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FAQ for Healthcare Professionals

Here are answers to common questions that you and your patients may have about Prilosec OTC.

When can a patient expect Prilosec OTC to start working for frequent heartburn?3

Prilosec OTC begins to work on the very first day of treatment, although it may take one to four days to have full effect. In fact, clinical studies showed that after taking the first dose of their 14-day course of Prilosec OTC, about half of the people were free of heartburn in the first 24 hours, compared with a significantly lower number of people taking placebo. And over a 14-day course of treatment, an increasing number of people taking Prilosec OTC reported complete heartburn relief.1

How is Prilosec OTC different from many other over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn treatments?

Prilosec OTC works differently than many other OTC heartburn medications because it shuts down acid production at the source—the active acid pumps in the stomach. One daily dose of Prilosec OTC can work up to 24 hours. Prilosec OTC is indicated for the treatment of frequent heartburn and is not for immediate relief.

Is Prilosec OTC the same as prescription Prilosec (omeprazole)?2

Prilosec OTC delivers the same medicine at the same dose as 20 mg prescription Prilosec. Prilosec OTC is available over-the-counter and is indicated for people with frequent heartburn, heartburn occurring two or more days a week. Prilosec OTC is to be used once a day (every 24 hours), every day for 14 days, but not more often than every 4 months unless directed otherwise by a doctor. Prescription Prilosec is indicated for acid-related conditions that Prilosec OTC is not.

What is frequent heartburn, and how will patients know if they have it?

Frequent heartburn is defined as heartburn two or more days a week.

How should a patient take Prilosec OTC?

As part of a 14-day course of therapy, a patient swallows one pill each day with a glass of water before eating in the morning to treat frequent heartburn for 24 hours. Patients are not to use for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor.

I heard medicines with the active ingredient ‘Ranitidine’ contain a probable carcinogen. Should I be worried about Prilosec OTC?

You can trust in Prilosec OTC as a FDA approved, safe and effective remedy to relieve frequent heartburn symptoms. Prilosec OTC (equivalent to Omeprazole 20 mg) has the longest history of safe & effective consumer use of any OTC PPI. Prilosec OTC is not in the same class of drugs referenced in the recent FDA study and does not contain the active pharmaceutical ingredient ‘Ranitidine’ mentioned in the study.

As with any OTC medication, it is important to read and follow all label directions to ensure proper dosing and to avoid drug interactions. Prilosec OTC is to be used once a day, every day for 14 days as a course of treatment. Do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor.

Is taking Prilosec OTC safe?

Doctors have prescribed omeprazole to millions of patients to treat acid-related conditions safely.7

The safety of omeprazole was confirmed in 15 OTC clinical trials with omeprazole magnesium (n > 18,000). The most common adverse events were headache and diarrhea, consistent with those in clinical trials and post-marketing surveillance for prescription Prilosec. Prilosec OTC had a similar tolerability profile to placebo.1a

Over 27.9 million people have tried Prilosec OTC to treat their frequent heartburn.***

If you have any questions about Prilosec OTC, please call our consumer relations line at 1-800-289-9181.

Are there any side effects?

The side effects associated with Prilosec OTC are mild and comparable to placebo. The most common side effects are headache and diarrhea.1a

3Frequent heartburn is defined as heartburn that occurs two or more days a week

2Prilosec and Prilosec OTC are registered trademarks of AstraZeneca.

***P&G Calculation based in part on Buying Households reported by the Nielsen Company through its Homescan Panel service in the US Market for Prilosec [OTC] for the period of 8/31/03 through 6/28/14.

1Allgood LD et al. Comparison of Prilosec OTC (omeprazole magnesium 20.6 mg) to placebo for 14 days in the treatment of frequent heartburn. J Clin Pharm Ther 2005; 30 (2): 105-12

7Prilosec [package instert]. Wilmington, Del: AstraZeneca LP; 2015.

1aData on file. Procter & Gamble.