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All about: esomeprazole

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Generic Name: esomeprazole (ee so MEP ra zol)
Brand Names: Nexium

What is esomeprazole?

Esomeprazole decreases the amount of acid produced in the stomach.

Lansoprazole is used to treat and prevent stomach and intestinal ulcers, erosive esophagitis (damage to the esophagus from stomach acid), and other conditions involving excessive stomach acid such as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome.

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 may also be used for purposes other than those listed in this medication guide.

What is the most important information I should know about esomeprazole?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox). Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had any type of liver disease. You may not be able to use esomeprazole, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Some conditions are treated with a combination of esomeprazole and antibiotics. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before your treatment is completed. Do not crush, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

What should I discuss with my healthcare provider before taking esomeprazole?

Do not use this medication if you are allergic to esomeprazole or to any other benzimidazole medication such as albendazole (Albenza), or mebendazole (Vermox). Before taking this medication, tell your doctor if you have ever had any type of liver disease. You may not be able to use esomeprazole, or you may need a dosage adjustment or special tests during treatment.

Some conditions are treated with a combination of esomeprazole and antibiotics. To best treat your condition, use all of your medications as directed by your doctor. Be sure to read the medication guide or patient instructions provided with each of your medications. Do not change your doses or medication schedule without advice from your doctor.

FDA pregnancy category B. This medication is not expected to be harmful to an unborn baby. Tell your doctor if you are pregnant or plan to become pregnant during treatment. It is not known whether esomeprazole passes into breast milk or if it could harm a nursing baby. Do not use this medication without telling your doctor if you are breast-feeding a baby.

How should I take esomeprazole?

Take this medication exactly as it was prescribed for you. Do not take the medication in larger amounts, or take it for longer than recommended by your doctor. Follow the directions on your prescription label.

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, break, or open a delayed-release capsule. Swallow the pill whole. It is specially made to release medicine slowly in the body. Breaking or opening the pill would cause too much of the drug to be released at one time.

You may open the delayed-release capsule and sprinkle the medicine into a spoonful of pudding or applesauce to make swallowing easier. Swallow this mixture right away without chewing. Do not save the mixture for later use. Discard the empty capsule.

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.

It is important to use esomeprazole regularly to get the most benefit. Get your prescription refilled before you run out of medicine completely.

Take this medication for the entire length of time prescribed by your doctor. Your symptoms may get better before your treatment is completed. Store esomeprazole at room temperature away from moisture and heat.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. If it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and take the medicine at the next regularly scheduled time. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

What happens if I overdose?

Seek emergency medical attention if you think you have used too much of this medicine.

Symptoms of an esomeprazole overdose 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 while taking esomeprazole?

There are no restrictions on food, beverages, or activities while taking esomeprazole, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.

Esomeprazole side effects

Get emergency medical help if you have any of these signs of an allergic reaction: hives; difficulty breathing; swelling of your face, lips, tongue, or throat.

Other less serious side effects are more likely to occur, such as:

  • headache;

  • diarrhea;

  • nausea, stomach pain, gas, constipation; or

  • dry mouth.

Side effects other than those listed here may also occur. Talk to your doctor about any side effect that seems unusual or that is especially bothersome.

What other drugs will affect esomeprazole?

Before taking esomeprazole, tell your doctor if you are using any of the following drugs:

  • atazanavir (Reyataz);

  • digoxin (Lanoxin, Lanoxicaps);

  • diazepam (Valium);

  • ketoconazole (Nizoral);

  • iron (Feosol, Mol-Iron, Fergon, Femiron, others); or

  • a blood thinner such as warfarin (Coumadin).

If you are using any of these drugs, you may not be able to use esomeprazole, or you may need dosage adjustments or special tests during treatment.

There may be other drugs not listed that can affect esomeprazole. Tell your doctor about all the prescription and over-the-counter medications you use. This includes vitamins, minerals, herbal products, and drugs prescribed by other doctors. Do not start using a new medication without telling your doctor.

Where can I get more information?

  • Your pharmacist has additional information about esomeprazole written for health professionals that you may read.

What does my medication look like?

Esomeprazole is available with a prescription under the brand name Nexium. Other brand or generic formulations may also be available. Ask your pharmacist any questions you have about this medication, especially if it is new to you.

  • Nexium 20 mg--opaque, hard-gelatin, amethyst-colored capsules with two yellow bars on the cap

  • Nexium 40 mg--opaque, hard-gelatin, amethyst-colored capsules with three yellow bars on the cap

  • 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.
  • 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 1996-2006 Cerner Multum, Inc. Version: 3.03. Revision Date: 10/20/06 3:09:49 PM.

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