Omeprazole is a common prescription drug and over-the-counter (OTC) medication commonly used to treat heartburn. Omeprazole is the generic name but can be found under the brand name Prilosec or Prilosec OTC. Costs vary, depending on whether it is prescribed or purchased OTC and depending on the form and quantity. Without insurance, omeprazole costs between $8 and $110 without insurance or any discounts.
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The Cost of Omeprazole without Insurance
Not all health insurance plans cover the cost of prescription drugs, and many prescriptions can break the bank without insurance or without a plan that offers Rx coverage. If you have Medicare, it may also depend on whether you have a Part D benefit. Thankfully, omeprazole, a common prescription drug used to treat heartburn and other conditions, is also available over-the-counter (OTC) at local pharmacies for about $20.
Below is a breakdown of the average cost of the prescription version without insurance compared to the over-the-counter version of omeprazole offered at the same facility. Rates are based on a quantity of 42 20mg tablets of the 24-hour generic omeprazole.
The Cost of Omeprazole without Insurance at Different Pharmacies
|Location||Prescription cost without insurance||Over-the-Counter|
Without insurance, you can expect to pay more for the prescription version, especially from certain locations. Speak with your doctor on whether the OTC version could be used as a supplemental treatment instead of the prescription. Depending on your location, you may have to pay upwards of $100 for your omeprazole prescription or more. Thankfully, many discount opportunities exist, such as MiraRx.
Factors That Affect the Price of Omeprazole
Several factors may determine how much you pay for omeprazole. While omeprazole is typically cheaper when bought at a pharmacy than a prescription, follow your doctor’s orders as to which form is most suitable for your medical needs.
- Product Name: Omeprazole is the generic name for the medication, but Prilosec or Prilosec OTC is the brand name. Many major pharmacies have their own generic version of omeprazole at a lower cost than the brand name, but they are nearly identical.
- Insurance Status: If you do not have insurance, you may have to pay upwards of $100 for a prescription of omeprazole. If you have insurance, these rates will be far lower depending on whether it is covered under the drug list of your insurer.
- Type of Insurance: Not all insurance provides prescription drug coverage, so you may be expected to pay out-of-pocket or use an associated health savings account (HSA).
- Prescription or OTC: As shown in the table above, you can expect to pay more for the prescription version over the OTC.
- Quantity: The cost of the over-the-counter omeprazole medication can vary depending on the quantity. Many pharmacies offer 14, 28, or 42 tablets or capsules, and of course, increase in price with the greater the quantity.
- Concentration: Omeprazole comes in different concentrations of 10mg, 20mg, or 40mg; the greater the concentration, the more you may be expected to pay.
- Form: Omeprazole comes in tablets, capsules, or powder to be put in a suspension and may indicate a price difference.
Omeprazole Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It is important to understand what omeprazole is and how it should be taken before taking it. Below we discuss some frequently asked questions about omeprazole to understand better the differences between the over-the-counter and prescription versions and the potential side effects you may experience.
What is Omeprazole?
Prescription omeprazole can be used or in conjunction with other medications to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal disease (GERD). GERD is a condition when the backward flow of stomach acid causes heartburn which may also cause injury to the esophagus. Prescription omeprazole treats the damage GERD causes and allows the esophagus to heal and prevent further damage.
You may also know omeprazole from its brand-name counterparts such as Prilosec or Talicia - a combination of amoxicillin, omeprazole, and rifabutin. Other medications in combination with omeprazole include Zegerid. Prescription omeprazole can also treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome and ulcers - sores on the stomach lining, which can also be caused by the bacteria H. pylori.
What Should You Do Before Taking Omeprazole?
Before taking omeprazole, you should take it to your doctor about potential allergies you may have. Of course, if you know you are allergic to omeprazole, you should let your doctor know immediately. According to Medline, you should tell your doctor if you are allergic to the following:
- Dexlansoprazole (Dexilant)
- Esomeprazole (Nexium)
- Iansoprazole (Prevacid, Prevpac)
- Pantoprazole (Protonix)
- Rabeprazole (Aciphex)
As always, let your physician know what other prescription medications you may be taking along with vitamins and other supplements. Depending on the medication, your doctor may need to modify the dose or require careful monitoring. If you are taking rilpivirine (Edurant, in Coplera, Odefsey), your doctor may not recommend omeprazole and have an alternative medication for you to use.
How Do You Take Omeprazole?
Prescription and OTC omeprazole come in different forms and should be taken exactly as directed. If you are taking the OTC omeprazole, you should speak with your doctor about other vitamins, dietary supplements, and allergies you may have to avoid adverse reactions. Continue reading for signs and symptoms of potential side effects and overdose when taking omeprazole.
Specific directions on how to use the various forms of omeprazole, here.
To prevent breakdown by stomach acid, prescription omeprazole comes as a delayed-release capsule or in granules mixed with liquid. Prescription omeprazole should be taken at least 1 hour before a meal and is usually taken once a day, but can be taken twice or up to three times a day when used with other medications to eliminate H. pylori.
Even if your symptoms improve before completing your prescription omeprazole treatment, continue taking your medication as directed and do not stop the treatment. For either the prescription or OTC version, you should follow the directions on your prescription or package label and take the medication as directed. It is not recommended to take more or less of the medication on a more frequent basis or longer duration. Speak with your doctor or pharmacist to provide any additional clarity.
The over-the-counter or nonprescription omeprazole also comes as delayed-releases tablets taken orally. These should usually be taken once a day, in the morning at least 1 hour before eating for 14 consecutive days. Additional 14-day treatment can be repeated, but it is not advisable to take more than one round of treatment every 4 months. It would be best to try to choose the same time to take the medication each day to help keep you on track.
While omeprazole is used for heartburn relief, it should not be used for immediate relief. It may take between 1 to 4 days for symptoms to improve. If you believe your symptoms are getting worse or not improving after 14 days, or your symptoms return before completing a 4-month treatment, speak with your doctor. Do not take OTC omeprazole for more than 14 days or treat yourself more than once every 4 months without consulting your doctor.
What are the Side Effects of Omeprazole?
Like any medication, you may experience side effects when taking omeprazole. Side effect severity may vary, and it is important to recognize when you should call your doctor or seek immediate emergency medical attention.
Speak with your doctor as soon as possible if the following symptoms are severe or do not go away:
If you experience the following, you should call your doctor or get emergency medical help immediately:
- Swelling of your face, throat, tongue, lips, eyes, or limbs
- Irregular, fast, or pounding heartbeats
- Excessive tiredness
- Muscle cramps, spasms, or weakness
- Severe diarrhea
Symptoms of Overdose
In case of an overdose, you can call the poison control hotline or visit Poison Help. If you think you or someone else may collapse, is having or will have a seizure, have difficulty breathing, or remains unconscious, you should immediately call 911. Symptoms of overdose may include the following:
- Blurred vision
- Dry mouth
How should omeprazole be stored?
Medline suggests the medication should be kept tightly closed in the container that came in and out of reach from children. This medication is not recommended to be kept in a bathroom, as it should be stored at room temperature and away from excess light, heat, and moisture.
To dispose of unneeded medications, you should speak with your pharmacist about a take-back program or contact local garbage and recycling departments, as this medication should not be flushed down the toilet. The FDA has a Safe Disposal Medicine website of other disposal considerations.
The price of omeprazole can vary, but compared to other medications, it is relatively inexpensive. Without insurance, omeprazole can be found under its generic name or Prilosec brand for as little as $10.
While you can expect to pay more for the prescription without insurance, a Mira membership can get you prescription omeprazole for just $8. Try Mira today!