HIV drugs, some anticonvulsants and cardiovascular medicines.
In fact, even food supplements can interact with Prilosec OTC. To be on the safe side, a patient undergoing any therapy should seek for professional’s recommendations before starting the treatment with this popular heartburn-fighting option.

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