Generic Name: esomeprazole (ee so MEP ra zol)
Brand Names: Esomeprazole Strontium, NexIUM, Nexium 24HR

What is Nexium?

Nexium (esomeprazole) belongs to a group of drugs called proton pump inhibitors. Esomeprazole 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. Nexium 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.

Important information

Nexium is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.

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Before taking this medicine

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.

You should not take Nexium if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole or mebendazole.

To make sure you can safely take Nexium, tell your doctor if you have any of these other conditions:

  • severe liver disease; 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 medication 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. Before you take this medication, tell your doctor if you have osteoporosis or osteopenia (low bone mineral density).

Some conditions are treated with a combination of esomeprazole and antibiotics. Use all medications as directed by your doctor. Read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each medication. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without your doctor's advice.

FDA pregnancy category B. Nexium is not expected to harm an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment.

See also: Pregnancy and breastfeeding warnings (in more detail)

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, chew, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow it whole.

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 medication for the full prescribed length of time. Your symptoms may improve before the condition is fully treated.

Call your doctor if your symptoms do not improve or if they get worse while you are taking this medicine.

This medicine 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 Nexium.

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 or call the Poison Help line at 1-800-222-1222.

Overdose symptoms may include confusion, headache, drowsiness, blurred vision, fast heartbeat, nausea, dry mouth, sweating, flushing, shortness of breath, tremor, loss of coordination, or seizure (convulsions).

What should I avoid?

This medication can cause diarrhea, which may be a sign of a new infection. If you have diarrhea that is watery or bloody, stop taking Nexium and 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 any of these signs of an allergic reaction to Nexium: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Stop using Nexium and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • dizziness, confusion;

  • fast or uneven heart rate;

  • jerking muscle movements;

  • jittery feeling;

  • diarrhea that is watery or bloody;

  • muscle cramps, muscle weakness or limp feeling;

  • cough or choking feeling; or

  • seizure (convulsions).

Common Nexium side effects may include:

  • headache, drowsiness;

  • mild diarrhea;

  • nausea, stomach pain, gas, constipation; or

  • dry mouth.

This is not a complete list of side effects and others may occur. Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.

See also: Side effects (in more detail)

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:

  • a blood thinner (warfarin, Coumadin, Jantoven);

  • cilostazol;

  • clopidogrel;

  • diazepam;

  • digoxin;

  • erlotinib;

  • iron supplements;

  • methotrexate;

  • rifampin;

  • St. John's wort;

  • tacrolimus;

  • antifungal medication--ketoconazole, voriconazole; or

  • HIV/AIDS medication--atazanavir, nelfinavir, saquinavir (Invirase).

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.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist can provide more information about Nexium.
  • Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use Nexium only for the indication prescribed.
  • Disclaimer: Every effort has been made to ensure that the information provided by Cerner Multum, Inc. ('Multum') is accurate, up-to-date, and complete, but no guarantee is made to that effect. Drug information contained herein may be time sensitive. Multum information has been compiled for use by healthcare practitioners and consumers in the United States and therefore Multum does not warrant that uses outside of the United States are appropriate, unless specifically indicated otherwise. Multum's drug information does not endorse drugs, diagnose patients or recommend therapy. Multum's drug information is an informational resource designed to assist licensed healthcare practitioners in caring for their patients and/or to serve consumers viewing this service as a supplement to, and not a substitute for, the expertise, skill, knowledge and judgment of healthcare practitioners. The absence of a warning for a given drug or drug combination in no way should be construed to indicate that the drug or drug combination is safe, effective or appropriate for any given patient. Multum does not assume any responsibility for any aspect of healthcare administered with the aid of information Multum provides. The information contained herein is not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects. If you have questions about the drugs you are taking, check with your doctor, nurse or pharmacist.

Copyright 1996-2014 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 12.05. Revision Date: 2014-04-16, 10:15:58 AM.

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