What is Prilosec?

Prilosec (omeprazole) is a drug that reduces stomach acid. It belongs to a category of drugs called "proton pump inhibitors," which reduce the stomach's production of acid by binding to a certain enzyme in the lining of the stomach sometimes referred to as "the proton pump."

Prilosec is available without a prescription for treating heartburn. When given by prescription, Prilosec is used to treat gastric or peptic ulcers (sores in the lining of the stomach) and duodenal ulcers (sores in the first part of the small intestine or duodenum). Doctors also prescribe Prilosec to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a condition in which stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach), causing a burning sensation and possible damage. Prilosec may also be used to treat certain rare conditions that cause an excess of stomach acid, such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

Prilosec comes as a capsule in three dosages or as a powder that you mix with water and consume as a drink or take through a nasogastric tube inserted into your nose, down your throat and into your stomach.