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Omeprazole is a type of medication known as a proton pump inhibitor and is used to treat digestive disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. If this medication does not meet the specific needs of a particular individual, an alternative to omeprazole may be sought. A different proton inhibitor may be chosen instead of omeprazole, although additional medications, such as antacids, may also bring relief. Herbal alternatives, such as ginger or peppermint, may also be used. Any specific questions or concerns about the use of a particular alternative to omeprazole should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
A different type of proton pump inhibitor is a possible alternative to omeprazole. This medication class is designed to block the production of the stomach enzyme that produces acid, allowing the esophagus and other digestive structures to naturally heal themselves. Possible side effects of these medications include nausea, headaches, and the development of a skin rash.
Another alternative to using omeprazole is a medication known as an antacid. Available over the counter at most pharmacies, antacids work by neutralizing the acid in the stomach. Antacid side effects may include mood changes, loss of appetite, or muscle pain.
A type of medication known as an H2 blocker may be an appropriate alternative to omeprazole for some people. This drug is available in both over-the-counter and prescription strength and works to reduce the production of stomach acid. Side effects may include gastrointestinal disturbances, dizziness, or headache.
Ginger is a natural alternative to omeprazole that can be safely used by most people. This herb helps to prevent stomach acid from reaching the esophagus and is also helpful in treating addition symptoms, such as nausea. The use of ginger should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding. Those with bleeding disorders should consult a physician before using this remedy.
Peppermint may be used to treat a variety of gastrointestinal disorders, although it does tend to cause indigestion when directly ingested. Enteric-coated tablets are available at many pharmacies and health food stores. This protective coating allows the patient to receive the benefits of peppermint without experiencing the uncomfortable side effects. Although relatively rare, peppermint can cause allergic reactions in some people. Symptoms such as facial swelling, chest pain, or difficulty breathing should be reported to a doctor right away, as a severe allergic reaction can be life threatening.
Whether you choose a different proton pump inhibitor, a drug from a different classification, an over-the-counter antacid or a natural remedy for your stomach discomfort, you should discuss your decision with your doctor first. Your symptoms may be alleviated with changes in your diet, or you may have a health condition that needs to be addressed. It is important to make sure the treatment you choose fits your problem and is approved by your doctor.