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How Long Does It Take Prevacid to Work?

By Megan Smith ; Updated July 27, 2017

What is Prevacid?

Prevacid, also known generically as lansoprazole, is a prescription-only medication that reduces the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach. Without treatment, this acid causes acid reflux disorder, and creates intestinal and stomach ulcers. Prevacid is also used to treat Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, where the stomach produces extra hydrochloric acid, which can cause ulcers. If your doctor decides that Prevacid is right for you, the medication is available in doses of 15 milligrams and 30 milligrams from your pharmacist. Prevacid is usually prescribed if over-the-counter heartburn and acid reflux medications do not work, or an ulcer does not go away with diet restrictions and rest.

Taking Prevacid

Prevacid is available in tablets that are swallowed with a glass of water, and chewable tablets for children or adults that cannot swallow pills. If your body responds well to Prevacid, your doctor may have you take it regularly--once a day, or several times a day. Prevacid should start to work immediately after taking it, as it works to neutralize your stomach acid. On the other hand, most people do not feel the effects of Prevacid until about a week or two after taking it regularly. If you suffer from a disease like erosive esophagitis, where the acid is eating away at the lining of your esophagus, it will take at least four to eight weeks for the erosions to heal. If you have taken Prevacid for several months and are still not experiencing any relief from your symptoms, including heartburn, chest pain, and stomach aches, your doctor may decide to take you off Prevacid and put you on another medication.

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Warnings About Prevacid

Side effects of Prevacid include nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, consult your doctor before discontinuing your dose of Prevacid. If you are experiencing swelling of the lips or face, hives or a rash on your body, you may be allergic to Prevacid and should stop taking it immediately and go to the emergency room. If you are still experiencing the same pain you were when you were placed on Prevacid after two to three months, the medication may not be working properly and you should consult your doctor. He or she will place you on a different medication.

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