Omeprazole is a member of a new class of substituted benzimidazoles. These agents inhibit the proton pump in the gastric parietal cell, blocking the final step in the gastric acid secretory pathway. Omeprazole has been investigated for the treatment of gastric ulcer, duodenal ulcer, gastroesophageal reflux, and various hypersecretory states. The prolonged inhibition of gastric acid secretion allows for once-daily dosing in patients with peptic ulcer disease and gastroesophageal reflux, and once- or twice-daily dosing in patients with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Compared with currently available therapies, omeprazole is well tolerated and demonstrates a more rapid ulcer healing rate. It is superior to conventional therapies in the treatment of Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Side effects are infrequent when the drug is used for the short-term management of ulcers.