GERD (Acid Reflux) Community
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Avatar universal

Generic *prescription* omeprazole vs. non-prescription PRILOSEC OTC

I've seen comments with all kinds of opinions comparing the effectiveness of different forms of Prilosec (generic name omeprazole).  But that are usually prescription brand-vs-generic, or OTC (non-prescription) brand-vs-generic.  What I am looking for is real-life experiences from people who have moved from PRILOSEC OTC to GENERIC RX OMEPRAZOLE, or vice versa.

I've been taking PRILOSEC OTC (non-prescription) for quite awhile, after years on the original prescription brand Prilosec.  With my current insurance I can save money by getting generic prescription omeprazole.  

Now, in the past I wouldn't have been as concerned about it.  Back before losing weight improved my *symptomatic" acid reflux, I would have just thought, "well, if you don't have an increase in heartburn, the generic rx is working just as well as Prilosec OTC."   But a few years ago -- even though I was rarely noticing heartburn -- an upper-GI endoscopy showed I had GERD-induced erosive esophagitis, something I definitely don't want because it increases risks.  At that time I had cut my Prilosec OTC back to 20mg every-other-day., and had virtually no heartburn.   But doc said that I should go back to daily, even though I wasn't noticing reflux symptoms.  And indeed, based on my next endoscopy, the esophagitis had resolved at my next endoscopy three years later.

So I'm nervous about changing from Prilosec OTC to the prescription generic omeprazole to save money, since in my case I can't depend on the absence or breakthrough heartburn as an indicator of efficacy.  Further, I know from previous experience that it's NOT always true that a generic is just as effective as the brand (or even that all generic versions have equal efficacy compared to each other).

So I'd be interested in hearing any personal experiences comparing Prilosec OTC (=non-prescription) to generic *prescription* omperazole.  Thanks
5 Responses
Avatar universal
PLEASE IGNORE FIRST PARAGRAPH.  I meant to delete it, as I took a different approach to asking the question, plus it has typos.  (I don't see a way to edit...)
620923 tn?1452919248

  Hi and welcome to the GERD forum.

We do not have a edit feature at this point....maybe in the future...no worries I think I understand your question.

I was on an RX of Prilosec for a number of yrs...then to an OTC omperazole as it was less expensive for me to go that route at the time my Medical INS was not covering the meds ....the Pharmacist, told me that we need to look at dosage and which ones were equivalent to the RX I had....it worked for a few more years then no longer helped me.

Anyway I got a new med from my Dr this one is a H2b instead of a PPI...and is working much better for me.....

As for the no heartburn, could be you have LPR also known as Silent Reflux bcuz not everyone has heartburn with it.

May I ask, have you had any PH testing?

....modify your diet and lifestyle?

Avatar universal
Thanks for the reply selma.

I've heard of LPR, and often wondered if I might have it due to my frequent throat clearing.  But the doc who did the endoscopy said that based on the appearance the esophagitis I had a few years ago that the inflamation was clearly due to acid reflux.  (Although my understanding is that you can have both GERD and LPR, no?)

As for lifestyle modification, while my dieting-driven weight loss 15 years ago (from 240 pounds to 170, sustained since) was obviously a major change.  That said, there is a lot more I can, and should, do in terms of better food choices, not eating as late, more exercise, and maybe other changes.  But after the esophagitis I'm not inclined to cut down on the PPIs regardless 9even though long-term use does concern me somewhat).

Anyone else have experience going from Prilosec OTC to generic prescription omeprazole, or vice-versa?
620923 tn?1452919248

  LPR is acid reflux.....and could cause the inflammation...

Here is what WebMD says "Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is similar to another condition -- GERD -- that results from the contents of the stomach backing up (reflux). But the symptoms of LPR are often different than those that are typical of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

With LPR, you may not have the classic symptoms of GERD, such as a burning sensation in your lower chest (heartburn). That's why it can be difficult to diagnose and why it is sometimes called silent reflux.
At either end of your esophagus is a ring of muscle (sphincter). Normally, these sphincters keep the contents of your stomach where they belong -- in your stomach. But with LPR, the sphincters don't work right. Stomach acid backs up into the back of your throat (pharynx) or voice box (larynx), or even into the back of your nasal airway. It can cause inflammation in areas that are not protected against gastric acid exposure."

Any weight change up or down can also trigger reflux/GERD symptoms to flare.

Avatar universal
Oops, missed your reply for awhile...Notifications don't seem to be working, and I don't see anything from medhelp in the spam folder.

Anyway, thanks for the followup.  I clearly have a lot of the symptoms discussed in LPR writeups, and they do seem especially sensitive to the kinds of triggers they discuss. I'd also note that on those (infrequent) nights when I do have burning sensations, they can seem to reach up awfully high, a few times even to my nose.

Thanks again, I'll have to look into this further with my doctor, and continue the lifestyle changes.  One writeup even had the surprising advice not to sleep on one's right side, which surprised me; I sleep on both sides, but will now try to stick to the left.

Would still be interested in any experiences with generic prescription omeprazole, as compared to prescription Prilosec and Prilosec OTC.
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