"The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved the first generic version of Nexium (esomeprazole magnesium delayed-release capsules) to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in adults and children ages 1 and older. Esomeprazole"...
Mechanism Of Action
Omeprazole belongs to a class of antisecretory compounds, the substituted benzimidazoles, that do not exhibit anticholinergic or H2 histamine antagonistic properties, but that suppress gastric acid secretion by specific inhibition of the H+/K+ ATPase enzyme system at the secretory surface of the gastric parietal cell. Because this enzyme system is regarded as the acid (proton) pump within the gastric mucosa, omeprazole has been characterized as a gastric acid-pump inhibitor, in that it blocks the final step of acid production. This effect is dose related and leads to inhibition of both basal and stimulated acid secretion irrespective of the stimulus. Animal studies indicate that after rapid disappearance from plasma, omeprazole can be found within the gastric mucosa for a day or more.
Omeprazole is acid labile and thus rapidly degraded by gastric acid. ZEGERID Capsules and Powder for Oral Suspension are immediate-release formulations that contain sodium bicarbonate which raises the gastric pH and thus protects omeprazole from acid degradation.
Results from a PK/PD study of the antisecretory effect of repeated once-daily dosing of 40 mg and 20 mg of ZEGERID Oral Suspension in healthy subjects are shown in Table 5 below.
Table 5: Effect of ZEGERID
Oral Suspension on Intragastric pH, Day 7
|Parameter||Omeprazo Bicarl||le/Sodium onate|
|40 mg/1680 mg
(n = 24)
|20 mg/1680 mg
(n = 28)
|% Decrease from Baseline for Integrated Gastric Acidity (mmol-hr/L)||84%||82%|
|Coefficient of variation||20%||24%|
|% Time Gastric pH > 4*(Hours)*||77% (18.6 h)||51% (12.2 h)|
|Coefficient of variation||27%||43%|
|Coefficient of variation||17%||37%|
|Note: Values represent medians. All parameters were measured over
a 24-hour period.
* p < 0.05 20 mg vs. 40 mg
Results from a separate PK/PD study of antisecretory effect on repeated once-daily dosing of 40 mg/1100 mg and 20 mg/1100 mg of ZEGERID Capsules in healthy subjects show similar effects in general on the above three PD parameters as those for ZEGERID 40 mg/1680 mg and 20 mg/1680 mg Oral Suspension, respectively.
The antisecretory effect lasts longer than would be expected from the very short (1 hour) plasma half-life, apparently due to irreversible binding to the parietal H+/K+ ATPase enzyme.
Enterochromaffin-like (ECL) Cell Effects
In 24-month carcinogenicity studies in rats, a dose-related significant increase in gastric carcinoid tumors and ECL cell hyperplasia was observed in both male and female animals [See Nonclinical Toxicology]. Carcinoid tumors have also been observed in rats subjected to fundectomy or long-term treatment with other proton pump inhibitors or high doses of H2-receptor antagonists. Human gastric biopsy specimens have been obtained from more than 3000 patients treated with omeprazole in long-term clinical trials. The incidence of ECL cell hyperplasia in these studies increased with time; however, no case of ECL cell carcinoids, dysplasia, or neoplasia has been found in these patients. These studies are of insufficient duration and size to rule out the possible influence of long-term administration of omeprazole on the development of any premalignant or malignant conditions.
Serum Gastrin Effects
In studies involving more than 200 patients, serum gastrin levels increased during the first 1 to 2 weeks of once-daily administration of therapeutic doses of omeprazole in parallel with inhibition of acid secretion. No further increase in serum gastrin occurred with continued treatment. In comparison with histamine H2-receptor antagonists, the median increases produced by 20 mg doses of omeprazole were higher (1.3 to 3.6 fold vs. 1.1 to 1.8 fold increase). Gastrin values returned to pretreatment levels, usually within 1 to 2 weeks after discontinuation of therapy.
Increased gastrin causes enterochromaffin-like cell hyperplasia and increased serum Chromogranin A (CgA) levels. The increased CgA levels may cause false positive results in diagnostic investigations for neuroendocrine tumors.
Systemic effects of omeprazole in the CNS, cardiovascular and respiratory systems have not been found to date. Omeprazole, given in oral doses of 30 or 40 mg for 2 to 4 weeks, had no effect on thyroid function, carbohydrate metabolism, or circulating levels of parathyroid hormone, cortisol, estradiol, testosterone, prolactin, cholecystokinin or secretin. No effect on gastric emptying of the solid and liquid components of a test meal was demonstrated after a single dose of omeprazole 90 mg. In healthy subjects, a single I.V. dose of omeprazole (0.35 mg/kg) had no effect on intrinsic factor secretion. No systematic dose-dependent effect has been observed on basal or stimulated pepsin output in humans. However, when intragastric pH is maintained at 4.0 or above, basal pepsin output is low, and pepsin activity is decreased.
As do other agents that elevate intragastric pH, omeprazole administered for 14 days in healthy subjects produced a significant increase in the intragastric concentrations of viable bacteria. The pattern of the bacterial species was unchanged from that commonly found in saliva. All changes resolved within three days of stopping treatment.
The course of Barrett's esophagus in 106 patients was evaluated in a U.S. double-blind controlled study of omeprazole 40 mg b.i.d. for 12 months followed by 20 mg b.i.d. for 12 months or ranitidine 300 mg b.i.d. for 24 months. No clinically significant impact on Barrett's mucosa by antisecretory therapy was observed. Although neosquamous epithelium developed during antisecretory therapy, complete elimination of Barrett's mucosa was not achieved. No significant difference was observed between treatment groups in development of dysplasia in Barrett's mucosa and no patient developed esophageal carcinoma during treatment. No significant differences between treatment groups were observed in development of ECL cell hyperplasia, corpus atrophic gastritis, corpus intestinal metaplasia, or colon polyps exceeding 3 mm in diameter.
In separate in vivo bioavailability studies, when ZEGERID Oral Suspension and Capsules are administered on an empty stomach 1 hour prior to a meal, the absorption of omeprazole is rapid, with mean peak plasma levels (% CV) of omeprazole being 1954 ng/mL (33%) and 1526 ng/mL (49%), respectively, and time to peak of approximately 30 minutes (range 10-90 min) after a single-dose or repeated-dose administration. Absolute bioavailability of ZEGERID Powder for Oral Suspension (compared to I.V. administration) is about 30-40% at doses of 20 – 40 mg, due in large part to presystemic metabolism. When ZEGERID Oral Suspension 40 mg/1680 mg was administered in a two-dose loading regimen, the omeprazole AUC (0-inf) (ng•hr/mL) was 1665 after Dose 1 and 3356 after Dose 2, while Tmax was approximately 30 minutes for both Dose 1 and Dose 2.
Following single or repeated once daily dosing, peak plasma concentrations of omeprazole from ZEGERID are approximately proportional from 20 to 40 mg doses, but a greater than linear mean AUC (three-fold increase) is observed when doubling the dose to 40 mg. The bioavailability of omeprazole from ZEGERID increases upon repeated administration.
When ZEGERID is administered 1 hour after a meal, the omeprazole AUC is reduced by approximately 24% relative to administration 1 hour prior to a meal.
Omeprazole is bound to plasma proteins. Protein binding is approximately 95%.
Following single-dose oral administration of omeprazole, the majority of the dose (about 77%) is eliminated in urine as at least six metabolites. Two metabolites have been identified as hydroxyomeprazole and the corresponding carboxylic acid. The remainder of the dose was recoverable in feces. This implies a significant biliary excretion of the metabolites of omeprazole. Three metabolites have been identified in plasma – the sulfide and sulfone derivatives of omeprazole, and hydroxyomeprazole. These metabolites have very little or no antisecretory activity.
Following single-dose oral administration of omeprazole, little if any, unchanged drug is excreted in urine. The mean plasma omeprazole half-life in healthy subjects is approximately 1 hour (range 0.4 to 3.2 hours) and the total body clearance is 500-600 mL/min.
Concomitant Use with Clopidogrel
In a crossover clinical study, 72 healthy subjects were administered clopidogrel (300 mg loading dose followed by 75 mg per day) alone and with omeprazole (80 mg at the same time as clopidogrel) for 5 days. The exposure to the active metabolite of clopidogrel was decreased by 46% (Day 1) and 42% (Day 5) when clopidogrel and omeprazole were administered together. Results from another crossover study in healthy subjects showed a similar pharmacokinetic interaction between clopidogrel (300 mg loading dose/75 mg daily maintenance dose) and omeprazole 80 mg daily when coadministered for 30 days. Exposure to the active metabolite of clopidogrel was reduced by 41% to 46% over this time period.
In another study, 72 healthy subjects were given the same doses of clopidogrel and 80 mg omeprazole but the drugs were administered 12 hours apart; the results were similar, indicating that administering clopidogrel and omeprazole at different times does not prevent their interaction.
Concomitant Use with Mycophenolate Mofetil
Administration of omeprazole 20 mg twice daily for 4 days and a single 1000 mg dose of MMF approximately one hour after the last dose of omeprazole to 12 healthy subjects in a cross-over study resulted in a 52% reduction in the Cmax and 23% reduction in the AUC of MPA.
The elimination rate of omeprazole was somewhat decreased in the elderly, and bioavailability was increased. Omeprazole was 76% bioavailable when a single 40-mg oral dose of omeprazole (buffered solution) was administered to healthy elderly subjects, versus 58% in young subjects given the same dose. Nearly 70% of the dose was recovered in urine as metabolites of omeprazole and no unchanged drug was detected. The plasma clearance of omeprazole was 250 mL/min (about half that of young subjects) and its plasma half-life averaged one hour, similar to that of young healthy subjects.
The pharmacokinetics of ZEGERID has not been studied in patients < 18 years of age.
There are no known differences in the absorption or excretion of omeprazole between males and females.
In patients with chronic hepatic disease, the bioavailability of omeprazole from a buffered solution increased to approximately 100% compared to an I.V. dose, reflecting decreased first-pass effect, and the mean plasma half-life of the drug increased to nearly 3 hours compared to the mean half-life of 1 hour in normal subjects. Plasma clearance averaged 70 mL/min, compared to a value of 500-600 mL/min in normal subjects. Dose reduction, particularly where maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis is indicated, for the hepatically impaired should be considered.
In patients with chronic renal impairment, whose creatinine clearance ranged between 10 and 62 mL/min/1.73 m², the disposition of omeprazole from a buffered solution was very similar to that in healthy subjects, although there was a slight increase in bioavailability. Because urinary excretion is a primary route of excretion of omeprazole metabolites, their elimination slowed in proportion to the decreased creatinine clearance. No dose reduction is necessary in patients with renal impairment
In pharmacokinetic studies of single 20-mg omeprazole doses, an increase in AUC of approximately four-fold was noted in Asian subjects compared to Caucasians. Dose adjustment, particularly where maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis is indicated, for Asian subjects should be considered.
Animal Toxicology And/Or Pharmacology
Reproductive Toxicology Studies
Reproduction studies conducted in pregnant rats with omeprazole at doses up to 138 mg/kg/day (about 33.6times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis) and in pregnant rabbits at doses up to 69 mg/kg/day (about 33.6times an oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis) did not disclose any evidence for a teratogenic potential of omeprazole. In rabbits, omeprazole in a dose range of 6.9 to 69 mg/kg/day (about 3.3 to 33.6 times the human dose of 40 mg/day on a body surface area basis) produced dose-related increases in embryo-lethality, fetal resorptions and pregnancy disruptions. In rats, dose-related embryo/fetal toxicity and postnatal developmental toxicity were observed in offspring resulting from parents treated with omeprazole at 13.8 to 138.0 mg/kg/day (about 3.3 to 33.6 times the human dose of 40 mg/day on a body surface area basis).
Juvenile Animal Study
A 28-day toxicity study with a 14-day recovery phase was conducted in juvenile rats with esomeprazole magnesium at doses of 70 to 280 mg /kg/day (about 17 to 68 times a daily oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis). An increase in the number of deaths at the high dose of 280 mg /kg/day was observed when juvenile rats were administered esomeprazole magnesium from postnatal day 7 through postnatal day 35. In addition, doses equal to or greater than 140 mg/kg/day (about 34 times a daily oral human dose of 40 mg on a body surface area basis), produced treatment-related decreases in body weight (approximately 14%) and body weight gain, decreases in femur weight and femur length, and affected overall growth. Comparable findings described above have also been observed in this study with another esomeprazole salt, esomeprazole strontium, at equimolar doses of esomeprazole.
Duodenal Ulcer Disease
Active Duodenal Ulcer
In a multicenter, double-blind, placebo controlled study of 147 patients with endoscopically documented duodenal ulcer, the percentage of patients healed (per protocol) at 2 and 4 weeks was significantly higher with omeprazole 20 mg once a day than with placebo (p ≤ 0.01). (See Table 6)
Table 6: Treatment of Active
Duodenal Ulcer % of Patients Healed
|Omeprazole 20 mg a.m.
(n = 99)
(n = 48)
|* (p ≤ 0.01)|
Complete daytime and nighttime pain relief occurred significantly faster (p ≤ 0.01) in patients treated with omeprazole 20 mg than in patients treated with placebo. At the end of the study, significantly more patients who had received omeprazole had complete relief of daytime pain (p ≤ 0.05) and nighttime pain (p ≤ 0.01).
In a multicenter, double-blind study of 293 patients with endoscopically documented duodenal ulcer, the percentage of patients healed (per protocol) at 4 weeks was significantly higher with omeprazole 20 mg once a day than with ranitidine 150 mg b.i.d. (p < 0.01). (See Table 7)
Table 7: Treatment of Active
Duodenal Ulcer % of Patients Healed
|Omeprazole20 mg a.m.
(n = 145)
|Ranitidine150 mg b.i.d.
(n = 148)
|* (p < 0.01)|
Healing occurred significantly faster in patients treated with omeprazole than in those treated with ranitidine 150 mg b.i.d. (p < 0.01).
In a foreign multinational randomized, double-blind study of 105 patients with endoscopically documented duodenal ulcer, 40 mg and 20 mg of omeprazole were compared to 150 mg b.i.d. of ranitidine at 2, 4 and 8 weeks. At 2 and 4 weeks both doses of omeprazole were statistically superior (per protocol) to ranitidine, but 40 mg was not superior to 20 mg of omeprazole, and at 8 weeks there was no significant difference between any of the active drugs. (See Table 8)
Table 8: Treatment of Active
Duodenal Ulcer % of Patients Healed
|Omeprazole||Ranitidine 150 mg b.i.d.
(n = 35)
(n = 36)
(n = 34)
|*(p ≤ 0.01)|
In a U.S. multicenter, double-blind study of omeprazole 40 mg once a day, 20 mg once a day, and placebo in 520 patients with endoscopically diagnosed gastric ulcer, the following results were obtained. (See Table 9)
Table 9: Treatment of
Gastric Ulcer % of Patients Healed (All Patients Treated)
|Omeprazole 40 mg q.d.
(n = 214)
|Omeprazole 20 mg q.d.
(n = 202)
(n = 104)
|** (p < 0.01) Omeprazole 40
mg or 20 mg versus placebo
+ (p < 0.05) Omeprazole 40 mg versus 20 mg
For the stratified groups of patients with ulcer size less than or equal to 1 cm, no difference in healing rates between 40 mg and 20 mg was detected at either 4 or 8 weeks. For patients with ulcer size greater than 1 cm, 40 mg was significantly more effective than 20 mg at 8 weeks.
In a foreign, multinational, double-blind study of 602 patients with endoscopically diagnosed gastric ulcer, omeprazole 40 mg once a day, 20 mg once a day, and ranitidine 150 mg twice a day were evaluated. (See Table 10)
Table 10: Treatment of Gastric
Ulcer % of Patients Healed (All Patients Treated)
|Omeprazole 40 mg q.d.
(n = 187)
|Omeprazole 20 mg q.d.
(n = 200)
|Ranitidine 150 mg b.i.d.
(n = 199)
|Week 4||78 1**,++||63.5||56.3|
|**(p < 0.01) Omeprazole 40
mg versus ranitidine
++(p < 0.01) Omeprazole 40 mg versus 20 mg
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
A placebo controlled study was conducted in Scandinavia to compare the efficacy of omeprazole 20 mg or 10 mg once daily for up to 4 weeks in the treatment of heartburn and other symptoms in GERD patients without erosive esophagitis. Results are shown in Table 11.
Table 11: % Successful
|Omeprazole 20 mg a.m.||Omeprazole 10 mg a.m.||Placebo a.m.|
|(n = 205)||(n = 199)||(n = 105)|
|Patients with confirmed GERD||56*,†||36†||14|
|(n = 115)||(n = 109)||(n = 59)|
|aDefined as complete resolution of heartburn
* (p < 0.005) versus 10 mg
† (p < 0.005) versus placebo
In a U.S. multicenter double-blind placebo controlled study of 40 mg or 20 mg of omeprazole delayed release capsules in patients with symptoms of GERD and endoscopically diagnosed erosive esophagitis of grade 2 or above, the percentage healing rates (per protocol) were as shown in Table 12.
Table 12: % Patients Healed
|Omeprazole 40 mg
(n = 87)
|Omeprazole 20 mg
(n = 8 )
(n = 43)
|* (p < 0.01) Omeprazole versus placebo.|
In this study, the 40-mg dose was not superior to the 20-mg dose of omeprazole in the percentage healing rate. Other controlled clinical trials have also shown that omeprazole is effective in severe GERD. In comparisons with histamine H2-receptor antagonists in patients with erosive esophagitis, grade 2 or above, omeprazole in a dose of 20 mg was significantly more effective than the active controls. Complete daytime and nighttime heartburn relief occurred significantly faster (p < 0.01) in patients treated with omeprazole than in those taking placebo or histamine H2-receptor antagonists.
In this and five other controlled GERD studies, significantly more patients taking 20 mg omeprazole (84%) reported complete relief of GERD symptoms than patients receiving placebo (12%).
Long Term Maintenance Treatment Of Erosive Esophagitis
In a U.S. double-blind, randomized, multicenter, placebo controlled study; two dose regimens of omeprazole were studied in patients with endoscopically confirmed healed esophagitis. Results to determine maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis are shown in Table 13.
Table 13: Life Table
|Omeprazole 20 mg q.d.
(n = 138)
|Omeprazole 20 mg 3 days per week
(n = 137)
|Percent in endoscopic remission at 6 months||70 *||34||11|
|* (p < 0.01) Omeprazole 20 mg once daily versus Omeprazole 20 mg 3 consecutive days per week or placebo.|
In an international, multicenter, double-blind study, omeprazole 20 mg daily and 10 mg daily were compared to ranitidine 150 mg twice daily in patients with endoscopically confirmed healed esophagitis. Table 14 provides the results of this study for maintenance of healing of erosive esophagitis.
Table 14: Life Table
|Omeprazole 20 mg q.d.
(n = 131)
|Omeprazole 10 mg q.d.
(n = 133)
|Ranitidine 150 mg b.i.d.
(n = 128)
endoscopic remission at 12months
|* (p = 0.01) Omeprazole 20 mg
once daily versus Omeprazole 10 mg once daily or Ranitidine.
‡ (p = 0.03) Omeprazole 10 mg once daily versus Ranitidine.
In patients who initially had grades 3 or 4 erosive esophagitis, for maintenance after healing 20 mg daily of omeprazole was effective, while 10 mg did not demonstrate effectiveness.
Reduction Of Risk Of Upper Gastrointestinal Bleeding In Critically Ill Patients
A double-blind, multicenter, randomized, non-inferiority clinical trial was conducted to compare ZEGERID Oral Suspension 40 mg/1680 mg and I.V. cimetidine for the reduction of risk of upper gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding in critically ill patients (mean APACHE II score = 23.7). The primary endpoint was significant upper GI bleeding defined as bright red blood which did not clear after adjustment of the nasogastric tube and a 5 to 10 minute lavage, or persistent Gastroccult® positive coffee grounds for 8 consecutive hours which did not clear with 100 cc lavage. ZEGERID Oral Suspension 40 mg/1680 mg (two doses administered 6 to 8 hours apart on the first day via orogastric or nasogastric tube, followed by 40 mg q.d. thereafter) was compared to continuous I.V. cimetidine (300 mg bolus, and 50 to 100 mg/hr continuously thereafter) for up to 14 days (mean = 6.8 days). A total of 359 patients were studied, age range 16 to 91 (mean = 56 yrs), 58.5% were males, and 64% were Caucasians. The results of the study showed that ZEGERID was non-inferior to I.V. cimetidine, 10/181(5.5%) patients in the cimetidine group vs. 7/178 (3.9%) patients in the ZEGERID group experienced clinically significant upper GI bleeding.
1. Friedman JM and Polifka JE. Omeprazole. In: Teratogenic Effects of Drugs. A Resource for Clinicians (TERIS). 2nd ed. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press 2000; p. 516.
2. Kallen BAJ. Use of omeprazole during pregnancy – no hazard demonstrated in 955 infants exposed during pregnancy. Eur Obstet Gynecol Reprod Biol 2001; 96(1):63-8.
3. Ruigómez A, Rodriquez LUG, Cattaruzzi C, et al. Use of cimetidine, omeprazole, and ranitidine in pregnant women and pregnancy outcomes. Am J Epidemiol 1999; 150: 476-81.
4. Lalkin A, Loebstein, Addis A, et al. The safety of omeprazole during pregnancy: a multicenter prospective controlled study. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1998: 179:727-30.
Last reviewed on RxList: 1/12/2015
This monograph has been modified to include the generic and brand name in many instances.
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