Things That Could Hurt You: Prilosec
What is it?
Prilosec was the first of a class of drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (“PPIs”), which are prescribed to treat chronic heart burn, acid reflux, and other gastrointestinal maladies. The reason Prilosec works is its active ingredient, omeprazole. Nexium, another drug that has been the subject of a great number of lawsuits, is a big competitor with Prilosec. There is so much money in PPIs. The manufacturers of these drugs have been in litigation with each other for a very long time, battling over patents and profits.
How popular is it?
Following its introduction in 1989. Prilosec rocketed to widespread popularity. In 2013, Prilosec sales were $358.8 million – making the drug the second-highest-selling over-the-counter digestive remedy. Prilosec belongs to a class of acid-reducing medicines on which the public spends over $14 billion a year.
The active ingredient in Prilosec, Omeprazole, is a racemic mixture containing S- and R-enantiomers. Enantiomers are molecules that have two Non-superimposable mirror image forms Racemic mixtures, such as omeprazole, contain equal proportions of the two enantiomers. Continue reading