Omeprazole vs Dexilant

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For patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or other types of stomach and esophagus issues, certain drugs that reduce the amount of acid produced by glands in the lining of your stomach can help in managing symptoms. Omeprazole and Dexilant are two such drugs that are prescribed for these digestive disorders. Both affect the same enzyme system in the gastric parietal cell wall to suppress acid secretion, but each has a slightly different mechanism of action.

Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), effectively reducing levels of stomach acid by turning off many of the acid pumps. It's available both over-the-counter and via prescription depending on dosage required.

On the other hand, Dexilant works similarly as it also belongs to PPIs class; however, its dual-release formula provides two separate releases of medication: first one quickly after taking it and second approximately 4-5 hours later. This may provide more sustained symptom relief compared to traditional PPIs.

What is Omeprazole?

Omeprazole (sold under the brand name Prilosec) is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), first approved by the FDA in 1989. It works by reducing stomach acid, effectively "trapping" it from causing damage to your esophagus or stomach lining. Omeprazole is prescribed for different conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. On the other hand, Dexlansoprazole (marketed under the brand name Dexilant) also falls within this category of PPIs but was not introduced until much later, in 2009. Its mechanism of action involves dual delayed release technology which results in extended drug exposure compared with omeprazole and some other PPIs. This might result in better control of symptoms throughout the day but may come with a higher risk for potential side effects due to its longer residence time within the body.

What conditions is Omeprazole approved to treat?

Omeprazole is approved for the treatment of conditions that are caused by excessive stomach acid:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Duodenal and gastric ulcers
  • Erosive esophagitis
  • Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, a rare condition where the stomach produces too much acid.

How does Omeprazole help with these illnesses?

Omeprazole helps to manage gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions involving excess stomach acid by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It does this by blocking a system in the cells of your stomach known as the proton pump that produces stomach acid. Stomach acid is a key component in digestion, but too much can cause discomfort and lead to conditions like GERD or ulcers. Therefore, by decreasing stomach acid production with omeprazole, patients can minimize their symptoms and control their condition.

On the other hand, Dexilant also works to reduce excess acid in the stomach but it does so using a dual delayed release technology which means it releases medicine at two different times for prolonged effect throughout the day. This makes Dexilant particularly effective for those with persistent symptoms despite treatment attempts with single-release proton pump inhibitors like Omeprazole.

What is Dexilant?

Dexilant is the brand name for dexlansoprazole, a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that reduces the production of acid in the stomach. It accomplishes this by inhibiting an enzyme in the stomach lining that produces gastric acid. Dexlansoprazole was approved by the FDA in 2009 and it's used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), certain ulcers, and inflammation of esophagus. Unlike omeprazole, which also belongs to PPIs class but is metabolized once per day, dexlansoprazole has dual delayed release formulation that provides two separate releases of medication: first one within an hour or so after taking it and another around 4-5 hours later. This can provide longer-lasting relief over a full 24-hour period compared to single-release PPIs like omeprazole. Common side effects differ slightly from those seen with other PPIs such as omeprazole; patients might experience diarrhea, stomach pain or nausea more frequently while on dexlansoprazole than when using others in its class.

What conditions is Dexilant approved to treat?

Dexilant is approved by the FDA for the treatment of several conditions related to stomach acid, including:

  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic condition in which stomach acid frequently flows back into the esophagus
  • Erosive Esophagitis (EE) due to acid-mediated GERD
  • Healing of EE and relief of heartburn.

How does Dexilant help with these illnesses?

Dexlansoprazole, marketed as Dexilant, is a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that functions by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach. It serves a crucial role in managing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, and other conditions related to excessive stomach acid production. Like omeprazole, it inhibits enzymes located on gastric parietal cells responsible for secreting hydrochloric acid. However, Dexilant has an advantage over omeprazole due to its dual delayed release formulation which provides two separate releases of medication resulting in prolonged effectiveness throughout the day. This makes it particularly useful for patients who do not experience adequate symptom relief with once-daily PPIs like omeprazole or those who have symptoms at different times during the day and night.

How effective are both Omeprazole and Dexilant?

Both omeprazole and dexlansoprazole (Dexilant) have been approved by the FDA for treating conditions related to excessive stomach acid, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Omeprazole was first introduced in 1989, followed by dexlansoprazole two decades later in 2009. Both medications belong to a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which work by reducing the production of stomach acid.

The effectiveness of omeprazole and dexlansoprazole has been studied extensively over the years with both demonstrating similar efficacy in managing symptoms associated with GERD and other gastric-acid related disorders. In one head-to-head study conducted in 2010, both drugs showed comparable potency when measured on different parameters such as heartburn relief and healing rates of erosive esophagitis.

According to a review published in 2017, omeprazole has long since established itself as an effective treatment option for alleviating symptoms related to excessive stomach acid right from the first week of treatment. The optimal dose is generally around 20 mg per day. It also appears that this medication can help prevent ulcers from forming or assist existing ones heal faster.

On the other hand, while being newer makes it less prescribed than its predecessor; a meta-analysis conducted in 2014 suggests that dexlansoprazole might offer slightly better control over intra-gastric pH levels due to its unique dual-release formulation which allows it prolonged drug exposure compared to traditional PPIs like omeprazole. However, more research is needed before definitive conclusions about superiority can be drawn.

abstract image of a researcher studying a bottle of drug.

At what dose is Omeprazole typically prescribed?

Oral dosages of Omeprazole range from 20–40 mg/day, with studies showing that 20 mg/day is typically efficient for treating gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in most people. In the case of children and adolescents, they may be started on a lower dose depending on their weight and severity of symptoms. Dosage can be adjusted after several weeks if there's no adequate response to treatment. However, under any circumstance, the maximum dosage that should not be exceeded is 80 mg/day.

At what dose is Dexilant typically prescribed?

Dexilant treatment typically begins with a dosage of 30 mg/day. If necessary, the dose can then be increased to 60 mg/day. The medication should be taken once daily before a meal, ideally in the morning. For those suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), if there is no response or insufficient response to the treatment at 30 mg/day after a few weeks, your healthcare provider may increase the dose up to 60mg per day. Please remember that every individual's body responds differently to medications and it's essential to follow your doctor's advice on dosage adjustment.

What are the most common side effects for Omeprazole?

Common side effects associated with Omeprazole and Dexilant can include:

  • Headache
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Gas (flatulence)
  • Dizziness, sleepiness/drowsiness
  • Dry mouth or throat discomfort
  • Rash, itching or skin inflammation
  • Swelling of the extremities (edema)
  • Elevated liver enzymes in some cases -Dexilant may also cause decreased magnesium levels if taken for a prolonged period.

As always, it is important to discuss any new symptoms you experience after starting a medication with your healthcare provider.

abstract image of a patient experiencing side effect

Are there any potential serious side effects for Omeprazole?

While both Omeprazole and Dexilant are effective in treating conditions related to excessive stomach acid, they can occasionally present severe side effects. For Omeprazole:

  • Allergic reactions that involve difficulty in breathing or swallowing, swelling of the face, lips, throat or tongue
  • Sudden onset of a rash or blistering/peeling skin
  • Redness and pain at the site of injection
  • Unusual tiredness and lack of energy
  • Yellowing of the skin or eyes (jaundice)
  • Dark urine and pale stools

For Dexilant:

  • Severe allergic reaction symptoms such as hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
  • Lightheaded feeling like you might pass out.
  • Kidney problems - fever, rash on your cheeks or arms that worsens in sunlight; urinating less than usual; blood in your urine; rapid weight gain. Symptoms related to low magnesium levels: dizziness with fast heartbeat rate, muscle cramps/spasms/pain/twitches; jitteriness/nervousness/mood changes, spasm/hand tremors, abnormal eye movements.

In case any such symptoms occur while taking these medications it’s crucial to seek immediate medical attention.

What are the most common side effects for Dexilant?

Dexilant, while generally well-tolerated, can also present some side effects:

  • Dry mouth and throat
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Stomach pain
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Gas and bloating
  • Headache, dizziness
  • Insomnia or abnormal dreams
  • Rash or itching
    Please note that any persistent discomfort should prompt a visit to your healthcare provider. In rare cases, prolonged use of Dexilant may lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and bone fractures. As with all medications, it's important to discuss potential risks and benefits with your doctor before beginning treatment.

Are there any potential serious side effects for Dexilant?

Although Dexilant is usually well-tolerated, there can be potential side effects that may require medical attention. These can include:

  • Signs of an allergic reaction such as hives, difficulty breathing, swelling of your face or throat
  • New or worsening symptoms of lupus - joint pain and a rash on the cheeks or arms that worsens in sunlight
  • Kidney problems - urinating less than usual, blood in your urine, swelling in your feet or ankles
  • Low magnesium levels - dizziness, fast or irregular heart rate; tremors (shaking) or jerking muscle movements; feeling jittery; muscle cramps, muscle spasms in hands and feet; coughing up blood.

If any these signs are observed while using Dexilant it's important to seek immediate medical assistance.

Contraindications for Omeprazole and Dexilant?

Both Omeprazole and Dexilant, along with most other proton pump inhibitors, may cause a variety of side effects in some individuals. If you notice severe stomach pain, bloody or tarry stools, unusual weight loss, or signs of kidney problems (such as changes in the amount of urine), please seek immediate medical attention.

Neither Omeprazole nor Dexilant should be taken if you are taking certain medications like atazanavir or nelfinavir for HIV treatment. Always inform your physician about all the medications you are currently taking; these drugs will require special dosage adjustments to prevent dangerous interactions with Omeprazole and Dexilant. Also remember that long-term use of these medicines can make it harder for your body to absorb vitamin B12 resulting in deficiency over time.

How much do Omeprazole and Dexilant cost?

For the brand name versions of these drugs:

  • The price of 30 capsules of Dexilant (60 mg) averages around $270, which works out to roughly $9/day.
  • In contrast, the cost for 30 tablets of Prilosec (a brand-name version of Omeprazole) at a dose strength of 20 mg is approximately $200 or about $6.67/day.

Therefore, if you are taking higher dosages daily, then brand-name Prilosec can be less expensive on a per-day treatment basis compared to Dexilant. However, it's important to remember that cost should not be your primary consideration in determining which medication is right for you.

In terms of generic variants:

  • Generic Omeprazole (20mg tablets/capsules) usually comes in packs ranging from 14 up to several hundreds with costs as low as about $0.15 per day and typically not exceeding about $1/day depending on where and how much you buy.
  • For Dexlansoprazole - the active ingredient in Dexilant - there isn't currently a direct generic equivalent available making its overall cost significantly higher in comparison.

Popularity of Omeprazole and Dexilant

Omeprazole, available in generic form as well as under brand names such as Prilosec, was estimated to have been prescribed to about 58.8 million people in the US in 2020. Omeprazole accounted for just over 15% of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescriptions, a class of drugs used primarily to decrease stomach acid production. The popularity of omeprazole has remained relatively steady since its introduction.

Dexlansoprazole, known by the brand name Dexilant among others, was prescribed to approximately 2.6 million individuals in the USA during the same year. Dexlansoprazole accounts for close to 6% of PPI prescriptions and is often selected when patients require longer-lasting acid suppression throughout the day and night due to its unique dual-release formulation. Like other PPIs, dexlansoprazole usage has been stable over recent years.


Both Omeprazole and Dexilant (dexlansoprazole) have been widely used for the treatment of conditions associated with excessive stomach acid, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcers, and Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. They are classified as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which work by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

The choice between these two medications often depends on individual patient factors and response to therapy. While both drugs effectively suppress gastric acid production, Dexilant has a dual-release formulation allowing for prolonged drug exposure and may provide longer relief from heartburn symptoms compared to Omeprazole.

Omeprazole is available over-the-counter in many countries at lower doses while Dexilant requires a prescription. The availability of omeprazole in generic form can lead to significant cost savings especially for patients who must pay out-of-pocket.

Side effects are similar between these two drugs; they're generally well tolerated but may include headache, diarrhea, constipation or nausea. Long-term use of any PPI should be done under medical supervision due to potential risks including kidney problems, bone fractures and vitamin B12 deficiency among others. As always when starting new medication therapy it's essential that patients closely monitor their condition and seek immediate medical attention if symptoms persist or worsen.