Is It Safe to Take Omeprazole in Pregnancy?

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Pregnancy is a bittersweet journey for any woman, for the end result might be the best thing ever, but there are still few bumps on this journey in the form of the ups and downs in the mother’s health. Therefore, it is extremely important to take care, especially of the medicines that the expectant mother takes. Omeprazole is one such medication that is taken by pregnant women for heartburn and acidity.

In this article, we will tell you everything that you need to know about how safe it is to take omeprazole during pregnancy.

In this article:

What is Omeprazole?

Is Omeprazole Safe in Pregnancy?

What if Omeprazole Has Already Been Consumed While Pregnant?

Will Taking Omeprazole During Pregnancy Cause The Baby To Be Born With Birth Defects?

Does Taking Omeprazole In Pregnancy Cause A Miscarriage?

Does Consumption Of Omeprazole While Pregnant Cause Preterm Birth Or Low Birth Weight In The Baby?

Is There Any Risk Involved If The Father Has Consumed Omeprazole?

All You Need to Know About Taking Omeprazole during Pregnancy

omeprazole

What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole is both a prescription and over-the-counter medication that is taken by pregnant women for acidity, heartburn, stomach ulcers, gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD). Our stomach produces acid to digest food. Overproduction of this acid causes acidity and heartburn. Omeprazole is part of a group of drugs called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) that can reduce the production of stomach acid, thus reducing the symptoms of acidity, GERD, and stomach ulcers.

Omeprazole usually comes in the form of delayed-release capsules or powdered forms that are to be mixed in water and taken. It works by turning off the acid-producing proton pumps in the stomach, thereby reducing the quantity of acid made by our stomach.

Is Omeprazole Safe In Pregnancy?

If you are wondering whether you can take omeprazole while pregnant, the answer is yes, but only if the benefit of the drug significantly outweighs the risk to the foetus. Taking omeprazole does not cause any harm to the unborn baby. However, the effects of exposure to omeprazole on a child’s long-term health have not been well researched. It is, therefore, vital to decide if the benefits of using omeprazole outweigh the possible risks to the foetus.

It is also possible to reduce symptoms of acidity without using drugs. For example, the following can help reduce symptoms of acidity without taking medication – eating smaller meals more frequently, avoiding very spicy and oily food, regularly consuming yoghurt and buttermilk, and raising your pillow so that your head is raised when you lie down.

What if Omeprazole Has Already Been Consumed While Pregnant?

If you have already taken omeprazole while pregnant, let your doctor know. The doctor can analyze whether you still require the medicine and recommend the lowest possible dose that is effective in reducing your symptoms.

Will Taking Omeprazole During Pregnancy Cause The Baby To Be Born With Birth Defects?

The main internal organs of the foetus are formed in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy. This is the time when exposure to various medications can cause birth defects. Hence, it is better to avoid taking any medication such as omeprazole during the pregnancy’s first trimester. Consult your doctor before taking omeprazole in the first 12 weeks of pregnancy to avoid unnecessary risk to your unborn baby.

Does Taking Omeprazole in Pregnancy Cause A Miscarriage?

Omeprazole is widely used in pregnant women and is one of the acidity drugs approved for use by mothers-to-be in several countries. It is not known to cause harm to the foetus and is the common medication for acidity and heartburn recommended by doctors.

Does Consumption Of Omeprazole While Pregnant Cause Preterm Birth Or Low Birth Weight in The Baby?

Taking omeprazole in pregnancy third trimester did not increase the incidence of stillbirth. A lot more research needs to be done and bigger numbers of pregnant women taking omeprazole need to be studied to conclusively prove that this drug is not harmful to the unborn baby.

Is There Any Risk Involved If The Father Has Consumed Omeprazole?

There has been no evidence of risk to your baby if the father has consumed omeprazole before you became pregnant. Omeprazole has been found to be a safe drug and is commonly prescribed for GERD, acidity, and stomach ulcers. Omeprazole has been found to be safe for pregnant women and is commonly prescribed for pregnant women experiencing heartburn, GERD or acidity. However, as with any other medication, you need to consult your doctor before taking omeprazole while you are pregnant.

Therefore, to conclude, omeprazole as a medication is useful for all the stomach related issues that you might experience.  After all, not everything can be resolved simply by lifestyle changes. That being said, if you are pregnant and you still have these issues, then it is advisable to go to the doctor and then know whether it is safe for you to take this medication or not.

References:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3966174/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1781096/

https://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(11)00639-1/fulltext

http://www.ajog.org/article/S0002-9378(98)70072-9/abstract

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