Information on Tablets A-Z
Generic name: Esomeprazole magnesium
Why is this drug prescribed: Nexium relieves heartburn and other symptoms caused by the backflow of stomach acid into the canal to the stomach (the esophagus)--a condition known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is also prescribed to heal the damage (erosive esophagitis) that reflux disease can cause. Prescribed in combination with the antibiotics Biaxin and Amoxil, Nexium is also used to treat the infection that causes most duodenal ulcers (ulcers occurring just beyond the exit from the stomach). Like its sister drug Prilosec, Nexium works by reducing the production of stomach acid.
Most important fact about this drug: Nexium comes in delayed-release capsules that should be swallowed whole. Be sure to avoid crushing or chewing the capsules.
How should you take this medication: Take Nexium at least one hour before meals. Be careful to swallow it whole. If you have trouble swallowing capsules, you can open the capsule and carefully pour the pellets onto one tablespoon of applesauce. The applesauce should not be hot. Mix in the pellets, then swallow the applesauce immediately, without chewing. --If you miss a dose... Take it as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the one you missed and go back to your regular schedule. Never take 2 doses at the same time. --Storage instructions... Store at room temperature in a tightly closed container.
What side effects may occur: Side effects cannot be anticipated. If any develop or change in intensity, inform your doctor as soon as possible. Only your doctor can determine if it is safe for you to continue taking Nexium. More common side effects may include: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, headache Rare side effects may include: Abnormal sense of smell, acne, allergic reaction, anemia, apathy, back pain, black stools, blood disorders, blood in urine, burping, change in bowel habits, chest pain, chills, confusion, constipation, coughing, cramps, difficulty breathing, difficulty swallowing, dizziness, dry mouth, ear infection, earache, enlarged abdomen, enlarged thyroid gland, eye infection, facial swelling, fast or irregular heartbeat, fatigue, fever, flu-like symptoms, flushing, frequent or increased urination, fungal infections, general feeling of illness, hernia, hiccups, high blood pressure, hives, hot flushes, impotence, inability to sleep, increased appetite, indigestion, itching, leg and body swelling, liver problems, loss of appetite, loss of taste, lymph node problems, menstrual problems, migraine, mouth and throat problems, nausea, nervousness, nosebleed, pain, painful joints and muscles, painful urination, prickly or burning sensation, rash, rectal problems, rigidity, ringing in the ears, runny nose, sensitivity to touch, sinus problems, sleep disorders, sleepiness, sore throat, stomach bleeding, stomach pain, stomach upset, sweating, swelling, taste changes, thirst, tremors, urinary tract infection, vaginitis, vertigo, vision changes, vomiting, weakness, weight changes, worsening of arthritis, worsening of asthma, worsening of depression
Why should this drug not be prescribed: If Nexium gives you an allergic reaction, or you've ever had an allergic reaction to Prilosec, you will not be able to use this medication.
Special warnings about this medication: The antibiotics prescribed in conjunction with Nexium for the treatment of ulcers have occasionally been known to cause severe side effects and life-threatening allergic reactions. If you've been prescribed this combination, be sure to check the entries on Amoxil and Biaxin for more information.
Possible food and drug interactions when taking this medication: If Nexium is taken with certain other drugs, the effects of either could be increased, decreased, or altered. It is especially important to check with your doctor before combining Nexium with the following: Diazepam (Valium) Digoxin (Lanoxin) Iron salts (Ferro-Sequels) Ketoconazole (Nizoral) There's no problem, however, with combining antacids and Nexium; no unwanted interaction will result.
Special information if you are pregnant or breastfeeding: The effects of Nexium during pregnancy have not been adequately studied. If you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, check with your doctor. Because Nexium is likely to appear in breast milk and could harm a nursing infant, you'll need to choose between taking Nexium or breastfeeding your baby.
Recommended dosage: ADULTS: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) For relief of symptoms, the usual dosage is one 20-milligram capsule daily for 4 weeks. If symptoms persist, your doctor may prescribe an additional 4 weeks of therapy. Erosive Esophagitis To heal damage, the dosage is 20 or 40 milligrams of Nexium once daily for 4 to 8 weeks. If you haven't fully healed after 8 weeks, your doctor may prescribe an additional 4 to 8 weeks of therapy. To maintain healing, the dosage is 20 milligrams once daily. Duodenal Ulcers As part of a three-drug treatment to rid the body of ulcer-causing H. Pylori bacteria, Nexium is prescribed at a dosage of 40 milligrams once daily for 10 days. If you have severe liver problems, you should take no more than 20 milligrams of Nexium per day.
Overdosage: Any medication taken in excess can have serious consequences. Although no overdoses of Nexium have been reported, the symptoms are expected to be like those of an overdose with the similar drug Prilosec. If you suspect an overdose, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of overdose may include: Blurred vision, confusion, drowsiness, dry mouth, flushing, headache, nausea, rapid heartbeat, sweating