There may be a connection between omeprazole and weight gain, but it is a very rare one if it does exist. Weight gain is a listed possible side effect of the treatment but is only reported by less than 1% of people taking the drug. Studies have looked into the effects of omeprazole, and found that people taking the drug were more likely to gain weight than those taking a placebo. Despite these results, particularly sudden or unexpected weight gain is still a severe and unusual side effect of the treatment.
Most drug treatments will cause some side effects in patients, and these are classified according to their likelihood of occurring. Sudden or severe weight gain is listed as a possible side effect of omeprazole, but it occurs in only an extremely small number of patients. Arguably, it is possible that the drug’s intended effect, to reduce stomach acid for patients suffering from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or ulcers, soothes the stomach and makes the patient more likely to eat. Any patient who experiences unusually sudden or severe weight gain should contact a medical professional, however, because this could be a sign of a serious adverse reaction to the treatment.
Studies have been conducted into the link between proton pump inhibitor drugs, such as omeprazole, and weight gain. Specifically, studies have looked at this effect in patients suffering with GERD. It has been found that an increase in weight over a two year period occurs in over 70% of patients taking this or similar drugs. The weight gain reported was only minimal, however, at around a 6% increase when compared to their baseline body weight. This small increase in body weight should be managed through diet and exercise, if possible.
Any patient who experiences a link between omeprazole and weight gain should attempt to manage the problem through lifestyle changes. Eating a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, and lean meat is one way in which the problem can be managed. Patients who have trouble with weight gain should also use low-fat or fat-free alternatives to milk and avoid saturated fats and trans-fats. Getting regular exercise can also stave off weight gain.
Although it is unlikely, patients taking all of these precautions can still have trouble with weight gain. In less than 1% of people, diet and exercise may make little difference. Patients experiencing rapid or otherwise unusual weight gain should contact a medical professional immediately. This side effect may be a cause to stop taking the drug.
Common Side Effects of Omeprazole
Severe adverse reactions from omeprazole usage are rare but allergic reactions like nausea, rash, diarrhea, and vomiting have been reported. Headaches, abdominal pain, and diarrhea were omeprazole's most frequently observed side effects.
Can Omeprazole Use Cause Bloating?
Bloating is a condition in which the belly fills up with gas and becomes tight. Abdominal bloating is usually a temporary condition and resolves on its own. Some medicines, such as omeprazole, can cause bloating. That might make the patient feel obese or overweight. Proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole delay the rate of emptying of gastric contents, which increases the chances of bloating (flatulence).
Drugs That Can Cause Weight Gain
Sometimes a patient takes more than one drug at a time for different health conditions. Various classes of drugs cause weight gain as a side effect. Drugs that most commonly cause unwanted weight gain include antidepressants, epilepsy drugs, oral steroids, heart medications (beta-blockers), and drugs for diabetes.
Antidepressant drugs and oral corticosteroids are the main culprits in increasing body weight. Individuals who take omeprazole with either of the drugs might gain weight due to these drugs and not omeprazole.
Though rare, there is the possibility of weight gain due to omeprazole. While you manage to shed the unwanted pounds with simple dietary and lifestyle changes, it is crucial to seek prompt medical attention if you experience sudden weight gain, as it may indicate sensitivity to the medication.