Prilosec has been approved for the treatment of heartburn and other symptoms associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The recommended adult dose is 20 mg daily for up to four weeks in patients with symptomatic GERD.
In addition to its new indication, Prilosec is also indicated for use in combination with the antibiotic Biaxin for the eradication of H. pylori infection associated with duodenal ulcers to reduce the risk of recurrence. H. Pylori is the bacterium now believed to cause approximately 90% of peptic ulcers. Prilosec is also indicated as first-line therapy for erosive esophagitis, for the maintenance of healed erosive esophagitis, for short-term treatment of active duodenal ulcer, and active benign gastric ulcer. It is also indicated for the treatment of certain pathological hypersecretory conditions.
Prilosec is generally well tolerated; side effects, which are usually transient and mild, include headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea.
Although many people experience heartburn from time to time, patients who get heartburn more than two to three times a week may have a more serious condition called GERD, an acid-related disorder affecting approximately 19 million Americans. GERD results when the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus, or food tube, relaxes allowing harsh stomach acid to splash back into the esophagus. GERD is a potentially serious medical condition, which can lead to significant complications, including ulcers, narrowing of the esophagus, and precancerous changes within the lining of the esophagus.
Because heartburn is the most common symptom of GERD, the disease is often misunderstood and underestimated by patients and doctors. Prilosec significantly reduces acid directly at the final site of acid production, the acid pumps in the cells of the stomach.