If you’re suffering from some stomach problems like aches, ulcer, upset, etc, you might be quite familiar with a particular drug known as Omeprazole. Certain drugs have different contraindications including what to eat and what not to eat before and after taking them.
Disclaimer: nothing you read here should EVER be taken in place of professional medical advice
In this case, if you’ve taken Omeprazole, you might probably be wondering how soon can you drink coffee after taking Omeprazole.
If you’ve taken the drug, you need to wait for at least an hour before you can drink coffee.
The science behind Omeprazole
Omeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor or a PPI. It’s used to treat acid reflux, ulcers, and other stomach and esophageal issues by inhibiting or slowing down the amount of acid produced by the stomach. This is why it’s used to relieve heartburn, cough and difficulty in swallowing.
Coffee before omeprazole
Once you take in coffee, your body immediately starts processing the coffee by metabolising the caffeine present in it. The levels of caffeine in the body also peak within 15 to 45 minutes. Coffee stays in the body for hours: as a matter of fact, the half life of caffeine (in the coffee) is 5hrs.
This means that if you take 20mg of caffeine, after 5hrs, only 10mg will remain. This shows how long it takes for caffeine to leave the body.
But here’s the thing, we aren’t interested in how long it stays in the body as a whole, we’re only interested in the stomach because the drug in question (omeprazole) is used to relieve stomach issues.
If you drink coffee, it’ll stimulate gastric acid secretion in your stomach. This means that when the coffee makes its way into your stomach and the body senses it, it’ll supply more acid.
If you remember what I wrote earlier, you’d know that omeprazole helps to slow down the secretion of gastric acid in order to relieve stomach issues. Can you see the conflict here? While the drug slows down secretion of acid, coffee enhances it.
Coffee can also worsen your acid reflux by lowering the muscle at the lower part of your oesophagus, which could cause the stomach acid to go the wrong way.
This is why the timing is important. While coffee (caffeine) can stay in the body as a whole for hours, it can only stay in the stomach for about 15 to 25 minutes before it makes its way to the small intestine for further digestion.
After about 25 to 30 minutes, the content should have left your stomach alongside the effect it carries. Then it will be okay to take the medication.
Coffee after omeprazole
According to drugs.com, the acid suppressing capabilities of omeprazole works within an hour of taking it, and the maximum effect within 2 hours. The effects can last up to 72 hours.
This means that if you take omeprazole and then take coffee before the 1 to 2hr window period, while the drug is working to reduce acid secretion, the coffee won’t let it do its job because it’ll make the stomach to continue secreting more acid. It’s best for the drug to spend time within its efficacy period before taking something that pretty much counteracts its purpose, like coffee.
This is why it’s best to wait for at least an hour before taking coffee.
A friendly advice
Despite the fact that there are window periods and time ranges to look out for, experts strongly advise that whether you’re taking coffee before the drug or after, as long as you’re taking omeprazole at all, it’s best to heavily cut back on your caffeine consumption.
Since we’re dealing with drugs, and the effect could vary from people to people, it’s wise not to try and use a one size fits all approach. To be on the safe side, at least reduce your caffeine intake.
Asides from caffeine (and other products that contain caffeine like tea, cola), you should also cut back on spicy foods, citrus, tomatoes, salad dressings, and other fizzy drinks if you’re taking omeprazole.