Can I Still Absorb Nutrients If I Take Prilosec?

Prilosec, the brand name for omeprazole, is a medication to treat too much stomach acid. It can affect the absorption of certain nutrients, including calcium, folic acid and vitamin B-12, so you may need to supplement your intake of these nutrients. Follow your doctor's advice regarding proper supplementation.


Prilosec treats conditions like ulcers, dyspepsia and gastroesophageal reflux disease -- all of which can cause heartburn-type symptoms and damage from stomach acid. The medication is a proton pump inhibitor, which means it decreases the amount of acid your stomach makes. But it also can inhibit the absorption of certain nutrients and may cause other side effects, including appetite loss, cloudy urine, fatigue, sore throat, gas, diarrhea, constipation and body aches.

Calcium Absorbtion

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Prilosec can prevent your body from absorbing calcium, which can lead to decreased bone density. Calcium is the structural component in bone, but it is also essential for cell signaling, which your body needs to regulate nerve impulse transmission and muscle contractions. Without enough calcium, your bones lose mass and become brittle. You can prevent this by taking calcium supplements while on Prilosec. However, Prilosec also prevents calcium carbonate from being effective, so use another calcium form, such as calcium citrate.

Folic Acid Absorbtion

Many antacids, like Prilosec, inhibit your body’s absorption of folic acid. You need folic acid to help make new cells, which helps your body grow and repair itself. It also helps make healthy red blood cells and prevents anemia. Add folic acid to your diet through foods like leafy green vegetables, citrus fruits and legumes. Take a dietary supplement, with a dosage between 400 and 1,000 micrograms.

Vitamin B-12

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Prilosec can inhibit your body’s absorption of vitamin B-12 from food, However, you can absorb B-12 supplements. Sufficient B-12 levels are important to make hemoglobin, the component of red blood cells that carries oxygen. B-12 also helps your body metabolize energy from proteins and protects your nerves from damage. Take a dose between 10 and 50 micrograms daily.