Omeprazole is a popular medication used to alleviate the symptoms of acid reflux as well as treat various conditions of the stomach, esophagus, and intestines. Several factors determine the omeprazole dosage that a particular person should take. These include the person’s age, the condition being treated, what other medications are also being taken, as well as other health conditions. Commonly found in delayed-release capsule form, omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that cuts down the amount of acid inside the stomach.
Age is a major factor in determining omeprazole dosage. The recommended dosage is less for children, and is heavily dependent on the child’s weight. In children, the dosage of omeprazole delayed-release capsules is higher than that of adults in the case of treating erosive esophagitis. Elderly patients can take the same dosage as younger patients.
One of the common conditions which impacts omeprazole dosage is gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic problem that causes stomach acid to enter the esophagus. Dosages of 10 or 20 milligrams are effective for people with GERD. This drug is also used to treat stomach ulcers as well as ulcers in the small intestine. Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome, which causes too much stomach acid to be made, is another condition for which omeprazole is used. Omeprazole is also found in 40 milligram delayed-release capsules.
Administration of other medications can affect the prescribed dose of omeprazole. The drug is commonly given along with antacids, but taking it with anti-retroviral drugs, such as atazanavir and nelfinavir, has yielded adverse reactions. It can also cut down acid to the point where the absorption of other drugs into the body can be limited. Drugs such as diazepam and phenytoin might not be broken down as quickly, which can cause toxic effects. Higher dosages of omeprazole mean a higher the risk of adverse reactions with other medications.
Conditions of the liver have a direct impact on omeprazole dosage. The amount taken should be less because the drug is not processed as quickly. Some impact on the drug’s processing occurs with kidney impairment, but not enough to limit the dosage. It is also recommended for nursing mothers to limit or discontinue their intake of omeprazole so it does not get transmitted to breast milk, which can be toxic for infants.
There have been no serious, lasting effects from overdosing on omeprazole. People who overdose may experience drowsiness, blurred vision, tachycardia, nausea, headache, and dry mouth. Regardless of age or health, it is important to consult a physician on the exact omeprazole dosage needed.