Prilosec is an example of a proton pump inhibitor, a class of medications used to reduce the production of stomach acid in order to treat GERD and other digestive disorders. The generic name of Prilosec is omeprazole and it is only available by prescription.
In addition to treating GERD, Prilosec can also be used in combination with antibiotics to treat ulcers that have been caused by the H. pylori bacteria. Although Prilosec can help treat GERD, a disease associated with frequent heartburn and acid reflux, this medication is not intended for immediate relief of heartburn.
Before taking Prilosec, talk to your doctor about potential allergies, especially if you are allergic to other benzimidazole medication, including albendazole or mebendazole. You should also tell your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or suffering from liver or heart disease.
Prilosec is available over-the-counter as Prilosec OTC. This medication should not be taken more than once every 24 hours and should not be used if you are experiencing difficulty swallowing, bloody stools or vomit, heartburn with wheezing, nausea or stomach pain. You should contact your doctor if you have been suffering from heartburn for more than three months.
Heartburn symptoms may be confused with the symptoms of a heart attack. If you are experiencing chest pain accompanied by difficulty breathing, sweating, nausea or a pain in your arm, seek medical attention.