Is Omeprazole an Antacid? Differences Explained.

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Is omeprazole an antacid?

Omeprazole is not an antacid; It is an anti-acid. An antacid is a fast and locally acting acid neutralizer. Omeprazole doesn’t neutralize an acid; it decreases its production from the stomach wall cells.

Omeprazole is better than antacids. And here is why:

  • Omeprazole is a more powerful acid reducer. It acts by decreasing the production of acids. While antacids act on the already-produced stomach acid.
  • Omeprazole calms your stomach for a longer period. A single dose of Omeprazole inhibits acid production for up to 24 hours. Antacids are often short-acting and need 3 to 4 daily doses.
  • Omeprazole produces fewer side effects than antacids.
  • Omeprazole is safer and more effective than antacids for long-term use.

Can you use Omeprazole and antacid together?

you can use Omeprazole (Prilosec®) and an antacid. Antacids produce their effects more rapidly than Omeprazole.

On the other hand, Omeprazole takes more time than antacids to produce its effects. However, it is more powerful and has a longer duration of action.

  • An antacid’s average onset of action is a a few minutes (immediate action) (reference). This is because they dissolve quickly and directly neutralize stomach acid.
  • Omeprazole takes one to two hours to produce its effects (That is why you must take it 30-60 minutes before eating).
  • The duration of action of an antacid is about four hours.
  • Omeprazole’s duration of action is more than 24 hours, and the pain relief can last up to 72 hours (reference).

Antacids and PPIs complete each other if taken together. Discuss the issue with your doctor to determine what is best for you.

Popular antacids in the USA:

  • Aluminum hydroxide gel (Alternately, Amphojel)
  • Calcium carbonate (Alka-Seltzer, Tums)
  • Magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia)
  • Gaviscon, Gelusil, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids.
  • Pepto-Bismol.

Does Omeprazole contain aluminum or magnesium antacids in its structure?

Aluminum and magnesium antacid are not constituents of Omeprazole. Omeprazole is a drug that inhibits stomach lining cells from producing acid.

It inhibits an enzyme called (Na-K ATPase) responsible for acid production. So it doesn’t have antacid properties such as aluminum and magnesium hydroxide.

Omeprazole vs. antacids: which is safer?

Common omeprazole side effects include (reference):

  • Headache: in 7% of cases.
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort: 5%.
  • Nausea: 4%.
  • Vomiting: 3%.
  • Flatulence: 3%.
  • Dizziness: 2%.
  • Acid regurgitation: 2%
  • Constipation: 2%
  • Upper respiratory infection: 2%.
  • Cough: 1%.
  • Back pain and weakness: 1%.

More: Omeprazole side effects, Explained by a gastroenterologist.

Omeprazole is considered one of the safe medications. However, long-term use can be associated with side effects such as:

  • Gut infections such as clostridioides difficile infection.
  • Colon inflammation (microscopic colitis).
  • Atrophy of the stomach lining with malabsorption of nutrients like vitamin B12 and iron (atrophic gastritis).
  • Kidney inflammation (interstitial nephritis).
  • Magnesium malabsorption (hypomagnesemia).
  • And others, Learn More about Omeprazole’s long-term side effects.

Antacids side effects:

Antacids’ side effects depend on how much and long you take them.

  • Magnesium-containing antacids frequently cause diarrhea and magnesium overload (hypermagnesemia).
  • Long-term use may cause renal disease (kidney impairment).
  • Large doses of calcium-containing antacids such as calcium carbonate leads to hypercalcemia and may cause acute kidney failure.
  • Prolonged aluminum-containing antacids may also cause kidney affection and anemia.
  • Aluminum hydroxide blocks phosphate absorption from your intestine. As a result, even a two-week use can result in significant hypophosphatemia.

Generally speaking, Omeprazole has less tendency to cause side effects. Omeprazole is safer than antacids, particularly in long-term use. Only use antacids for short periods to relieve symptoms.