Prilosec is the popular brand name version of a base medication called omeprazole. Its main use is to help treat symptoms of a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition that takes place when acid inside the stomach flows backwards into the esophagus. This can lead to heartburn as well as serious injury to the esophagus. Prilosec can also be used to treat erosive esophagitis, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and prevent upper gastrointestinal bleeding in patients who might be terminally ill. It’s also a part of the treatment for Helicobacter pylori. This is a type of infection that can lead to stomach ulcers. Prilosec belongs to a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). These are drugs that work by blocking out the production of stomach acid.
What are some of the more common potential side affects you might experience if you take this medication?
Nausea or vomiting
What are some of the more serious potential side affects you might experience as a result of using this medication?
Rash, hives, or itching
Swelling of the face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, hands, feet, or lower legs
Breathing or swallowing difficulties
Fast, irregular, or pounding heartbeat
Dizziness or lightheadedness
Uncontrollable shaking of a part of the body
Diarrhea with watery stools
How does a doctor know if this is the best treatment option for your condition and what if you don’t trust what they say?
The thing about doctors is that depending on which one you go to see they’ll all have a different opinion of what works and what doesn’t work. In many cases they focus on what’s worked for them in the past as far as giving the drug to other patients with a similar condition to yours. The issue with this is it opens to door to doctors who can be biased in giving out a treatment like Prilosec.
A doctor that takes a good look at your history will want to make sure you won’t interact badly with the drug they want to prescribe you. They’ll look to see if there’s any other condition you have that can be aggravated due to taking a given treatment they want to give you. After this though a lot of the choices they make are based on what’s worked in the past and nothing more. So how can you get past this? What if in the end you just don’t trust what they say?
The best way around this is to focus on getting different opinions from different doctors. And before you think it, no, you don’t have to spend a fortune to do it. You can find low cost doctors who will be able to look at your condition honestly and tell you what they feel might be right for you. You don’t have to be afraid to ask your primary doctor about any specific drug though. Remember it is your health after all. As long as you have a condition that qualifies for a given drug there’s no reason why you can’t ask about it.
Depending on how lenient your doctor is about these sorts of things it might even be possible to sample the medication (for a short period of time) just to see how you react to it if you show that you’re really convinced it will work for you.