Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Omeprazole: Safety of long term usage and possible side effects?
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Omeprazole: Safety of long term usage and possible side effects?


  I was wondering how long Omeprazole can be taken safely? The package
  that comes with the prescription states only in terms of 4 to 8 weeks.
  Can it be taken for longer periods of time to control stomach acid ie:
  maintenance dosages? I have already had one bout with ulcers and don't
  want another. It is truly a wonder drug, but I'm concerned about long
  term usage as I see other posters in here have the same concerns well as
  problems with possible side effects, including cardiovascular concerns because of
  chest pains and palpitations. What are the true side effects of omeprazole?
  Are we really being told the truth about this drug? Thank you for your answer.
__________
Dear Janice,
Studies from Europe suggest that omeprazole can be taken for years without any significant side effects.  There have been reports that there is a reduction in vitamin B12 absorption but this has not been a major clinical problem.  There is also a theoretical risk of gastric tumors, including cancer, related to the supression of acid.
If you are taking omeprazole as treament for ulcer disease, you should be checked for H. pylori infection.  If H. pylori was the cause for your ulceration and the infection has been successfully eradicated, then your risk of recurrent ulceration is less than 1% and you may not need any medications.
This information is presented for educational purposes.  Always consult your personal physician for specific medical questions.
HFHSM.D.-rf
*keywords; ulcer, H. pylori, omeprazole
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