- Take the Pancreatitis Quiz
- Boost Digestive Health
- Digestive Distress Slideshow: Problem Foods to Avoid
- Digestive enzymes vs. omeprazole (Prilosec): What's the difference?
- What are digestive enzymes and omeprazole?
- What are the side effects of digestive enzymes and omeprazole?
- What is the dosage of digestive enzymes vs. omeprazole?
- What drugs interact with digestive enzymes and omeprazole?
- Are digestive enzymes and omeprazole safe to use while pregant or breastfeeding?
Digestive enzymes vs. omeprazole (Prilosec): What's the difference?
- Pancreatic enzyme products (PEPs) and omeprazole (Prilosec) are used to treat different types of gastrointestinal problems.
- Pancreatic enzyme products are used when the pancreas is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes to treat people with pancreatic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or tumors, and removal of all or part of the pancreas. PEPs may also be used in gastrointestinal disorders, including Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and certain cases of poor digestion that are associated with deficiencies in pancreatic enzymes.
- Omeprazole is used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, duodenitis, erosive esophagitis, heartburn, and H. pylori infection.
- Pancreatic enzyme products and omeprazole belong to different drug classes. Pancreatic enzyme products are a combination of enzymes normally produced by the pancreas and omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI).
- Side effects of pancreatic enzyme products and omeprazole that are similar include headache, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness.
- Side effects of pancreatic enzyme products that are different from omeprazole include stomach pain, gas, constipation, cough, sore throat, upset stomach, neck pain, stuffy nose, heartburn, ear pain, and nosebleed.
- Side effects of omeprazole that are different from pancreatic enzyme products include rash, nervousness, abnormal heartbeat, muscle pain, and weakness.
What are digestive enzymes and omeprazole?
Digestive enzymes are complex proteins naturally produced by the pancreas to help digest and break down the foods we eat. Oral digestive enzymes are used when the pancreas is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes. The main digestive enzymes are proteases for digesting proteins, lipases for digesting fats, and amylases for digesting carbohydrates. Pancreatic enzyme products (PEPs) are used in people with pancreatic diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, Shwachman-Diamond syndrome, chronic pancreatitis, pancreatic cancer or tumors, and removal of all or part of the pancreas. PEPs may also be used in gastrointestinal disorders, including Celiac disease, Crohn's disease, and certain cases of poor digestion that are associated with deficiencies in pancreatic enzymes.
Omeprazole (Prilosec) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, duodenitis, erosive esophagitis, heartburn, and H. pylori infection. Other PPIs include lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium). Proton pump inhibitors are used for the treatment of conditions such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, which are all caused by stomach acid. Omeprazole, like other proton-pump inhibitors, blocks the enzyme in the wall of the stomach that produces acid. By blocking the enzyme, the production of acid is decreased, and this allows the stomach and esophagus to heal.
What are the side effects of digestive enzymes and omeprazole?
Although rare, some patients can experience life-threatening allergic reactions when taking this medicine. Patients should stop their medication immediately and seek emergency medical help if they have any of the following signs or symptoms.
- Difficulty breathing or talking
- Swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Chest tightness
- Rash or hives
- Red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin
Other side effects of digestive enzymes include:
- Stomach pain
- Sore throat
- Upset stomach
- Nausea or vomiting
- Neck pain
- Stuffy nose
- Ear pain
This medication can increase the risk of developing a rare but serious bowel problem called fibrosing colonopathy in which there is localized inflammation and scarring in the colon. Patients are advised to call their doctor right away if they have very bad
Many digestive enzymes are derived from pork and, therefore, should not be used by patients who are allergic to pork.
Omeprazole like other PPIs is well tolerated. The most common side effects are:
Other important side effects include:
- Abnormal heartbeat
- Muscle pain
- Leg cramps and water retention, which occur infrequently
Each packet of Zegerid powder for oral suspension contains 460 mg of sodium and each capsule contains 304 mg of sodium. This should be taken into consideration in patients who need a sodium-restricted diet.
Proton pump inhibitors may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection. High doses and long-term use (1 year or longer) may increase the risk of osteoporosis-related fractures of the hip, wrist, or spine. Prolonged use also reduces absorption of vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin).
Long-term use of PPIs has also been associated with low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia). Analysis of patients taking PPIs for long periods of time showed an increased risk of heart attacks.
Therefore, it is important to use the lowest doses and shortest duration of treatment necessary for the condition being treated.
Latest Medications News
Daily Health News
What is the dosage of digestive enzymes vs. omeprazole?
Digestive enzymes are available over-the-counter (OTC) or by prescription.
- OTC products are not approved by the FDA and should not be used with the intent to cure or treat any aliments.
- OTC digestive enzymes are mainly used as dietary supplements to help with digestion.
- OTC dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA and may contain impurities and varying quantities of active ingredients.
Speak to your doctor or pharmacist if you are interested in starting an OTC regimen.
Prescription digestive enzymes come in various formulations and may contain different amounts of individual digestive enzymes. Therefore, prescription digestive enzymes are not clinically interchangeable and are not considered bioequivalent by the FDA.
For ulcers, GERD, erosive esophagitis and eradication of H. pylori, the recommended dose for adults is 20 to 40 mg daily. Ulcer healing usually occurs within 4 to 8 weeks.
H. pylori infections are treated for 10 to 28 days.
The usual dose for prevention of upper gastrointestinal bleeding in critically ill patients is 40 mg daily for 14 days.
Omeprazole is used for treating heartburn for up to 2 weeks, and the usual dose is 20 mg daily.
For the management of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, the starting dose for adults is 60 mg daily, and the dose is adjusted based on either the response of symptoms or the actual measurement of acid production. Doses greater than 80 mg should be divided. Doses up to 120 mg 3 times a day have been used in the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome.
For maximal efficacy, omeprazole tablets should be taken before meals, swallowed whole and should not be crushed, chewed, or opened.
What drugs interact with digestive enzymes and omeprazole?
The effectiveness of oral digestive enzymes may decrease when they are given with antacids containing calcium or magnesium.
Digestive enzymes containing amylase or other carbohydrate digesting enzymes may reduce the effectiveness of alpha-glucosidase inhibitors -- for example, acarbose (Precose), miglitol (Glyset) -- a class of oral anti-diabetes medications that are used to reduce the activity of the carbohydrate digesting enzymes.
The absorption of certain drugs may be affected by stomach acidity. Therefore, omeprazole as well as other PPIs reduce the absorption and concentration in blood of ketoconazole (Nizoral) and increase the absorption and concentration in blood of digoxin (Lanoxin). This may reduce the effectiveness of ketoconazole or increase digoxin toxicity.
Through unknown mechanisms, omeprazole may increase blood levels of saquinavir and reduce blood levels of nelfinavir and atazanavir, drugs that are used for treating patients with infection caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Accordingly, the dose of saquinavir may need to be reduced to avoid toxicity, and the doses of nelfinavir and atazanavir may need to be increased to maintain efficacy.
Clopidogrel (Plavix) is converted to its active form by enzymes in the liver. Omeprazole reduces the activity of these enzymes and potentially can reduce the activity of clopidogrel. Omeprazole should not be used with clopidogrel.
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter
Are digestive enzymes and omeprazole safe to use while pregant or breastfeeding?
Oral digestive enzymes have not been adequately studied in pregnant women. Oral digestive enzymes should only be used during pregnancy if the potential benefits to the mother outweigh the potential risks to the unborn baby.
It is not known whether oral digestive enzymes are excreted into breast milk. Pancreatic enzymes mostly act locally in the gastrointestinal tract and are generally not absorbed into the bloodstream to make their way to the fetus.
Use of omeprazole in pregnant women has not been adequately evaluated. Omeprazole should only be used during pregnancy if the benefits justify the unknown risks.
Omeprazole is excreted in breast milk and potentially could cause adverse effects in the infant.
Pancreatic enzyme products (PEPs) and omeprazole (Prilosec) are used to treat different types of gastrointestinal problems. Digestive enzymes are complex proteins naturally produced by the pancreas to help digest and break down the foods we eat. Oral digestive enzymes are used when the pancreas is unable to produce enough digestive enzymes. Oomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) used to treat ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, duodenitis, erosive esophagitis, heartburn, and H. pylori infection.
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Heartburn (Acid Reflux, GERD): Causes and Remedies
Heartburn is a symptom of acid reflux that causes chest pain when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus. Heartburn symptoms...
Heartburn: Foods to Eat, Foods to Avoid
Learn the symptoms of heartburn and which foods cause heartburn or GERD. Discover home remedies and which foods may provide...
Pancreatic Cancer Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
Learn about pancreatic cancer signs, symptoms, causes, statistics, treatment and side effects (chemotherapy, radiation, surgery,...
Pancreatitis Quiz: Test Your Medical IQ
What does the pancreas do, and what happens in the body that causes pancreatitis? Test your medical IQ of pancreatitis with this...
GERD Quiz: Test Your Digestive Diseases IQ
Who is at risk for developing GERD? Are you? Take this quiz to learn what GERD is, if you're at risk, and what you can do about...
Picture of Pancreatic Cancer
An abdominal CT scan shows a small, vaguely seen 2-cm pancreatic adenocarcinoma (mass) causing obstruction of both the common...
Picture of Pancreatic Cancer Tumor
This is a gross section of a malignant tumor of the pancreas resected from the pancreatic body and tail. See a picture of...
Picture of Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD)
The stomach contents regurgitate and back up (reflux) into the esophagus The food in the stomach is partially digested by...
Related Disease Conditions
Heartburn is a burning sensation experienced from acid reflux (GERD). Symptoms of heartburn include chest pain, burning in the throat, difficulty swallowing, the feeling of food sticking in the throat, and a burning feeling in the chest. Causes of heartburn include dietary habits, lifestyle habits, and medical causes. Treatments for heartburn include lifestyle changes, OTC medication,prescription medication, and surgery.
Acute and Chronic Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis is a rare disease in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. There are two types of pancreatitis: acute and chronic. Symptoms of pancreatitis include abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and a rapid pulse. Treatment of pancreatitis often requires hospitalization.
GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which the acidified liquid contents of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. The symptoms of uncomplicated GERD are: heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. Effective treatment is available for most patients with GERD.
Pancreatic cancer is a malignant tumor of the pancreas. Pancreatic cancer has been called a "silent" disease because early pancreatic cancer usually does not cause early symptoms. Typically, pancreatic cancer has metastasized (spread to adjacent organs, such as the liver) by the time most people receive a dignosis of pancreatic cancer. Symptoms and signs usually appear later in the course of the disease and include jaundice, back pain, nausea, weight loss, itching, and loss of appetite. Treatment depends upon the type of pancreatic cancer but may include surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy.
Cystic fibrosis is a disease of the mucus and sweat glands. Cystic fibrosis is an inherited disease. The outcome of the disease leaves the body malnourished, with bulky and fouls smelling stools, vitamin insufficiency, gas, painful or swollen abdomen, infertility, susceptible to heat emergencies, and respiratory failure. There is no cure for cystic fibrosis, treatment of symptoms is used to manage the disease.
Pancreatic cysts are collections of fluid within the pancreas. Some are benign, malignant, or pseudocysts. There are two major types of pancreatic cysts, 1) pseudocysts (inflammatory) and 2) true cysts (non-inflammatory). Symptoms of pancreatic cysts include abdominal pain, jaundice, fever, chills, and sepsis. Treatment depends on the type of cyst, and patient health.
Is H. pylori Contagious? Symptoms and Tests
H. pylori (Helicobacter pylori) infection: Is it contagious? H. pylori infection is caused by fecal contamination in either food or water, and by poor hygiene practices such as not washing the hands often. Common symptoms of H. pylori are a discomfort or pain in the area of the stomach. Some individuals describe the pain as gnawing or burning. Treatment of H. pylori infection is antibiotic therapy.
Heartburn vs. Acid Reflux (Differences and Similarities)
Heartburn and acid reflux are not the same thing. Heartburn is actually a symptom of acid reflux. Heartburn gets its name because it feels like a burning sensation around the heart. Another symptom that occurs with heartburn is a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, usually when you eat or lye down. Heartburn affects more than 60 million people in the US at least once a month. Acid reflux, or GERD, occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, which irritates it. Heartburn is just one symptom of acid reflux. Other symptoms of acid reflux include: Belching Nausea after eating A feeling of fullness during or after eating Abdominal bloating Upset stomach Belching Wheezing Reflux laryngitis A tightness in the throat Problems swallowing Indigestion In some people, vomiting Causes of acid reflux and heartburn include: Being obese Slouching (poor posture) Medications like calcium channel blockers, theophylline, nitrates, and antihistamines Foods and drinks like caffeine, citrus fruits and vegetables, alcohol, and chocolate Pregnancy Diabetes Increase in stomach acid Eating a heavy meal Eating before bed The treatment for heartburn and acid reflux is to treat the underlying cause, for example, GERD, with over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, prescription medicine, natural remedies, and lifestyle changes like a eating a healthy, less fatty, spicy diet, not eating big meals, not eating before bed, and getting regular exercise to improve your posture.Sometimes a heart attack can mimic heartburn and acid reflux because they feel very similar. If you have symptoms of chest pain, tightness in the chest, heartburn, acid reflux, jaw, tooth, or head pain; shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, sweating, discomfort in the upper middle of the abdomen, arm or upper back pain, or the general feeling of being ill, go to the nearest Emergency Department immediately because these are the symptoms of a heart attack.REFERENCES:American College of Gastroenterology. "Acid Reflux." 2017.<http://patients.gi.org/topics/acid-reflux/> familydoctor.org. "Heartburn." Updated: Mar 2014.<https://familydoctor.org/condition/heartburn/> National Library of Medicine; PubMed Health. "Heartburn and GERD: Treatment options for GERD." Updated: Nov 18, 2015.<https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072436/>
GERD and GER (Acid Reflux) in Infants and Children
GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is the upward movement of stomach content, including acid, into the esophagus and sometimes into or out of the mouth. Common symptoms of GERD in children include colic, feeding problems, poor growth, frequent vomiting or coughing, heartburn, regurgitation, recurrent wheezing, pneumonia, choking, or gagging. Treatment may involve elevating the child's bed, keeping the child upright after eating, limiting foods that seem to make the reflux worse, encouraging your child to exercise, and serving several small meals a day.
Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors (Islet Cell Tumors)
There are many types of pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors (NETs): gastrinoma, insulinoma, glucagonoma, VIPomas, and somatostatinomas. Symptoms and signs vary with the type of pancreatic NET. Standard treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, hormone therapy, chemoembolization, targeted therapy, and supportive care.
Treatment & Diagnosis
Medications & Supplements
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.