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NexIUM OTC

Generic Name: esomeprazole (oral) (ee so MEP ra zol)
Brand Name: Esomeprazole Strontium, NexIUM, NexIUM OTC

Medically reviewed on June 15, 2018

What is esomeprazole?

Esomeprazole is a proton pump inhibitor that decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Esomeprazole is used to treat symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and other conditions involving excessive stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. Esomeprazole is also used to promote healing of erosive esophagitis (damage to your esophagus caused by stomach acid).

Esomeprazole 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).

Esomeprazole is not for immediate relief of heartburn symptoms.

Esomeprazole may also be used for purposes not listed in this medication guide.

Important Information

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

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 use this medicine if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to similar medicines such as lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec, Zegerid), pantoprazole (Protonix), or rabeprazole (AcipHex).

To make sure esomeprazole is safe for you, tell your doctor if you have:

Taking a proton pump inhibitor such as esomeprazole 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 esomeprazole is the actual cause of an increased risk of fracture.

It is not known whether this medicine 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 esomeprazole?

Use exactly as directed on the label, or as prescribed by your doctor. Do not use 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.

Esomeprazole 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 esomeprazole 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.

Esomeprazole 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 esomeprazole 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.

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

What should I avoid while taking esomeprazole?

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.

Esomeprazole side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have signs of an allergic reaction: 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;

  • seizure (convulsions);

  • joint pain or swelling with fever, swollen glands, and skin rash on your cheeks or arms (worsens in sunlight);

  • 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 side effects may include:

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 esomeprazole?

Tell your doctor about all your current medicines and any you start or stop using, especially:

This list is not complete. Other drugs may interact with esomeprazole, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Not all possible interactions are listed in this medication guide.

Further information

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

Date modified: January 03, 2018
Last reviewed: January 04, 2017

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