When Is The Best Time To Take Omeprazole For Acid Reflux?

Omeprazole is used to treat a range of stomach and oesophagus-related conditions like acid reflux, indigestion and stomach ulcers. It is a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI) drug that works to treat acid reflux by reducing the amount of stomach acid in your stomach. But when is the best time to take omeprazole?

In this article, we will talk about when to take omeprazole for acid reflux, and why. Should you take it at night? How should you take it? And how long should you take it for?

When Is the Best Time to Take Omeprazole?

You are advised to take omeprazole first thing in the morning. Thanks to omeprazole’s long duration of action, it can relieve your acid reflux symptoms – such as heartburn and food regurgitation – throughout the day.

If you take omeprazole twice per day, you should take one dose in the morning and one at night. You might need to take more than one dose if you suffer from severe gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or have a condition such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition which involves a tumour growing in the pancreas or small intestine).

When to Take Omeprazole at Night

As we’ve touched upon, in some cases you might be recommended to take omeprazole at night. Night-time doses are typically for patients who suffer from severe acid reflux or nocturnal acid reflux symptoms. If you take omeprazole at night, it’s best to do so 1-2 hours before you go to bed.

A study has shown that omeprazole is more effective in treating acid reflux symptoms at night compared to lansoprazole, another PPI which is used to treat acid reflux.

Can I Take Omeprazole After Eating?

You can take omeprazole with or without food, as it won’t affect your stomach. However, it is understood that it is better to take omeprazole one hour before a meal, as taking it with food reduces how much omeprazole reaches your bloodstream. A study has shown that taking omeprazole before a meal is optimal for controlling daytime gastric acidity.

How Many Omeprazole Can I Take in a Day?

Omeprazole tablets and capsules come in 10 mg, 20 mg or 40 mg doses. Omeprazole can also be prescribed as a liquid in the following strengths: 2 mg / 1 ml and 4 mg / 1 ml. The normal dose of omeprazole to treat an adult with acid reflux is 20-40 mg per day.

Depending on your symptoms, you will take omeprazole once or twice per day. For children and people living with liver problems, a lower dose will typically be prescribed. Your dose may be increased if your doctor decides that your current dose isn’t working well. In some cases, you may start taking a higher dose of omeprazole before lowering your dose after a few weeks.

How Long Does It Take Omeprazole to Work?

Omeprazole should start to work within two to three days. However, it may take up to four weeks for you to feel the full effect of the medication. You’ll know omeprazole is working when you experience relief from acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn, food regurgitation, bloating, sickness and bad breath.

In the first few weeks of taking omeprazole, you may still have acid reflux symptoms. If you feel no better after two weeks, you should tell your doctor. They can offer advice on whether to increase your dosage or recommend an alternative acid reflux medication.

How Long Can You Take Omeprazole For?

If you have been prescribed omeprazole, your doctor will instruct you on how long to take omeprazole tablets and when you can stop taking them. If you bought omeprazole tablets over the counter from a high street or pharmacy, you can take them for up to two weeks. Speak to your doctor if you haven’t felt better after two weeks – he or she may recommend increasing your dosage, trying an alternative medicine, or arrange tests to investigate the cause of your symptoms.

How long you need to carry on taking omeprazole tablets can depend on the cause of your acid reflux and the severity of your symptoms. While some people may not need to take omeprazole every day, and only when symptoms occur, others may take omeprazole for a few weeks, months, or even years.

Once you feel better and your acid reflux symptoms have subsided, you may be able to stop taking omeprazole. However, if you have been taking omeprazole for a few months or longer, your doctor may recommend reducing your dose gradually. This is to prevent symptoms from reoccurring when you stop taking omeprazole as your stomach starts producing more acid.

How to Take Omeprazole For Acid Reflux

Omeprazole tablets are swallowed whole with a drink of water. Never crush, split or chew omeprazole tablets. If you find it hard to swallow the tablets, you could ask your doctor to prescribe omeprazole capsules which can be opened and emptied into your drink, or sprinkled on soft food. Always check with your doctor or pharmacist that your capsules can be opened.

You should take omeprazole tablets first thing in the morning unless you are taking the medicine twice per day or for nocturnal acid reflux symptoms. The normal adult dose for acid reflux is 20-40 mg per day.

If you take omeprazole once per day and forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as you remember. However, it is 12 hours or less until you would usually take your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the next dose as normal. If you take omeprazole twice per day and forget to take a tablet, take it as soon as you remember, unless it is 4 hours or less until your next dose, in which case skip the missed dose and take the next dose as normal. Never take two doses to compensate for a missed dose.