What Is Omeprazole and How Does It Work?

Omeprazole is an active ingredient in medications used to treat frequent heartburn. Frequent heartburn is caused by stomach acid refluxing into the esophagus and happens 2 or more times a week.

Omeprazole is a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI), which is a class of drugs used to treat frequent heartburn symptoms by reducing the acid in the stomach that can cause heartburn. Omeprazole works by binding to the acid-producing pumps in the stomach and turning them off, blocking the acid at the source. It starts working as early as an hour after taking the first dose but may take 1-4 days for full effect.

Over-the-Counter Omeprazole

To find omeprazole over-the-counter, look for Prilosec OTC! Omeprazole is the active ingredient in Prilosec OTC, treating your frequent heartburn with one pill in the morning.* Prilosec OTC has a unique delayed-release formula that passes through the tough stomach acid, to block heartburn.* The Prilosec OTC dose is one omeprazole 20mg delayed-release tablet (equivalent to 20.6mg omeprazole magnesium) each day. This one tablet enables 24-hours of heartburn relief and the recommended treatment is only 14-days!*

Omeprazole Benefits

The active ingredient omeprazole works to fight heartburn differently from treatments like acid controllers/H2s or antacids. One of the benefits of omeprazole is blocking heartburn relief all day and all night after taking one pill in the morning.* But that’s not the only benefit. Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) and PPIs are the strongest class of frequent heartburn medicines. They work to prevent excess acid production…something that antacids just can’t do

AntacidsAcid Controllers/H2 BlockersPrilosec OTC’s Omeprazole
• Provide immediate relief by neutralizing acid in the esophagus

• Do not reduce acid production at its source, and can actually turn on acid production, which may lead

• Heartburn relief lasts 1-3 hours and you may need to take several times throughout the day
• Partially reduce acid production by blocking only one of the signals that tell your body to produce acid

• Heartburn relief lasts 12 hours, so by the time you sit down for dinner, you might need to take a second dose
• Blocks many of the stomach pumps that produce acid

• Prevents excess acid production that can cause heartburn**

• Heartburn relief lasts for 24 hours with 1 pill in the morning***

• Has a unique delayed release formula

Hear from a Prilosec OTC user about their heartburn experience and what made them choose Prilosec OTC.

†IQVIA ProVoiceTM Survey Jan 2005 – Mar 2021.

*Zero heartburn is possible with Prilosec OTC. Not for immediate relief. Take one pill per day as directed to treat frequent heartburn. May take 1 to 4 days for full effect. Do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor. Use as directed.

**PG Calculation based in part on Buying Households reported by the Nielsen Company through its Homescan Panel service in the US for Prilosec OTC for the period of 8/31/03 through 6/25/16