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Omeprazole for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD)
Omeprazole for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease
This leaflet is about the use of omeprazole for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (sometimes referred to as GORD for short).
This leaflet has been written for parents and carers about how to use this medicine in children. Our information sometimes differs from that provided by the manufacturers, because their information is usually aimed at adult patients. Please read this leaflet carefully. Keep it somewhere safe so that you can read it again.
Name of drug
Brand name: Losec®, Losec MUPS®
Why is it important for my child to take this medicine?
In gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), the contents of the stomach come back up (reflux) into the food pipe (oesophagus). This is often painful and it can damage the food pipe.
Omeprazole reduces the amount of acid in the stomach, which reduces the symptoms of GORD and helps protect the food pipe.
What is omeprazole available as?
- Tablets: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg; these contain lactose
- Dispersible tablets: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg; these contain sugar
- Capsules: 10 mg, 20 mg, 40 mg; these contain lactose
- Liquid medicine can be specially ordered from your pharmacist
When should I give omeprazole?
- Omeprazole is usually given once each day. This is usually in the morning.
- Your doctor may have told you to give it twice a day. Give one dose in the morning and one in the evening. Ideally, these times are 10–12 hours apart, for example some time between 7 and 8 am, and between 7 and 8 pm.
Give the medicine at about the same time(s) each day so that this becomes part of your child’s daily routine, which will help you to remember.
How much should I give?
Your doctor will work out the amount of omeprazole (the dose) that is right for your child. The dose will be shown on the medicine label.
It is important that you follow your doctor’s instructions about how much to give.
How should I give it?
Tablets should be swallowed whole with a glass of water or juice. Your child should not chew the tablet. Tablets should not be crushed.
Dispersible tablets: Put the tablet in 10 mL of water (two medicine spoons) – do not crush the tablets. (Tablets may be split in half if the dose is half of the full tablet.) Stir gently until a very cloudy mixture is created, this may take 5–10 minutes. You can add a small amount of fruit juice, apple sauce or yogurt to this mixture but do not use milk or fizzy water. Your child should eat/drink all the mixture straight away.
Capsules should be swallowed with a glass of water or juice. Your child should not chew the capsule. You can open the capsule and mix the contents with a small amount of soft food such as yogurt, honey or jam. Make sure your child swallows it all straight away, without chewing the granules.
Some capsules (e.g. Dexel) have an enteric-coated tablet inside. These capsules should not be opened. Enteric-coated tablets should not be crushed as they have a special coating. Talk to your pharmacist if you are not sure which capsule your child has been prescribed.
Liquid medicine: Measure out the right amount using an oral syringe or medicine spoon. You can get these from your pharmacist. Do not use a kitchen teaspoon as it will not give the right amount. Make sure your child takes it all straight away.
When should the medicine start working?
Omeprazole starts working straight away and your child should start to have less discomfort and less reflux. It may take up to 4 weeks for omeprazole to work fully so your child may still have some symptoms during this time. If you are not sure whether the medicne is working, contact your doctor.
What if my child is sick (vomits)?
- If your child is sick less than 30 minutes after having a dose of omeprazole, give them the same dose again.
- If your child is sick more than 30 minutes after having a dose of omeprazole, you do not need to give them another dose. Wait until the next normal dose.
What if I forget to give it?
If you usually give it once a day
Give the missed dose when you remember during the day, as long as this is at least 12 hours before the next dose is due.
If you usually give it twice a day
If you remember up to 4 hours after you should have given a dose, give your child the missed dose. For example, if you usually give a dose at about 7 am, you can give the missed dose at any time up to 11 am. If you remember after that time, do not give the missed dose. Give the next dose as usual.
What if I give too much?
It is unlikely that you will cause harm if you give your child an extra dose of omeprazole by mistake. If you are worried that you may have given too much omeprazole, contact your doctor or local NHS services (111 in England and Scotland; 0845 4647 in Wales). Have the medicine packet with you if you telephone for advice.
Are there any possible side-effects?
We use medicines to make our children better, but sometimes they have other effects that we don’t want (side-effects).
Omeprazole is a safe medicine and most children can take it without having any side-effects.
Side-effects you must do something about
If your child develops a rash, swelling of the face, lips, tongue or throat, or has difficulty breathing or swallowing, they may be allergic to omeprazole. Contact your doctor or take your child to hospital straight away.
Other side-effects you need to know about
Your child may get the following side-effects when they first start taking omeprazole. They should wear off as your child’s body gets used to the medicine. If they are still a problem after a week or so, contact your doctor.
- Your child may have stomach pain, feel sick or be sick (vomit) or they may get diarrhoea, wind (flatulence) or constipation (difficulty doing a poo). It may help to give each dose with some food.
- Your child may get a headache.
- Your child may feel light-headed or dizzy.
- Some children feel sleepy but some find it hard to get to sleep at night. If this is still a problem after about 2 weeks, contact your doctor.
There may, sometimes, be other side-effects that are not listed above. If you notice anything unusual and are concerned, contact your doctor. You can report any suspected side-effects to a UK safety scheme at http://www.mhra.gov.uk/yellowcard.
Can other medicines be given at the same time as omeprazole?
- You can give your child medicines that contain paracetamol or ibuprofen, unless your doctor has told you not to.
- Omeprazole should not be taken with some medicines that you get on prescription. Tell your doctor and pharmacist about any other medicines your child is taking before giving omeprazole.
- Check with your doctor or pharmacist before giving any other medicines to your child. This includes herbal or complementary medicines.
General advice about medicines
- Try to give medicines at about the same time(s) each day, to help you remember.
- Only give this medicine to your child. Never give it to anyone else, even if their condition appears to be the same, as this could do harm.
- If you think someone else may have taken the medicine by accident, contact your doctor straight away.
- Make sure that you always have enough medicine. Order a new prescription at least 2 weeks before you will run out.
- Make sure that the medicine you have at home has not reached the ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date on the packaging. Give old medicines to your pharmacist to dispose of.
Where should I keep this medicine?
- Keep the medicine in a cupboard, away from heat and direct sunlight. It does not need to be kept in the fridge.
- Make sure that children cannot see or reach the medicine.
- Keep the medicine in the container it came in.
Who to contact for more information
Your child’s doctor, pharmacist or nurse will be able to give you more information about omeprazole and about other medicines used to treat GORD.
You can also get useful information from:
Version 2, January 2015. © NPPG, RCPCH and WellChild 2011, all rights reserved. Reviewed by: January 2018.
The primary source for the information in this leaflet is the British National Formulary for Children. For details on any other sources used for this leaflet, please contact us through our website, www.medicinesforchildren.org.uk
We take great care to make sure that the information in this leaflet is correct and up-to-date. However, medicines can be used in different ways for different patients. It is important that you ask the advice of your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure about something. This leaflet is about the use of these medicines in the UK, and may not apply to other countries. The Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health (RCPCH), the Neonatal and Paediatric Pharmacists Group (NPPG), WellChild and the contributors and editors cannot be held responsible for the accuracy of information, omissions of information, or any actions that may be taken as a consequence of reading this leaflet.