In the labeling for Zegerid (Omeprazole and Sodium Bicarbonate) the incidence of headaches reported is approximately 2% thus is labeled as a potential side effect with the medication. There are no warnings or precautions listed for Zegerid (Omeprazole and Sodium Bicarbonate) as being known to cause migraine headaches or light sensitivity. However, if your symptoms have not been found to have another cause a trial discontinuation of the medication is warranted to see if that resolves your symptoms. As for alternative treatments there are two classes of medications commonly used to treat heartburn symptoms or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The most commonly used agents are Antacids, Histamine 2 receptors blockers (H2RAs) and Proton-Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). Antacids are used for symptomatic relief by neutralizing stomach acid and preventing heartburn once it starts. Both H2RAs and PPIs work by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach and thus relive the symptoms of heartburn. Most H2RAs are available OTC and include Zantac (Ranitidine), Pepcid (Famotidine), and Axid (Nizatidine) and are considered first line for the treatment of meal-induced heartburn. The other classes of medications, the PPIs, are considered stronger and are more for treating GERD and not just symptomatic relief of meal induced heartburn. PPIs include Prilosec (Omeprazole), Nexium (Esomeprazole), Aciphex (Rabeprazole), Protonix (Pantoprazole), Prevacid (Lansoprazole), and Kapidex (Dexlansoprazole). This class of medications should be taken at least 30min-1 hour prior to a meal in order to have an effect. I would talk to your doctor about a trial of any one of these agents to see which works best for you.
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