What is Nexium?
Nexium (esomeprazole) is a proton pump inhibitor that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.
Nexium is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions involving excessive stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. It is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to your esophagus caused by stomach acid).
Nexium may also be given to prevent gastric ulcer caused by infection with helicobacter pylori (H. pylori), or by the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
Nexium is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.
Follow all directions on your medicine label and package. Tell each of your healthcare providers about all your medical conditions, allergies, and all medicines you use.
Before taking this medicine
You should not use Nexium if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to similar medicines such as lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), or rabeprazole (AcipHex).
Heartburn is often confused with the first symptoms of a heart attack. Seek emergency medical attention if you have chest pain or heavy feeling, pain spreading to the arm or shoulder, nausea, sweating, and a general ill feeling.
To make sure Nexium is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:
severe liver disease;
low bone mineral density (osteopenia); or
low levels of magnesium in your blood.
Taking a proton pump inhibitor such as Nexium may increase your risk of bone fracture in the hip, wrist, or spine. This effect has occurred mostly in people who have taken the medicine long term or at high doses, and in those who are age 50 and older. It is not clear whether Nexium is the actual cause of an increased risk of fracture.
It is not known whether Nexium will harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
It is not known whether esomeprazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Tell your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.
How should I take Nexium?
Take Nexium exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Follow all directions on your prescription label. Do not take this medicine in larger or smaller amounts or for longer than recommended.
This medicine is usually given for 4 to 8 weeks only. Your doctor may recommend a second course of treatment if you need additional healing time.
Take each dose with a full glass (8 ounces) of water.
Nexium should be taken at least one hour before a meal.
Do not crush or chew a delayed-release capsule. However to make swallowing easier, you may open the Nexium capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce. Swallow right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use.
Nexium can be given through a nasogastric (NG) feeding tube. Open the capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a 60-milliliter syringe. Mix in 50 milliliters of water. Place the plunger into the syringe and shake the mixture well. Make sure there are no medicine granules stuck in the tip of the syringe. Attach the syringe to the NG tube and push the plunger down to empty the syringe into the tube. Then flush the tube with more water to wash the contents down.
Take this medicine for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated.
If you use Nexium for longer than 3 years, you could develop a vitamin B-12 deficiency. Talk to your doctor about how to manage this condition if you develop it.
Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while you are taking this medicine.
Nexium can cause unusual results with certain medical tests, and you may need to stop using the medicine for a short time before a test. Tell any doctor who treats you that you are using this medicine.
Store at room temperature away from moisture and heat.
What happens if I miss a dose?
Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.
What happens if I overdose?
Seek emergency medical attention.
What should I avoid while taking Nexium?
This medicine can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, call your doctor. Do not use anti-diarrhea medicine unless your doctor tells you to.
Nexium side effects
Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction to Nexium: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.
Call your doctor at once if you have:
severe stomach pain, diarrhea that is watery or bloody;
kidney problems – urinating more or less than usual, blood in your urine, swelling, rapid weight gain; or
symptoms of low magnesium – dizziness, confusion; fast or uneven heart rate; tremors (shaking) or jerking muscle movements; feeling jittery;muscle cramps, muscle spasms in your hands and feet; cough or choking feeling.
Common Nexium side effects may include:
nausea, stomach pain, gas, constipation; or
This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects.
What other drugs will affect Nexium?
Tell your doctor about all medicines you use, and those you start or stop using during your treatment with Nexium, especially:
iron-containing medicines (ferrous fumarate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous sulfate, and others);
St. John’s wort;
warfarin (Coumadin, Jantoven);
antifungal medication – ketoconazole, voriconazole; or
HIV/AIDS medication – atazanavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir.
This list is not complete and other drugs may interact with esomeprazole. Tell your doctor about all medications you use. This includes prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin, and herbal products. Do not start a new medication without telling your doctor.