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Nexium (esomeprazole)

Brand Name

Nexium {Astra Zeneca}

Generic Name

esomeprazole, pronounced ee so MEP ra zol

Esomeprazole (Esomeprazole (Esomeprazole Magnesium Trihydrate))

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(Esomeprazole (Esomeprazole Magnesium Trihydrate))
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What is Nexium?

Nexium is a medication that will help to decrease the amount of acid produced in your stomach. Belonging to a group of medications called Proton Pump Inhibitors, Nexium is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is also known as GERD. You may also be prescribed Nexium as a treatment for erosive esophagitis, which is when your esophagus becomes damaged from excess stomach acid.


Key Facts About Nexium

Nexium is helpful if you suffer from gastric ulcers. These ulcers may be caused by your use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, also called NSAIDs, or caused by an infection with helicobacter pylori, or H. pylori that you may have.

Nexium should not be used for an immediate relief of your heartburn symptoms.

Heartburn may be confused with initial symptoms of a heart attack. You should seek emergency medical assistance if you experience chest pain or a heavy feeling, nausea, sweating, pain spreading to your arm or shoulder, or a general feeling of being ill.

If you take a proton pump inhibitor like Nexium you may have an increased risk of bone fractures in your hips, wrists, or spine. This effect has occurred in people who have either taken this medication for a long time and at high doses, or who are older then age 50. It is not known if Nexium is the cause of this increased risk of fractures. You should tell your doctor before you take Nexium if you have osteopenia, which is low bone mineral density, or osteoporosis.

There are certain conditions which are treated with both antibiotics and Nexium. You should use all of the medications as directed by your doctor, being sure to read patient instructions provided with each medication prescribed for you. It is important for you to take all of your medications for the prescribed length of time, and you should not change your dosing schedule without your doctor’s advice.

Nexium may also be used for additional purposes which are not listed in this medication guide.


Before You Take Nexium

If you are allergic to to esomeprazole or other benzimidazole medications, like mebendazole (Vermox) or albendazole (Albenza) you should not take Nexium.

Low levels of magnesium in your blood or liver disease may be reasons for you not to take Nexium. Tell your doctor if you have either of these conditions.

Nexium is in FDA pregnancy category B. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while you are being treated with Nexium. Nexium is not expected to harm an unborn baby. It is not known whether Nexium passes into breast milk or if it may harm a nursing baby. You should not use Nexium without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding.

Nexium can sometimes cause unusual results with certain medical tests. Tell any doctor you see that you are being treated with Nexium.


Nexium Drug Interactions

You should inform your doctor if you are taking any of the following:

Medications to treat AIDS or HIV, such as atazanavir (Reyataz), nelfinavir (Viracept) rilpivirine (Complera, Edurant), saquinavir (Invirase) or travirine (Intelence)

  • cilostazol (Pletal)
  • citalopram (Celexa)
  • clopidogrel (Plavix)
  • dexamethasone (Cortastat, Dexasone, Solurex, DexPak)
  • diazepam (Valium)
  • digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps)
  • methotrexate (Rheumatrex, Trexall)
  • rifampin (Rifadin, Rifater, Rifamate)
  • St. John’s wort
  • tacrolimus (Prograf)
  • voriconazole (Vfend)

Other drugs you take which are not listed may interact with Nexium. You should tell your doctor about all of the medications you use. This includes prescription drugs, vitamins, supplements and herbal products, and over the counter medications. You should not begin taking a new medication without telling your doctor first.


Directions for Taking Nexium

Nexium is usually prescribed for between 4 and 8 weeks only. You should take Nexium exactly as it is prescribed by your doctor. Your doctor will decide if you should receive a second course of treatment if he or she feels you need additional time to heal. You should follow the instructions on your prescription label and not take Nexium for longer then recommended by your doctor, or in larger or smaller doses.

You should take Nexium for the entire length of time your doctor has prescribed, even if your symptoms improve before you have finished your prescription. Sometimes your symptoms may improve but your condition has not yet been fully treated. You should call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if you experience a worsening of your symptoms while taking this medicine.

You should take each dose of Nexium at least one hour before a meal. It is best if you take your dose of Nexiuim with at least 8 ounces of water.

You may also take the Nexium delayed-release capsule and open it and sprinkle the medication into a spoonful of applesauce or pudding to make it easier for you to swallow. You must swallow this mixture immediately, without chewing it. Do not save any unused mixture for later use, and be sure to discard the empty capsule.

You may also take Nexium by using a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. To do this you must open the capsule and sprinkle the Nexium into a 60 mL syringe, which will be provided by your doctor or pharmacy. After mixing in 50 mL of water with the contents of the Nexium capsule you should place the plunger into the syringe. Be sure to shake the mixture very well, while taking care to be sure there are no medicine granules stuck in the tip of the syringe. You must then attach the syringe to the NG tube and push the plunger down, which will empty the syringe into the tube. Lastly, you need to flush the tube with additional water to wash the contents down.

Store Nexium at room temperature, and away from both moisture and heat.

If you miss a dose of Nexium you should attempt to take the missed dose as soon as you remember. However, if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose do not take the missed dose in addition to your regular dose.


Nexium Side Effects

If you experience any of the following adverse effects you should stop taking Nexium and seek emergency medical help immediately. These symptoms may indicate low magnesium levels in your body:

  • confusion
  • coughing or choking feeling
  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody
  • dizziness
  • fast heart rate
  • feeling jittery
  • jerking muscle movements
  • muscle cramps or weakness
  • seizure activity

Less serious side effects may include:

  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • drowsiness
  • dry mouth
  • gas
  • headache
  • nausea
  • stomach pain

It should be noted that this is not a complete list of possible side effects of Nexium. You should contact your physician for a complete list and medical advice regarding these effects.


Nexium Description and Dosing

Nexium is available in delayed-release capsules, in 20 or 40 mg doses.

There are doses of Nexium in .5 and 10 mg, which are intended for pediatric patients.

Nexium is available as a purple capsule, in 20 or 40 mg strengths, The 20 mg capsules are imprinted with two gold bands, and the 40 mg capsules are imprinted with three gold bands.

The recommended dosage of Nexium for adults with active Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is either 20 or 40 mg , taken once daily for 4-8 weeks.

Maintenance dosing may be prescribed for you, to help heal Erosive Esophagitis. This dose would be 20 mg daily for 4-8 weeks.

Patients with H. pylori may be dosed with a combination of Nexium and an antibiotic to reduce the risk of duodenal ulcers. The typical dose for the eradication of H. pylori is 40 milligrams of Nexium, once daily for 10 days. You will usually take additional medications as well, such as 1000 mg of Amoxicillan twice daily for 10 days and 500 mg of Clarithromycin twice daily for 10 days.

All people taking Nexium should consult their doctor for specific dosing pertaining to them. Do not attempt to alter or change your dose without your physician’s consent.


Ingredients in Nexium

Nexium delayed-release capsules contain 20 or 40 mg of esomeprazole, as well as the following inactive ingredients: glyceryl monostearate 40-50, hydroxy-propyl cellulose, hypromellose, magnesium stearate, methacrylic acid copolymer type C, polysorbate 80, sugar spheres, talc, and triethyl citrate. The capsule shells contain the following inactive ingredients: gelatin, FD& C Blue #1, FD& C Red #40, D& C Red #28, titanium dioxide, shellac, ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, n-butyl alcohol, propylene glycol, sodium hydroxide, polyvinyl pyrrolidone, and D& C Yellow #10.

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The information contained in this drug guide is intended as an educational resource only. This guide is not exhaustive and does not contain all available information about this drug.This guide is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatment.

The information provided in this guide does not replace the need for the advice and services of medical professionals or the need for medical examination. Always talk to your physician or pharmacist before taking any prescription medication or over the counter drugs (including any supplements) or before making any changes to your treatment. Only your doctor, nurse or pharmacist can provide you with safe and effective advice regarding your drug treatment.

The use of the information in this guide is at your sole risk. This information is provided "AS IS" with no warranties to accuracy or timeliness.