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Prilosec Side Effects: What to Watch for When Taking Prilosec

written by: Rochelle Connery • edited by: BStone • updated: 4/20/2011

You need to take Prilosec side effects into account before you assume it will keep your heartburn at bay indefinitely. In some cases, the side effects might be worse than the condition for which you’re taking the drug! Find out if you could experience the side effects associated with Prilosec.

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    What Is Prilosec?

    Prilosec is an anti-heartburn drug designed to minimize the inflammation in the stomach and limit the amount of acid it produces. It is available as an over-the-counter drug.

    Prilosec’s main ingredient is the generic omeprazole. This drug is found in various anti-heartburn medicines. It’s also important to understand that Prilosec is not designed to quell heartburn in progress, like Maalox or Gaviscon. It should be taken around meals for best results.

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    Possible Short-Term Side Effects of Taking Prilosec

    Depending on which kind of Prilosec you’re taking, you might need one to three capsules per day. Like other drugs, you might need to ease into your required dosage. Otherwise, your body might not know how to handle the new drug and may reject it initially.

    Some patients throw up their heartburn medicine during the first few uses, especially if they didn’t take much food with it. This is especially true at breakfast. And while certainly not all patients experience this problem, it is still a likelihood.

    Prilosec side effects include severe allergic reactions. A person taking this drug may get anaphylactic shock, rashes or skin inflammation, vertigo and insomnia. You might experience these right away, or they might present themselves a little later.

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    Possible Long-Term SIde Effects of Taking Prilosec

    Over time, your body may respond to Prilosec very negatively. Possible long-term side effects include weight changes, such as weight gain or loss when it is not desired. In some cases, it can cause urinary tract issues, mess with your vision, cramp up your stomach and intestines, cause muscle cramps and joint pain and have a negative effect on your inner organs.

    Prilosec might also cause gynecomastia in men, which, for lack of a better definition, means the development of mammary glands. This is obviously a very unwanted side effect in a man!

    Prilosec’s laundry list of severe side effects makes it sound like a rather nasty drug. However, realize that these side effects are considered severe and somewhat uncommon. In other words, most people do not experience them.

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    Lesser Side Effects

    Even though vomiting is considered a lesser side effect, it’s still rather undesirable. You also might experience nausea, diarrhea, headaches and stomach cramps as a result of taking the drug. Chances of these side effects sometimes are reduced when taken with enough food, but that’s not always the case, so listen to what your body is telling you after you take it.

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    Prilosec Interactions

    Some Prilosec side effects aren’t necessarily life-threatening on their own but might be devastating when mixed with other drugs or health conditions. For instance, those taking blood thinners or other blood clotting medicine shouldn’t take Prilosec. It’s also a good idea to refrain from taking it when pregnant, as the FDA has not yet concluded whether it will hurt a fetus.

    As always, ask your doctor before taking Prilosec long-term. It’s also a good idea to discuss any side effects you’ve experienced with the doctor so they can make sure there’s no other bodily interaction going on.

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