What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole is a popular and highly effective treatment for acid reflux and GORD (gastro-oesophageal reflux disease). It is a type of medication known as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which means that it works by blocking one of the stages of stomach acid production. This reduces the amount of stomach acid and should help to prevent acid reflux symptoms, which occur as a result of stomach acid irritating the oesophagus (the food pipe). Losec is the branded version of Omeprazole.

Can you buy Omeprazole over the counter in the UK?

10mg and 20mg tablets of Omeprazole are available over the counter in the UK, but if you need a higher dose (up to 40mg daily), it is recommended that you speak to your GP or an online pharmacy like Dr Felix. Omeprazole is a highly effective treatment, but it is recommended that you try over the counter options first. Omeprazole is also commonly prescribed to counteract side effects of other drugs, that may cause acid reflux or irritation of the stomach.


Alternative treatments

Over the counter treatments for acid reflux include antacids, which neutralise the stomach acid and alginates, which help to form a gel layer on top of the acid, which helps to protect the oesophagus. 

There are also a range of acid reflux medications available on prescription:

  • Other PPIs including Esomeprazole (Nexium), Lansoprazole and Pantoprazole.
  • Ranitidine (Zantac) is a different type of acid reflux medication known as an H2 antagonist. It works by blocking certain receptors on cells that produce stomach acid. This helps to reduce the amount of stomach acid that is released. 

Esomeprazole and Ranitidine are also available at low doses over the counter.