Losec is a medication commonly used to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Losec is the brand name, and each tablet contains the active ingredient omeprazole. It is prescribed to treat heartburn, acid reflux or indigestion. Losec can also be taken to treat and prevent the recurrence of stomach ulcers.
- Stomach acid is required to help you digest food and kill any bacteria that could make you unwell
- A mucous barrier in the stomach stops the acid damaging the lining of the stomach
- In some people, the mucous barrier breaks down and the acid starts to damage the stomach by causing inflammation or an ulcer
- Losec works to stop the stomach from producing too much acid, helping to relieve symptoms
- Losec is a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) medication
- After discussion with a prescriber, Losec can often be taken by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding
- It is important to read the patient leaflet for a full list of side effects and cautions.
How Does Losec Work?
Losec belongs to a group of medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). It contains the active ingredient omeprazole. Losec reduces the amount of acid the cells in the lining of the stomach produce. This not only helps to stop ulcers from forming, but can also help the stomach lining to heal if damage has already occurred.
Heartburn is often described as a burning sensation in the centre of the chest. It is caused by excess acid escaping out of the stomach and into the oesophagus (food pipe). This is known as acid reflux. Acid reflux can also cause an unpleasant taste in your mouth. By reducing the amount of acid produced, Losec can help to prevent acid reflux.
How is Losec Taken?
Losec tablets should be taken in the morning with half a glass of water. The tablets must not be chewed or crushed.
Dosage of Losec
Your dosage of Losec will depend on which medical condition you are treating. However, a typical dose for treating stomach (gastric) or duodenal ulcers is 20mg once daily. If this treatment fails, the dose may be increased to 40mg daily.
After starting Losec, it can take a week or two to start feeling relief from your symptoms. If you do not notice an improvement, you should speak to a health professional for further advice.
Are there any Side Effects?
Like all medications, Losec can have some side effects. The most common side effects include:
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting (feeling sick or being sick)
- Flatulence (passing excess wind).
These side effects are likely to settle down, but if they persist or become troublesome you should speak to your doctor for further advice.
More serious side effects include:
- Yellow skin, dark urine (pee), or tiredness, which may be caused by liver problems
- Joint pain and skin rashes which could be a sign of a rare condition.
You should call a doctor straight away if you notice these side effects.
Serious allergic reactions happen very rarely. If you have a severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) including breathlessness, lip swelling or tongue swelling, call 999 immediately.
Losec may not be suitable for everyone. You should tell your prescriber if you:
- Have liver disease
- Are awaiting an endoscopy (camera test to look inside the stomach)
- Are pregnant, trying to conceive, or breastfeeding – Losec may still be suitable, but it is important that your prescriber knows about these factors.
Some medications can interact with Losec. You may be advised that Losec will not suit you if you already take:
- Nelfinavir or atazanavir
- Some antifungal medications