Dr Clare Morrison

Article by Dr Clare Morrison

Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux is a common problem, so you think it would be easy to spot.

The condition is caused by stomach fluid moving back up into the food pipe, and is typically characterised by heartburn, chest pain and a cough.

However, there are also symptoms that are not as well known – so if you’re suffering from any of the below, you could have acid reflux…

Bitter taste

Occasionally when acid escapes from your stomach it can make its way into the back of your throat leaving a strange bitter taste in your mouth. In some extreme cases this can cause choking. If this happens to you – especially at night – see a doctor immediately.


If you have heartburn and you’re constantly coughing and wheezing, you could end up triggering asthma. Experts believe that stomach acid can trigger nerves in the chest to constrict breathing tubes to stop acid from entering.


If you feel nauseaous immediately after eating it’s an indication that you could be suffering from acid reflux.

Extra saliva

If your mouth suddenly starts producing extra saliva, it could be water brash, which suggests you have acid reflux. This involves the same nerves and reflex as when you vomit – it’s your body trying to wash out an irritant in your oesophagus – a muscular tube connecting the throat with the stomach.

Persistent hiccups

If you have persistent hiccups that last for more than 48 hours, you could be suffering from acid reflux.


If you are suffering from the above symptoms, Omeprazole – a protein pump inhibitor (PPI), which works by reducing the amount of acid produced in the stomach – can help. However, make sure you consult a doctor if you are suffering from any of the more unusual symptoms above as they could be a sign of something more serious.

How to take omeprazole

Omeprazole is taken before eating – at least one hour before a meal. Try to take this drug at the same time each day to avoid missing any doses.

The dose will be different depending on the patient. Consult your doctor for more information about your dosage level, as well as the number of doses you take each day, time allowed between doses and the length of time you take it for.

Make sure that you use the medicine for the full prescribed length of time, and call your doctor if your symptoms don’t improve or worsen.

Omeprazole side effects

Common side effects from the drug include:

Stomach pain

Serious side effects include:

Low magnesium levels – using this drug for three months or longer can cause magnesium levels to lower. In such a case, you could experience spasms, muscle weakness, fast heart rate and seizures

Vitamin B-12 deficiency – if you use Omeprazole for longer than three years, it can be harder to absorb B-12. In such a case you could suffer from numbness, poor muscular coordination, changes in menstruation patterns (if you are female) and nervousness

Severe diarrhoea

Inflammation of your stomach lining

Kidney damage

Bone fractures

Cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE)

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

For more information on Omeprazole and if you believe you’re suffering from acid reflux symptoms, contact MedExpress – we can help explain more about how the drug works and what to expect.

Dr Clare Morrison
Dr Clare Morrison
Experienced General Practitioner in Hampshire since 1995, with particular interest in Nutrition, Obesity and Smoking Cessation.
Originally published September 26 2017, updated October 06 2018