Losec® Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus irritating the tissue, whereas heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux.  Acid reflux is a common digestive condition that many people experience from time to time.

    Frequent acid reflux causes Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD).
    When you swallow, the lower oesophageal sphincter - a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of your oesophagus - relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into your stomach. Then it closes again. However, if this valve relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your oesophagus, causing irritation and the feeling of heartburn.

    In a survey of over 700 New Zealanders, 30% indicated they suffered from gastro-oesophageal reflux at least once a month. Within these sufferers 25% had frequent or persistent symptoms (symptoms several times a week to daily).3

    3Haque et al. (2000) Prevalence, severity and associated features of gastro-oesophageal reflux and dyspepsia: a population-based study. NZ Med J 113:178-81

    •   A burning sensation in your chest and sometimes throat (heartburn), along with a sour taste in your mouth
    •   Chest pain
    •   Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
    •   Dry cough
    •   Hoarse voice or sore throat
    •   Sensation of a lump in your throat

    •    Obesity
    •    Bulging of top of stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
    •    Pregnancy
    •    Smoking and alcohol use
    •    Dry mouth
    •    Asthma
    •    Diabetes
    •    Delayed stomach emptying
    •    Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma

     

    •    Diet – avoid fatty and spicy foods, tomato and orange juice, and late large meals.
    •    Weight control
    •    Cease smoking, alcohol abuse & caffeine
    •    Medication use
    •    Avoid tight fitting garments around the waist after meals
    •    Raise bed head if nocturnal symptoms are present

    •    Antacids that neutralize stomach acid to treat heartburn.
    •    H-2-receptor blockers that reduce acid production in the stomach
    •    Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) that block acid production and heal the oesophagus. Most PPI’s are available as prescription only. However, Losec is available over the counter.

    •    Losec targets heartburn at its source, reducing the amount of acid your stomach produces.
    •    One tablet daily of Losec for two weeks and you could be symptom free up to three months.
    •    Available over the counter at all pharmacies.
    •    Convenient once a day dosing with 24-hour duration of action for long lasting relief
    •    Can be dissolved in a drink making it easy to take for patients who have difficulty swallowing tablets

    Each tablet of Losec utilises Multi-Unit Pellet System (MUPS®) which is built on patented technology. Losec MUPS tablets dissolve in the stomach to release over a thousand tiny micro pellets of omeprazole which then disintegrate rapidly in the small intestine to be absorbed and take effect.

    Losec is the only PPI with MUPS technology available in pharmacy. The advantages of this is:
    •    Small tablet
    •    Can be swallowed on its own, or dissolved in a drink
    •    Ideal for patients who have difficulty swallowing      capsules

    Losec helps most people but it may have unwanted side effects in a few people. Fewer than 5% of people who take omeprazole, experience side effects. The common side effects are:
    •    Diarrhoea
    •    Constipation
    •    Abdominal pain
    •    Nausea/vomiting
    •    Flatulence
    •    Headache

    Please see the product leaflet for a comprehensive list of side effects.