Childhood illnesses

Omeprazole for children: yes or no?

Omeprazole is an acid secretion inhibitor drug produced by the stomach. It is a drug widely consumed by the general population, belonging to the group of proton pump inhibitors.

For several months, a certain alarm has arisen among civil society regarding the possible secondary effects that it could generate. From our site we propose to clarify all doubts about the omeprazole for children.

Is omeprazole a safe drug in children?

Within the child population, it has been shown to be effective and safe in the short term, as long as it is administered within the framework of its main indications.

What are the appropriate indications for the use of omeprazole in childhood?

The two main ones are: gastroesophageal reflux disease and H. pylori peptic ulcer disease.

Is omeprazole metabolized differently in children and adults?

Yes. It is eliminated to a greater extent, and more quickly, in children than in adults. This fact determines that in children we use proportionally higher doses than in adults.

What are the most common side effects of omeprazole in children?

-The most frequently described adverse effects come from studies carried out in adults, and are very nonspecific: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, spots on the skin, headache. They are described in less than 5% of the patients treated with this drug.

-In children treated with omeprazole for long periods of time, the possibility of bacterial overgrowth has been described. This clinical picture is associated with diarrhea in relation to dairy intake.

-The appearance of benign polyps and nodules in the stomach is more frequent in patients treated for several months with omeprazole. These lesions disappear when the consumption of this drug is stopped.

-There is some unconfirmed suspicion that patients treated with omeprazole for more than 6-12 months have a higher risk than the general population of developing acute gastroenteritis and pneumonia.

-In the same way, those who receive this drug have slightly lower levels of vitamin B12 than those who do not consume it. Deficiency signs derived from this fact have not been described in children.

Can children take omeprazole or not?

In summary, children can take omeprazole without fear, as long as its indication is consistent with current evidence, in terms of underlying pathology, dose and time. Your trusted pediatrician will clarify these for you.

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