The uses of omeprazole are primarily acid-induced problems with the stomach, such as ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and heartburn. For a patient who also suffers from blood pressure problems, the relationship between omeprazole and blood pressure becomes critical. High blood pressure is considered a rare side effect of omeprazole, but the medication contains sodium, which may disrupt a sodium-conscious diet. Drug interactions between omeprazole and some high blood pressure medications should be considered, and omeprazole is sometimes used to combat some negative consequences of blood pressure medications. The effects of omeprazole on pregnancy should be weighed against the benefits of the drug as well.
Those concerned about using omeprazole and its effects on blood pressure should consider that the drug could cause high blood pressure. Hypertension is listed as one of the cardiovascular risks of Omeprazole. Of note, however, is the fact that it has been reported as a rare result of taking the medication.
What Is Omeprazole?
Omeprazole is a type of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) that helps reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces. It's an over-the-counter medication you can get at most pharmacies without a prescription.
Other common over-the-counter PPIs that have a similar effect that omeprazole has are:
- Zegerid (omeprazole combined with sodium bicarbonate)
You might need a prescription medication for more serious GERD, ulcers, or esophagus damage. These three prescription medications treat the same conditions as omeprazole:
All of these omeprazole alternatives shouldn't cause high blood pressure in individuals. The side effect can still happen, but it's rare.
Other Side Effects of Taking Omeprazole
As we mentioned before, high blood pressure is a rare but possible side effect of taking omeprazole. While this is rare, there are other side effects you must be aware of if you must start taking this medication. More common side effects of omeprazole are:
- Stomach pain
None of these side effects are necessarily cause for alarm, but you should speak with your doctor if these side effects persist. Vomiting and diarrhea can be dangerous due to dehydration.
Other rare side effects can happen with this medication besides high blood pressure. These affect only one in 1,000 people who take this medication, but you need to speak with your doctor immediately if you experience:
- A drastic change in energy levels
- Darker urine
- Your skin turns a yellow hue
- Joint pain with a red rash
- Loss of appetite
- Persistent diarrhea
If you experience the above side effects, you could be experiencing liver problems, an inflamed bowel, or a rare skin condition.
The Sodium Content of Omeprazole
One potential problem for those combining omeprazole and blood pressure issues is the sodium content of the medication. Each packet of powder contains 460 mg of sodium, and each capsule contains 304 mg of sodium. For individuals with a restricted diet due to high blood pressure, this would need to be taken into consideration.
The main reason someone might experience an increase in their blood pressure while taking omeprazole is due to the sodium content. Individuals consuming a high amount of sodium on a daily basis are at risk for high blood pressure.
With a high sodium content, those taking this medication while consuming a lot of sodium are much more likely to experience high blood pressure than those who are mindful of their sodium intake. Besides high blood pressure, too much sodium can cause heart disease, stroke, calcium loss, and other cardiovascular issues.
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the recommended sodium intake for adults is less than 2,300 milligrams per day. Considering how much sodium is in each packet or capsule of omeprazole, it takes up a significant amount of your daily sodium intake.
For those on a restricted diet due to high blood pressure, it will take up even more space in your diet, so you must consider this when taking the medication. The recommended sodium intake for people with high blood pressure is drastically lower, with only 1,500 milligrams per day.
Drug and Alcohol Interactions With Omeprazole
With most medications, knowing whether you can or shouldn't consume alcohol is on many people's minds. Both mild or severe drug and alcohol interactions can occur with many medications.
For those who enjoy a nice glass of wine, cold beer, or cocktail, consuming alcohol in moderation while taking omeprazole is okay. Most people don't feel any difference when sober on omeprazole compared to when they've been drinking.
If you notice that you feel extra dizzy when drinking and on this medication, you should stop and consult your doctor—something to remember when drinking is it can be harsh on your stomach. If you're taking omeprazole, you probably suffer from acid reflux, and drinking could be counterproductive to what you're trying to treat.
Even though high blood pressure is a rare side effect of taking omeprazole, when combined with heavy alcohol consumption, your blood pressure is likely to be high. Drinking alcohol in large quantities can cause high blood pressure, and the added sodium in certain drinks won't help the situation.
Drinking alcohol won't directly cause any issues while taking this medication, but some indirect problems could lead to health concerns. That doesn't mean there aren't other drugs more dangerous to take while on omeprazole or another similar PPI.
Some omeprazole drug interactions may also be dangerous for those with blood pressure problems. One of the side effects of omeprazole is an increase in blood level, so some blood pressure medications such as Warfarin and Clopidogrel will be rendered less effective. The need for omeprazole and the need of the blood pressure medication should be evaluated with a doctor so the omeprazole dosage can be adjusted or another medication chosen.
An indirect relationship between omeprazole and blood pressure involves some drugs prescribed to reduce blood pressure. Some of these medications include calcium channel blockers, which can have negative stomach side effects, such as vomiting. Omeprazole is sometimes used to combat stomach issues resulting from using the hypertension drugs.
Pregnant women may have both heartburn and elevated blood pressure, and may be wondering about the relationship between omeprazole and blood pressure. Data is limited regarding the effects of taking omeprazole and pregnancy, so it should only be taken when the benefits from the drug outweighs risk. Some animal studies show a direct correlation between the drug and problems with the fetus.