What Are the Effects of Prilosec OTC?

Prilosec OTC, also known as omeprazole generically, is an anti-ulcer medication belonging to the class of drugs called proton-pump inhibitors. The drug is indicated for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and to help heal inflammation of the esophagus. If you get heartburn more than twice a week, your doctor may suggest Prilosec OTC. The medicine diminishes the amount of stomach acid so that gastroesophageal reflux is lessened.

Abdominal Pain

Most frequent side effect of Prilosec OTC is abdominal pain. Avoid alcohol and medications such as aspirin or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as Motrin. Also foods that may increase gastrointestinal irritation adding to abdominal pain should be avoided. If abdominal pain is accompanied by black, tarry stools or diarrhea, report these symptoms to your doctor promptly.

Central Nervous System Effects

Prilosec OTC can cause occasional drowsiness, dizziness, fatigue and weakness. Do not drive or operate machinery when starting the drug therapy until your response to the medication is established. Headache can also be a side effect, but if you experience persistent headaches, tell your doctor about it.

Other Side Effects

Generally, Prilosec OTC is tolerated very well according to Drugs.com, an online resource for drug information. Not as common side effects include itching or rash. These symptoms can be a sign of an allergic reaction to the drug, so report it to your doctor. Other possible side effects include constipation, diarrhea, gas, nausea or vomiting. Also rare but possible side effects include breast enlargement or tenderness, inflammation of the pancreas, stomach polyps and numbness of the extremities.

About this Author

Based in Chicago, Jojo Genden is passionate about sharing her health and wellness expertise through writing since 2008. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from Rockford College, and a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. Genden is a registered nurse in the state of Illinois with a background in intensive care.