Difference Between Omeprazole and Omeprazole Magnesium


Omeprazole is a generic version of Prilosec, and works as a proton pump inhibitor. Omeprazole and omeprazole magnesium are bold prescribed by doctors, and there are some differences. Proton pumps are found within mitochondrial membranes, so they are found in virtually all cells. These drugs are important because they will selectively inhibit the proton pumps within the lining of the stomach.

It is important to understand the structural differences because it also results in different activities within the body. Both can play a very important role, but a doctor will recommend one or the other, and never both at the same time. They can also be used in conjunction with various other drugs that a doctor may recommend in order to treat the medical condition.

What Does Omeprazole and Omeprazole Magnesium Treat?

There are an array of medical conditions that Omeprazole and Omeprazole will treat. It is an oral acid reducer agent and can help with gastroesophageal reflux disease, peptic ulcers, duodenal ulcers, heartburn, and acid reflux. All of these are as a result of too much acid within the stomach, and can damage the stomach lining over time.

In some instances, Omeprazole is given alongside of other antibiotics to treat ulcers and other problems within the stomach and intestinal tract. It is important to note that in me relief of heartburn symptoms is not given with the use of this drug.


Omeprazole is most commonly known by the trade name of Prilosec. It has a formula of C17H19N3O3S and a molecular weight of 345.42. Most doctors will prescribe the drug as a way of treating complications from excess acid secretion within the stomach, such as damage to the esophagus as well as for those who suffer from GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). The drug does not render immediate relief from heartburn.

The drug is prescription based and should be taken 30 minutes prior to a meal. The pillow swallowed whole. Chewing can damage the coding of the tablet, which is designed to protect the stomach lining. If granular suspension is taken, it should be done so only with apple juice. It may also be delivered via a nasogastric feeding tube.

There are some harmful effects to the drug. In various animal studies, chronic usage has shown that stomach cancers can form, though it has not been confirmed with humans. Clinical studies have also shown that there is a tendency to fracture bones within hips, spines, and wrists in an increased quantity. Long-term use has also shown decreased levels of vitamin B12 absorption and therefore B12 deficiencies.

There are also some negative side effects that should be understood, though not everyone experiences them. This includes muscle weakness, uneven/fast heart rates, diarrhea, headache, coughing and choking, and even forgetfulness. Some people may also experience changes in weight, stomach pain, and insomnia.

Omeprazole Magnesium

Omeprazole magnesium is different from omeprazole in a structural way. The molecular weight is 369.72 and the formula is C17H19MgN3O3S. There is the addition of magnesium and has a heavier weight. The Omeprazole magnesium is viewed as the delayed release version of the original, and therefore the results produced will vary in time.

Because there is a salt (magnesium) attached to the Omeprazole, it makes it easy to dissolve and can be taken on an empty stomach or with food. Whenever Omeprazole alone is taken, it should be taken prior to meals.

Additionally, the magnesium version is available over-the-counter. It takes longer to work, and therefore it is considered safer for people to take without having to visit their doctor to get a prescription. Essentially, it allows people to self-diagnose themselves for heartburn, and should only be taken for people who experience it more than two days a week.

A person needs to read through the labels more effectively because the over-the-counter version should not be used for more than 14 days in a row. If the heartburn continues after the therapy of 14 days, a doctor should be consulted to determine if there is something else going on in the body.

Determining Which to Use

In the end, Omeprazole is very similar to Omeprazole magnesium. The primary difference is that the latter version has magnesium and is a delayed response, also making it OTC (over-the-counter).

A doctor should always be consulted, regardless of whether a person wants a prescription based or OTC version of the proton pump inhibitor. This is because it should not be used when there are various medical conditions going on such as liver disease, osteoporosis, or low levels of magnesium within the blood.

People who experience frequent chest pain, heartburn that lasts for several weeks or months in a row, trouble swallowing, nausea, or unexplained weight loss should consult with a doctor prior to using the OTC version (Omeprazole magnesium)

Everyone should be aware of the different side effects and harmful effects that can result from extended use of the product. If there are significant side effects experienced with either version, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Both versions of the drug are going to act in a very similar way and will have similar side effects. The only true difference is that the magnesium version has magnesium salt attached to it and therefore makes it heavier. It allows a person to be able to take the drug on an empty stomach or with food as opposed to always before a meal such as the Omeprazole version recommends.