Prilosec (omeprazole) is a drug used to decrease symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (acid in the throat) or peptic ulcer disease. It acts by decreasing acid production in the stomach. It is an excellent drug which allows healing of the damaged stomach and esophagus (swallowing tube).

Prilosec has been around for about 20 years and has been used to treat millions of individuals with hyperacidity all over the world. Numerous clinical trials have shown it to be a safe drug. The few side effects which occur in 1% of individuals include:

- allergic reactions, fever, fatigue

- chest pain, fast or slow heart rates, increased blood pressure

- dry mouth, fungal infection of mouth, loss of appetite

- Liver- elevation of liver enzymes, liver cirrhosis, liver failure

- Low sodium, low sugar

- Muscle and joint pain

- Depression, agitation, inability to sleep, anxiety

- Nose bleeds

In very rare cases, Prilosec is also known to cause skin problems which include:

- Red skin rash

- toxic peeling skin rash (TEN, which can be lethal)

- Steven Johnson syndrome- peeling skin rash with blisters

- large blisters with fluids (bulla)

- bleeding points on the skin

- hives

- sun sensitivity

- hair loss

- dry skin

- excessive hair growth

These skin problems are rare and reversible once the drug therapy is stopped. It is imperative that if you develop any severe skin reaction while taking Prilosec, a visit to your physician is mandatory.

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